Hall of Famer Maurice Richard was the icon of an entire generation of hockey fans. Though the numbers of those fortunate enough to witness The Rocket fly down the right wing for the Canadiens in person dwindle with each passing year, the former number 9’s impact on the Canadian landscape is still being felt today.
While Richard has received his share of recognition in Montreal, with a rink bearing his name still standing near the Olympic Stadium, he was also commemorated in Gatineau on June 27 2001 when the city unveiled a bronze statue in his honour in front of nearly 1000 dignitaries at the Jacques-Cartier Park, a year after the passing of the Habs’ all-time goal scoring leader.
As the old adage goes, “if you build it, they will come.” And so is the case in Ottawa when we talk about the Rink of Dreams, located near City Hall. Built in 2012 by a partnership formed by the City of Ottawa, Hockey Canada and the Ottawa Senators Foundation, the state of the art facility includes a 12 500 square foot ice surface, heated changing facilities and picnic tables. Between March and November, the rink serves as a recreational space benefiting the Ottawa community at large. Nearby attractions include art galleries and the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame.
With unusually warm weather affecting the Ottawa area, the Rink of Dream’s refrigerated ice surface is a visitor’s best bet for honing his or her skating skills while stopping by in the nation’s capital, as well as an ideal activity option for the future NHLers currently running around restlessly in their living rooms. Just don’t forget to bring a pair of skates – the rink does not offer rentals.