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Headed north this holiday? NHL-sized outdoor rink set to open at Webers

'We really like the idea,' said Severn Township residents of new rink which also have fire pits and benches
2018-12-10 webers rink
Webers manager Tineke Whelan expects the rink that should soon be open behind the Highway 11 Starbucks location will prove to be a popular draw. Andrew Philips/Orillia Matters

Danielle, Finn and Wren are looking forward to soon being able to strap on the blades near their Severn Township home.

Danielle Giles and her family live a stone’s throw from the popular Webers and Starbucks locations on Highway 11 that are now finishing up work on an NHL-sized outdoor skating rink.

“A rink nearby is great,” said Giles, whose family lives in Bayou Park. “We really like the idea.”

Giles said her three-year-old son Finn learned to skate last year and one-year-old Wren will likely wear bob skates to begin as he figures things out.

“We have a lot of friends that also have young families so they’re looking forward to it too,” she added.

Webers manager Tineke Whelan said the rink is the brainstorm of Tom Rennie, who owns both the burger and coffee shops.

“The owner had this great idea,” she said, noting the rink should be operating soon since the land’s been leveled, the rink pad and lights have been installed and the 10-inch boards are in place.

“It has NHL dimensions because Tom likes to go big or go home.”

While Whelan declined to disclose the project’s cost, she said the move should not only help drum up extra business during the slower winter months, but also provide area residents as well as those passing by with something fun to do.

“We’re trying to get families out, kids out,” she said, adding there’s no cost to use the facility.

“It’s nice to have something to do. I hope to get my nieces and nephew out for a skate. It’s a fun, free activity.”

Whelan also noted that Starbucks has a large deck that overlooks the 85-foot by 200-foot ice surface should parents opt to watch their children skate while enjoying a latte.

“There are also two metal firepits to keep warm and benches around the rink,” she said, adding that they’re just waiting for a cold snap to start flooding the rink with hopes to soon have lots of skaters and serve lots of hot chocolate and Cake Pops over the coming months.

Gravenhurst resident Hunter Graham also loved the idea.

“Anytime there’s more things to do in Muskoka, especially in the winter, it’s wonderful,” Graham said as she awaited her Starbucks order during a weekend visit.

The rink will be open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., subject to maintenance and flooding. To find out whether it’s open and for any additional information, visit webers_starbucks on Instagram.

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Andrew Philips

About the Author: Andrew Philips

Editor Andrew Philips is a multiple award-winning journalist whose writing has appeared in some of the country‚Äôs most respected news outlets. Originally from Midland, Philips returned to the area from Québec City a decade ago.
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