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’.