With city arenas closed due to COVID, many residents have made their way to Osprey Marsh to skate and play hockey on the pond. This looks like a lot of fun – until tragedy strikes when someone falls through the ice. It has happened elsewhere; it can happen here.

Osprey Marsh is a stormwater management facility. Stormwater ponds are NEVER safe for winter activities like skating, hockey and walking due to thin ice conditions. Stormwater ponds are working year-round to control the flow of water into local creeks. Ice on stormwater ponds is always unstable due to currents in the water and changing water levels, even if it looks solid from the surface. What may seem thick in some parts can quickly change.

I understand people are looking for opportunities to be active during COVID but please don’t risk your safety by skating on the pond – it simply isn’t worth it. Bylaw and police officers will be monitoring the area regularly to enforce the bylaw and to help everyone make the smart decision to stay away. With the recent snowfall and the consistent cold temperatures, we hope that many of the 35 neighbourhood ice rinks across the city – maintained by community volunteers – will be up and usable soon.