For ten years a group of local volunteers have worked to build a permanent home for Ontario Long Speed Skating in Lakefield. Their initial efforts resulted in a Business Plan that attracted financial support from every level of government and a large number of individuals and local businesses. This support, along with the money raised at a number of successful fund raising events, made it possible for the organizers to purchase a 13-acre parcel of land in the Lakefield South development area and to complete plans for a multi-use community recreation facility to be built adjacent to the outdoor temperature controlled 400-metre long track speed skating oval.
The Oval Board obtained an Official Plan Amendment, along with the necessary Zoning change and Site Plan approval for an outdoor temperature controlled 400-metre Oval and the adjoining Community Building.
In the fall of 2009, the first significant stage of work was completed at the Oval site. The result was the completion of Southern Ontario’s only natural ice 400-metre long track speed skating facility. The Oval Board acquired the equipment needed to create a natural ice surface on the 400-metre track – an area that is two and a half times the size of an NHL size hockey rink.
Over the past several winters the Oval has played host to Olympic-style speed skating events, regular practices for local speed skaters, hockey tournaments, and a wide array of special events. The Oval provides the general public with regular free public skating sessions that have attracted thousands of visitors, and speed skates are made available for a small rental fee.
While the Board of Directors continue to work toward the goal of completing Ontario’s first outdoor temperature controlled 400-metre Oval, the Oval’s volunteers and supporters continue to work hard to provide skaters the unique opportunity to enjoy an outdoor speed skating track in a wonderful setting.