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LaSalle ice skate trail and water feature approved

Proposed outdoor skating trail in LaSalle, Ont. (Courtesy Town of Lasalle) Proposed outdoor skating trail in LaSalle, Ont. (Courtesy Town of Lasalle)
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Plans for a new ice skate trail and water feature are moving forward.

LaSalle council approved the next steps in the development of the LaSalle Landing waterfront project at the latest meeting.

Administration presented a report to council members with information and drawings of an ice skating trail and water feature. After some discussion, council members approved the projects.Proposed outdoor skating trail in LaSalle, Ont. (Courtesy Town of Lasalle)

“I look at this project as something so unique to our region for our residents and to bring visitors to this area. This has taken us years to develop, and it is exciting that we are moving forward,” said LaSalle Mayor Crystal Meloche. “We will be able to use the surface year-round which is a great addition to our waterfront.”

After investigating an artificial ice surface, the town has made the decision to move forward with a natural ice surface. A refrigeration plant to help the ice surface freeze is included in the budget.

Administration said they are aware that there are risks with an outdoor natural ice skate trail and unpredictable winter weather patterns. Based on neighbouring municipalities with outdoor ice surfaces, it is estimated that the ice trail will be usable between December and February.

Generally, outdoor ice pads with an ice plant are good during periods of overcast sky with temperatures generally below about 8 Celsius. On sunny and warmer days, the ice surface may become wet and soft. In most cases, the overnight temperatures are low enough to restore usable ice.

When the ice is not installed, the concrete surface can be used as a multipurpose trail. The trail is estimated to be approximately 250m in length and could be used for recreational walking, jogging, and rollerblading and will be accessible for wheelchair use.

“We will now move forward with detail designs,” said Deputy CAO Peter Marra. “If the project stays on schedule, we hope to open the ice skate trail in late fall of 2024, and the water feature in spring of 2025.”

The Town of LaSalle announced a sponsorship from the Rotary Club of LaSalle – Centennial for a water feature that will be located near the ice trail providing this area with additional warm weather activities. The Rotary Club has pledged $132,000 in support of the project, and this will be used to enhance the design of the features. The water feature will have benches, ground-orientated water jets with areas to relax and enjoy water play, and for summertime cooling on hot and humid days.

Two small buildings are also part of this phase of the project. One building will be a public access building with washrooms, a public-facing Town use “storefront” for staff use and an indoor area to be used for putting on skates and shelter from inclement weather.

There is also a preliminary discussion with the LaSalle Police Service to use the building for police presence at the waterfront. The second building will be used for operations including the refrigeration plant, equipment, controls, and storage. There is an expansion planned for the Town’s existing parking lot behind the TD Bank to accommodate more parking within walking distance of the ice skate trail and water feature.

Council also approved the installation of a lit “LaSalle” sign. The letters will spell out LaSalle and will be about 2.4 m (8’) tall.A large sign is also proposed near the outdoor skating trail in LaSalle, Ont. (Courtesy Town of Lasalle)

There is $8-million in the Waterfront Reserve Build-Up set aside for the construction of the ice skate trail/water feature. Budget for the LaSalle sign will be taken from the Strategic Plan Reserve.

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