The Almonte Skating Rink on “The Island”



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Photo from the Almonte Gazette


ALMONTE’s Skating and Curling Club January 1903- Almonte Gazette-1903-01-02-08

When Almonte undertakes to do a thing she usually does it well, and when Contractor Donaldson undertakes to do a thing he does it both quickly and well. For the past two or three years the erection of a large rink has been discussed spasmodically, and some preliminary steps towards the accomplishment of that end were undertaken, one of which was the formation of the Almonte Rink Co., but not until this year did things assume practical shape.

Now, however, Almonte is the possessor of what has been pronounced by competent judges to be the best skating and ending rink in the Ottawa Valley. The building, a cut of which is given above, is situated along the bank of the Mississippi river, on the island, between the bridge and the falls above the Rosamond Woolen Co’s, mill, on a site for which- the Rink Co. are largely indebted to Mr. B. Rosamond. It is a very convenient location, easily reached from, any part of the town. The skating rink is 80 x 18 feet, the roof being sustained by seventeen- wooden  arches forty-five feet high, both ends being anchored to the concrete piers upon which they are set, and every pier less than two feet high is anchored to the rock below with 2 inch iron and 1 inch bolts, so that there is no danger to the structure ever moving.

Along each side of the building outside the arches is a lean-to about nine feet wide, which with the platform at each end will give accommodation to nearly 1,500 spectators. Along the sides the platform is in three steps, each one being a foot higher than the one in front of it. This will enable everybody to see what is going on upon the ice.

Between the skating and curling rinks are two waiting rooms, fitted with lockers, etc., for the skaters, a refreshment room and the waiting room for the curlers. Upstairs are dressing rooms for the hockey players with lockers in each, a band stand, and two club rooms. These are reached by a stair from the vestibule of the rink, in which is the ticket office. Even the minutest description of the rink would fail to convey a correct idea of the immense size of the building.

In each of the arches there is nearly one thousand feet of lumber; 165,000 feet of lumber and 210,000 shingles were used in the construction of the rinks, and three tons of nails, including half-a-ton of shingle nails were required in the work. One-and-a-half tons of iron rods and bolts are used to stay the arches and otherwise strengthen the building, and through 1,500 panes of glass the light of the sun enters in. The curling rink, at the south end of the skating rink, is 43 x 143 feet, with a five-foot platform up the centre. This building, too, is set upon concrete piers, as are also the poses in the centre which support the roof.

The rink is well lighted, and ventilated, and is a bright and comfortable building; The curling rink and the waiting rooms are lighted with incandescent lights and the skating link with arc lamps. The contract was given to Mr. J. Donaldson for $4,870 on the 14th of October, ground was broken on the following day, and on the 21th of December the contract was taken off his hands completed. They deserve great credit for the manner in which he rushed the work through, for the quality of material used, and for the  neatness and excellence of the work done. Mr. Win. Hart was overseer of the work and Mr. Geo. Garvrn had charge of the machine work, and upon both of these gentlemen the architect bestowed the warmest praise. Mr. J. P. McLaren, of Ottawa, was the architect.

Peggy Byrne added–“Murray Guthrie skated in this building and they had moccasin dances after – he could tell you a few stories about this relic’.


So Where Was the Ice Palace?

The Old Carleton Place Arena

So What Did You Wear Ice Skating?

Your Carleton Place Trading Card–Meet Number 7 — Brian Trimble

The Figure Skaters of Carleton Place

Skaters Under Ice? Ring That Bell!

Falling Through the Ice- One Reason Indoor Rinks Were Created


Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News and now in The Townships Sun



About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

One response »

  1. we lived on the Island, in1953, in a row house on the upper side of Rosemonds Mill. The ring was must of been torn down since there was just a field between us and the water. During the winter on the Island we skated on that portion before the falls. Terry

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