For over 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. Along with this initial support and several successful fundraising events, the organizers were able to purchase a thirteen-acre parcel of land in the Lakefield South development area. The group also completed building plans for a multi-use community recreation facility adjacent to the outdoor speed skating track.
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 track – an area that is two and a half times the size of an NHL size hockey rink!
Since its introduction, 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 weekly free public skating sessions that have attracted thousands of visitors each year. Plus, speed skates are made available for a small rental fee.
The Board of Directors continues to work toward the goal of completing Ontario’s first outdoor temperature-controlled 400-metre Oval. And the Oval’s volunteers continue to work hard to provide skaters with the unique opportunity to enjoy an outdoor speed skating track in a beautiful outdoor setting.