The old Almonte arena in the photo above stood where the new one now stands. Linda Nilson- Rogers believes the old roof caved in so they built a new one. She said that the best thing was Fred Larose running the Canteen! He was a nice man and he would let the kids take extra creamers for your hot chocolate.
They also had these long heaters by the stands that roasted you in front while your butt froze!
Thanks to the Almonte Fire Department and several other public spirited individuals, Almonte youngsters will soon have a rink to skate on. The firemenhave been busy Hooding a large section of. the parking area at the end of /the N.L.A.S. ‘grounds and hope to have fairly decent ice-to skate on by this weekend.
‘The fate of the Almonte Community Centre is still in doubt, pending the arrival of an engineer’s report being prepared by J. L. Richards and Associates, consulting engineers, of Ottawa. In any case, it looks doubtful that the building will be available until February and the outdoor rink at the N Ii.A .S. grounds can fill a big void until that time.
Although the fare m en’s rink will not be surrounded b y boards, making i t unsuitable for hockey, it will be equipped with enough lighting to perm it night skating. ‘ Water for flooding is being pumped from the river with a portable pump and the firemen have been flooding every night working in teams of two. They couldn’t have asked for better weather for making ice, during these last few days. – Everyone will be free to use the rink but skates will have to be changed the old-fashioned way — sitting on a snowbank. Work was started on the project last Saturday and the firemen are grateful to several people who helped make it possible, including the N.L.A.S., Mayor Chas. ‘Baker; Lindsay Farm Equipment, Dave Drummond, H Harry’s Motor Sales, Jerry O’Connell, Francis Naismith and Don Lowry.
I was only in there once before they tore it down. I played 2-3 years of hockey outdoors before the new arena building was constructed.
I would LOVE to see an old photo of the outdoor rink! That said, I still see it in my head when my feet get really cold (PTSD?).
Early Saturday morning practices, freezing cold & wait for the sunrise!
Dave Rooney layers of long johns under their equipment we know they did not sweat skating. I remember cleaning the ice with shovels before the tractor came out to water.
I enjoyed many skate days on the ice in this building. I remember reporting to the person looking after the ice at the time that there were pieces of wood on the ice from the rafters. I remember not being on the ice long after because we were all asked to leave. Shortly there after the rink was closed for inspection & renovations. Little did we know it would be torn down and replaced with a new building. The town council, I believed voted on installing an out door rink for use. I could be remembering incorrectly but I also believe Susan Elliott was with me at the time, do you remember this Sue?
Susan Elliott Topping, I believe Peter L is correct because I remember Freddie & Norma Larose being there a lot but there may have been someone else there that night the wood chunks were coming down. Perhaps Freddie & Norma along with Chuck and Sis had plans. I remember them always being together. Good times & memories.
Remember going there for school carnival and racing in our skates to a chocolate bar at the other end ! Everyone got one
Had lots of family work there. I did too-ticket window in 1970.
I played hockey, and love skating at the rink when I was not on the river
Likewise. Played hockey for several years. Many of the surrounding towns we went to play at, only had outdoor rinks, so I considered myself lucky to have an indoor rink. Also, behind the arena, was tobogganing every winter.
Played hockey there many times. The coldest rink around , no question !!
I remember racing to get the shovels so you could scrap the ice before Freddie Larose would flood the ice – no Zambonis back then.
Played hockey there many years for Corkery Fearnots ,Junior Raiders & Stan’s Packers in 1960s & 70S. Great memories. Yes I did play with Cheeser. Great guy. I also remember your dad as rink manager giving some of us players a buck for each goal we scored in a juvenile tournament in the early 60s. I hope we didn’t take all of your allowance.lol. That may have been before your time.
Having lived very close to the arena for all my younger life , i was a “rink rat” who spent much of the winter months hanging around the old barn. Fred Larose used to pay us “two bits”….25c to clean up the stands and dressing room after the games , which on many nights were packed to the rafters. We would also climb the scoreboard and change the score when someone scored. Lots of ice scraping and hauling the 5 gallon drum full of hot water around to flood the ice. It was COLD but had a great atmosphere for the games , with people cheering and banging on the tin sides. When there was nothing going on we had a way to crawl under the arena and get onto the ice to play some shinny and do lots of skating. Fred and Norma also had us work the canteen once in a while and paid us off in candy and the odd hot dog. I believe , if i’m not mistaken , the old building was torn down , but the boards remained and thats what we used for the outdoor rink. At that time we used to play shinny under the front bridge…a few places on the island ..Willard’s and lots on the rink behind St Mary’s school. HATED when the weather got warm and we weren’t able to play our great sport!!!!!
Many memories – skating carnival! I won a prize for my costume and Louis Peterson handed them out! I have the photo somewhere.
They held a walk a thon to raise funds for the new rink. I think it was 22 miles. We walked out to Clayton on the old road (by the Naismith House) and back in to Almonte on the new one (by the Civitan Hall). The new road was still under construction at the time. Anyone else remember doing that.
Got hit at the side of my right eye with a puck when I was 13. 8 stitches by Dr King & lucky it didn’t hit further, either way … could have been right on my eye or my temple. I think that’s the first time I realized my Angels were watching over me
Another dating site with Ken–opportunity to hold hands, skate to the music, round and round we’d go, learning to do the curves smoothly, attempting to skate backwards as well and stay off our bottoms !!! Fun entertainment, some hot chocolate to warm us up from the canteen.
The Almonte Arena where it stands today, near Gemmill Park, was opened in 1950. A newspaper clipping posted in the comments below confirms this information – thank you friends! Winnifred Knight Dunlop Gemmill bequeathed the land to Almonte in ’43 after her death.
The first image below is of the “newly constructed skating rink”. It was used from 1950 to 1973. The earliest plaque on view at the current Almonte and District Community Centre (ACC) & Arena highlights the 1973 erection of the Arena. (Also on plaques at the arena: The Community Centre erected in 1975, reno’ed in 1995 & again most recently in 2010)