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Photos: The Shipyards outdoor skate plaza is now open

The first laps at the outdoor rink kicked off a season of festive programming at the popular waterfront destination ⛸️

Hockey or figure – lace up your skates and scoot around the Lower Mainland’s largest covered outdoor rink, right here in North Vancouver.

At 1 p.m. on Friday, The Shipyards outdoor skate plaza opened for the season, with Grade 6 and 7 students from Ridgeway Elementary there to get in the first laps.

The plaza is open daily from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. with free admission from now through March of next year. Skate rentals are available – $5 for kids and $7 for adults – along with free helmet and skate aid rentals.

Handing out the season’s first rental skates, Mayor Linda Buchanan said she’s excited for the public to come down and spend time with each other.

“That’s what this season is all about,” she said. “I’m really happy that we can open it up, and kids are having fun already.”

Since the Shipyards plaza opened in 2019, Buchanan said she hasn’t looked back.

“It’s been an outstanding public space with a multitude of activities going on,” she continued. “It just contributes to the very vibrant, livable city that we’re trying to create.”

Buchanan is returning to the North Vancouver waterfront on Saturday, to light up the city’s Christmas tree at 4:30 p.m. More holiday programming including live music, artisan markets and seasonal light displays will follow at the Shipyards in the coming weeks.

Opening next to the Pipe Shop with a view of the skate plaza is a new warming hut, that will sell warm beverages – spiked and non-alcoholic – with limited seating space. More details on the hut will be released soon.

Here’s what else you should know about the skating plaza

Before you go, the city recommends:

  • Avoid the crowds. Peak hours are weekday evenings and weekends.
  • The skate plaza closes twice daily for maintenance, at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. for 30 minutes.
  • Helmets are mandatory for children under the age of 12 and are free. Rentals end 30 minutes before closing.
  • Ice conditions can fluctuate and the rink may have to close unexpectedly due to maintenance or repairs.

Skate plaza facts:

Located on the waterfront at The Shipyards, the 12,000-square-foot skate plaza is the region’s largest covered outdoor skating rink.

Using 13 kilometres of piping under the surface to create the ice, the plaza also uses a carbon dioxide chiller that feeds into the Lonsdale Energy Corp. district energy system, allowing heat from the ice system to heat surrounding buildings.

In the summer months, the adjacent 8,000-square-foot space becomes a public water spray area. More information and updates can be found on the city’s website.

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