Thousands of people in Greater Sudbury make their way to the Ramsey Lake skate path each week. But the skate path would not be possible without Robert Humphrey.
For more than 20 years, Humphrey has been creating and maintaining the skate path. He said he looks forward to it every winter.
“It’s really nice winter work for us, and it’s enjoyable to see people out doing things," said Humphrey. "It’s something we’ve become fairly competent at. We feel that it gives us something to contribute to the community. It’s just a really nice way to spend the winter.”
Before people have a chance to get out on the ice to enjoy a skate, a lot of work has to be done on a daily basis.
“We’re here every day, and depending on the weather, we flood when the weather is cold enough to flood," he said. "We plough the snow when it snows, and we sweep it as much as possible to make it safe to skate.”
The skate path has expanded in the past two decades, and city officials said it’s now 250,000 square feet of ice surface.
“Traditionally, we’ve started it at the old Canoe Club off John Street," said,” said James St. John, superintendent of horticulture with the City of Greater Sudbury.
"It used to end over at the Science North end where they have an abundance of parking. When they built the Northern Water Sports Centre, we felt it was appropriate to extend it just the extra 400 metres over there to allow for additional parking and that was usually where they moved the pond hockey event.
City staff said because the path is a natural ice surface, they encourage people to wear helmets at all times.
As for Humphrey, he said he is looking forward to creating the skate path again next year.