The city can’t wait for the cold weather to put up the skating rink boards in the local park. There are so many parks, they have to start early. This being Canada, a skating rink is pretty much mandatory in every park in the winter. Sometimes two rinks: one for hockey, the other for recreational skating.
Hockey is why the rinks have boards, they help to keep the puck in. And the players in for that matter.
The rinks in the local parks are maintained, for the most part, by those who use them. I think the city does the initial flooding, but after that it is up to the local residents. Certainly the city doesn’t have the manpower to send workers out to clear the rinks after every snowfall. We get a lot of snow. I have done my share of cleaning an overnight snowfall off the rink so the children could play hockey on a Saturday morning. It’s part of being a Canadian father. The ice surface is large (about 200 feet by 85 feet, though my local rink seems a little smaller) but clearing it is a communal effort and you would be surprised how quickly a few people with shovels can clear a snowfall. Experience pays off I guess.
Canada is a cold country. We complain a lot about the weather. But there really isn’t much we can do about it, so we embrace the opportunities winter brings. There is skiing, both downhill and cross-country, curling, snowshoeing, skating (including of course hockey), tobogganing and a number of other sports that require the cold. Since you can’t change the weather you might as well embrace it. If you get too cold you can always go inside.
So I look at the boards already installed in the park on an unseasonably warm fall day and know that winter is coming. Might as well get ready.