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This Calgary group is house to Alberta’s first accessible out of doors alley

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The Parkdale Community Association has redesigned their outdoor lane to make the facility more inclusive for everyone, including sled hockey players.

This is a big step for Calgary as we are now home to the first community runway in Alberta that is both accessible and outdoor.

The Parkdale ice rink is setting a new standard for recreational facilities in western Canada in the future to ensure that outdoor hockey can be used by everyone.

The outdoor runway had served in the Parkdale neighborhood for 30 years and was at the end of its useful life. With this redesign and replacement, a new purpose has now been achieved to meet the guidelines for sled hockey.

For the past three years, the Parkdale Community Association has worked with organizations like Level Playing Field and the Sledge Hockey Association to implement the plan for the ice rink.

The PCA says they love the way outdoor hockey brings everyone together – boys and girls, young and old, new and experienced – and they want this opportunity to be available to everyone.

To achieve this, components such as ramps, railings and extended bench doors were implemented, as well as accessible washrooms and warming areas (where players can transfer to their sleds).

Off-ice players can see the action from their sleds or wheelchairs as portions of the boards surrounding the rink are free.

“By taking steps to make the ice rink inclusive, the Parkdale Community Association is opening the door to leading the rest of the Calgary community as they begin retrofitting and making changes,” said Darby Young, strategist for Accessibility with a level playing field.

After construction in winter, the ice rink is now open and completes the first phase of the Parkdale Community Rink and Hub project. Construction of the Parkdale Hub itself will begin in summer 2021 and make the entire ice rink area accessible.

This includes connections from both parking lots to an accessible social area and an accessible building with a dressing room and a garage for an ice maker.

Alberta’s first accessible outdoor ice rink is now open in Parkdale!
We are excited to announce the opening of Parkdale’s accessible community ice rink today. This completes phase 1 of the Rink and Hub community. #community #yyc #yycliving #accessible https://t.co/hPHXELvmSu pic.twitter.com/MHZT5QWs8l

– Parkdale Community (@ParkdaleYYC) February 16, 2021

“Outdoor hockey is for everyone – a place where friends and family members of all ages and abilities come together to create lasting memories.” says John Butterwick, Parkdale Community Association ice rink director.

A new standard has been set so that all future ice rinks are inclusive and accessible. Let’s hope other parts of Calgary can follow suit soon.

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