The $5.6-million Parliament Hill skating rink will stay open until the end of February instead of December, as originally planned, the government announced on Thursday.
The rink will open on Dec. 7 and was originally to close on Dec. 31. But after taking criticism for the short time frame Mélanie Joly, the minister of Canadian Heritage, tweeted that the rink would remain open until the end of February.
We've been working with the Speakers of the House & Senate. We're happy to announce that #Canada150 Rink on the Hill will remain open through #Winterlude & to the end of February. This will allow even more families to lace up their skates for this once in a lifetime opportunity. pic.twitter.com/iuogQ10phS
— Mélanie Joly (@melaniejoly) November 23, 2017
Naturally, the federal government made skating on this rink bureaucratic — you’ll need to reserve a pass 48 hours in advance of your skate to use it and are only allowed to skate 40 minutes at a time. As well, the government encourages skaters to arrive between 45 minutes to an hour ahead of their scheduled time to prepare and to not bring any bags.
The free passes are available starting Dec. 5 and will become available at noon every day after at canada150rink.com.
The government took some heat because of its extensive list of “guidelines” which prohibited hockey sticks and pucks on the rink, as well as food, drinks and figure skating.