Parents create neighbourhood rink in Kingston, Ont. for their kids

They say it takes a village to raise a child, and one street in Kingston, Ont. is taking that to heart, pulling together to build a community rink so that kids on the street have a place to play.

The parents have built a rink in their Portsmouth neighbourhood. It was built and is maintained by the families themselves, while a friendly retired neighbour donated the land it sits on. 

After hours of virtual learning, those like 9-year-old Samaya Singh-Wilson say she and her friends are always ready to use their moves on it.

"I love that I’m always gliding on the ice," says Singh-Wilson. "And it’s also good because you can get some fresh air."

Samaya’s mom, Ekta Singh, says it’s a space to let kids be kids.

"To be a parent right now in this pandemic we are so stressed out, we’re tired, and it’s hard to come up with creative things to do," she explains. "So this rink has been a saving grace.”

Someone always ensures the ice is fresh and flooded each day, and strung up lights mean the fun doesn’t have to stop when it gets dark.

It’s a lot of work, but organizer Ben Stinson says it’s worth it.

"I love sitting in my dining room and seeing the lights come on and knowing that it's not my kids," he says. "It’s the best feeling in the world."

With dozens of kids living in the neighbourhood, to stay within the 10 person gathering limits, parents stay in constant communication, claiming a spot and time. 

At least one parent stays behind to watch, allowing kids to play, and adults to get a break. 

Giselle Stinson says it’s a community effort. 

"I think it’s helped the community flourish in so many ways, we’ve really gotten to know each other even more, building connections," she says. 

Her 7-year-old son Eli loves it.

“I get to be at the rink with my friends,” he says.