Second thoughts on artificial ice


Brooke-Alvinston Mayor Don McGugan doesn’t think artificial ice will be a good alternative for the local arena.

McGugan had thought using artificial ice at the arena in Alvinston would save the municipality money, as there wouldn’t be a need for ice making and cleaning equipment.

McGugan recently went to look at some artificial ice which was set up during Hockey Canada’s 100 years of Hockey celebration in Sarnia. “It looked great,” he says.

But then he talked to one of the people involved and was told “your figure skaters won’t want to use it.” McGugan says the skaters have “all kinds of problems with it” making it a poor choice considering the long-standing, successful program in Brooke-Alvinston.

“I was looking at savings, because you save on compressors and other arena equipment but the lady I talked to did say it was fairly expensive to install.”

Clerk-Administrator Janet Denkers says Chatham-Kent had artificial ice in one of its rinks and has removed it because they weren’t happy with it.

McGugan isn’t sure it is very good for the hockey teams either. He’s been told the Toronto Maple Leafs practice on artificial ice. “Maybe that’s part of their problems,” he joked.




  1. Your Independent reporter could have described artificial ice better. I don’t know what it is. Is it plastic? Is it frozen by pipes? How do skates react to it under different conditions?

    Alvinston first got ‘artificial ice’ around 1953 when two inventive brothers,Cameron and Stuart Walker, installed a compressor driven system in 1953, in the Crystal Palace. I believe the current ice surface is a direct descendant of this early effort.

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