Oro-Medonte man creates epic skating trail in backyard

One man from Oro-Medonte is taking his love of winter to a whole new level this season.

Jeremy Rupke has always had a passion for Canada's cold winter months. That love has led to the creation of igloos and a skating rink. However, when his son Mason's birthday party had to be scaled back due to COVID-19 shutting things down in the community, he had an idea for his next winter-themed creation.

"I had about a week and some really cold weather, and I thought why don't we make it extra special," says Rupke. "I put the skating trail in and surprised him on his seventh birthday with a full-on skating trail so people could pull into the driveway, skate on down to the rink and have some fun."

That skating trail runs approximately 400 feet, weaving in and out, up and down throughout Rupke's rural backyard.

"I'd say the biggest surprise of his birthday was when I skated down the trail with his birthday cake," Rupke says. "It was a big gamble because I was either going to deliver it in epic fashion or completely eat it and maybe go face first in the cake, but I took the risk. I figured it'd be memorable one way or another."

Creating the trail was no easy feat. Rupke, an established content creator on various social media sites, enlisted the help of his fellow content creator Haden Hiles.

"We spent 24 hours straight working on this thing," says Hiles. "We stayed up all night, and we still weren't done! Then we got the biggest snowfall since I can remember, and we had to clear it the next day, so it's been a week of hard work!"

While admitting the trail is complicated, both men say the kids had fun sliding down in various ways.

"[Mason] absolutely loved it," Rupke says. "The parents thought I was crazy, but they thought it was pretty wild."

Rupke says he's not done yet. He's currently working on frosting the tips of trees in the nearby forest to create an ice palace.