Norm Price is your typical Calgarian; hard working, devoted to his family and friends, and an all-around nice guy. He even gave one of his kidneys to his sister last year in an operation that saved her life after she lost both of hers to cancer. Scratch that; really nice guy. This winter, after Norm's nephew complained that the City of Calgary skating rinks were too expensive and crowded to boot, he decided to build a massive rink in his backyard for the public to use. "Once friends ... spread the word about how big the pond is, and how easy it's going to be to skate around without bumping into each other, I think it will do well," Price explained to the CBC. "It's kind of like my field of dreams."
Located on 84 St. NE between 16 Avenue and McKnight Boulevard, the rink lies behind his home on a 28-acre parcel of land. Using a pond on his property that normally floods the area and has been a major nuisance in years past, Norm instead diverted the water and flooded a few acres, which after some maintenance and a bit of elbow grease, has become 3 full sized rinks that the public are encouraged to use. "It's been flooding for quite some time now since they built Stoney Tr. so it's put us at trying to figure out what we're going to do with the land with it having so much water and I figure with winter being one of the longest seasons, this outdoor skating just seems like a good idea," he told the Calgary Sun.
Norm hopes to provide hot chocolate and hot dogs to skaters for a minimal cost, and is planning to set up some warming stations and lights for nighttime skating, but the privilege of using his backyard ice rink is completely free. He's also hoping that volunteers will drop by and help out with some of the maintenance like shoveling after any major snowfalls or patching sections of ice as need be.