How to Build the Ultimate Backyard Ice Rink

For many Canadians, skating on a backyard rink is a rite of passage. It's what Roch Carrier was writing about in in The Hockey Sweater when he said, 'Our real life was on the skating rink.' It's where Wayne Gretzky spent hours practicing the skills that would make him a legend. And it's where neighbourhood kids in towns across the country still gather for a game of shinny.

But it's not just a time-honoured tradition; it's a great way to get your whole family outside during the winter. Get in on the fun by following these easy steps to build your own rink.

#1 Build a frame

The traditional frame is made with wooden boards propped up with stakes hammered into the ground - but that's not the only way to do it. PVC piping, combined with a little ingenuity and elbow grease, works just as well and is easier on your lawn.

#2 Clear a spot

We recommend using the Troy-Bilt 2-stage snow thrower to make this part a lot easier!

#3 Use a liner

Buy a decent quality tarp (this site recommends a 40' x 100' 6 mil polyethylene plastic liner) to help prevent that dead patch on your lawn come spring.

#4 Add water

Hot water helps create a smooth surface but is somewhat impractical. Your garden hose should work fine!

#5 Keep the surface smooth

A DIY scraper can be cobbled together from spare parts in your garage. Periodically spray it with water to fill in any holes.

#6 Add some extras

Add lines in the ice, floodlights or outdoor speakers to make the rink your own.

#7 Make sure people can get there!

A backyard rink isn't as fun if you have to trudge through the snow to get there. Use your Troy-Bilt snow thrower to keep your driveway clear and to open a path to the rink.

Make sure people can get there!