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'It turns into this magical place': Winnipeg neighbours create huge front yard skating rink

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It's that time of year in Winnipeg where ice rinks are starting to pop up in yards all over the city, but one in Crescentwood is taking it to a whole new level.

A handful of neighbours along Harvard Avenue have turned their front yards into a massive skating rink that spans several houses.

Henry Hemmerling enjoys being able to get home from school, strap on the skates and hit the ice.

"We put in a lot of work. My dad comes out and floods every night and morning, to keep the ice nice and smooth," the 10-year-old said. He added his friends love being able to come over and skate with him.

His favourite part of the rink? The ability to do large laps and work on his skating and speed.

Kaleigh Rosenblat owns one of the four homes that the rink is featured in front of. She said this is her first year participating in the project.

"I think everyone is just so on board with the rink. We used it all last year and the year before, especially during COVID. And we want to be a part of it," said Rosenblat.

A portion of the giant ice rink in front of homes on Harvard Avenue. Dec. 12, 2022. (Source: Scott Andersson/CTV News)

She said it started off as just a double front yard rink and has continued to grow, now including her yard.

They also have a group chat to coordinate and plan how the rink will be built every year.

As the rink grows, so do the ideas that get incorporated every year. A slide for sleds was added and now an ice bar for the adults is in the works.

A slide connected to a massive rink in Crescentwood, seen on Dec. 12, 2022. (Source: Scott Andersson/CTV News)

For Rosenblat, her favourite part is the lights that become visible at night.

"At night, it's just beautiful and magical. It turns into this like, we call it the Harvard Gardens. It turns into this magical place, the kids want to leave the house and go outside and play."

She said when the kids are done skating and playing hockey on the rink, the adults break out the curling rocks and curl as well.

"We have a lot of fun."

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