PSA: The City reminds residents to stay off storm ponds this winter

As schools start to wrap up for winter break and temperatures warm up a bit, The City of Calgary wants to remind kids and their families to be safe while enjoying outdoor skating.

Skaters of all levels can head over to one of the dozens of City of Calgary or community-designated outdoor skating rinks for free and safe skating.

Rinks maintained by The City are among the safest places to skate because they are checked daily for ice thickness and quality, and surfaces are flooded as needed to make sure they’re safe for skating.

Prior to lacing up your skates and heading outdoors, make sure you wear a helmet and double check the outdoor rink is a safe skating location since not all ice surfaces are intended for skating. While your community storm pond may look okay to skate, play or walk across, the ice can be unstable and very dangerous.

“Although they may look inviting, no activities are allowed on storm ponds because they’re just not safe", explains Calgary Fire Department spokesperson Carol Henke. “Please take extra caution around these and all bodies of water, including the Glenmore Reservoir, and simply stay off them.”

The City has more than 200 stormwater ponds across Calgary that are marked with signage around the perimeter. These ponds collect stormwater runoff, reduce local flooding and ensure cleaner water flows back into the rivers. Factors such as constantly changing water levels that create unstable air gaps along with sediment and contaminants (e.g. fertilizers, vehicle fluids, road salt) that are collected as water travels through the community on their way to the storm pond, can weaken the ice. This makes the ice on storm ponds less predictable than a regular pond.

To find safe outdoor skating rinks near you visit