COMMENTARY: Why Cornwall’s famous hockey rink can’t stay

The outdoor ice hockey rink on Monaco Cres. on Dec. 29, 2014. The rink is nearly the size of the footprint of the house on the same property and city officials say the icy play space is butting in on their right-of-way and has to be altered or removed. Click to enlarge. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)

I’m Bill Kingston with today’s commentary. It’s less than a week before the city comes calling to take action on the hockey rink outside the Vincent family’s Monaco Crescent home. I understand and have heard all the arguments about the Canadiana of winter outdoor ice hockey and keeping kids active. I’m not against kids getting outdoor exercise or hockey (I do both) but the situation has ballooned to epic proportions and it needs to end. Many of the pictures in the media have zeroed in on kids playing on the ice but none have given proper context to the sheer size of this outdoor icy play space. Numbers will tell you one thing but a scale tells another story. The rink is nearly as big a footprint as the house (not including the garage) that sits on the same property. In a larger neighbourhood where houses are well spaced apart maybe people wouldn’t have given this a second thought. But this tight, cozy crescent is not the place for this, aside from breaking the municipal laws in the first place. Is there a compromise? Sure. Coun. David Murphy suggested maybe a one season reprieve and a city official suggested taking out one side of the rink and removing the pegs that are in the right-of-way and causing the problem. People are trying to extend the olive branch but the Vincents are being defiant and now the rink has to go. No one is above the law. Oh, and good luck to the person trying to sell their house right next door on Monaco Crescent. Explaining the giant monstrosity just a few feet from their front door must be fun for the realtor.

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