Ice Surfaces - Private

Private outdoor ice surfaces and skating rinks are permitted in Spruce Grove under the following conditions:

  • They cannot be constructed on any City owned property.
  • They can be constructed in private backyards without a development permit as long as the use is limited to private use only. They cannot be built in a front yard or a side yard.
  • They must be a least 1.0 m from all property lines and boards can be no taller than 2.0 m.
  • All use must comply with the City’s Noise Control Bylaw hours: Monday to Saturday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday and holidays 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Any boards exceeding 2.0 m or bleachers would be considered development and would require a development permit.
  • Drainage from the melting ice may be an issue in the spring, depending on where the melted water flows, so landowners must ensure the water does not flood onto their neighbour’s property.

Stormwater ponds

For your safety, do not use the stormwater ponds. In the winter, ice forms in unstable conditions and is often very thin. Skating or walking on the ice is strictly prohibited at all times.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I construct a skating rink on City property?
You are not permitted to construct a skating rink on City owned property as there is significant liability to the City.

Do I need a permit to build a skating rink on my private property?
Backyard rinks are generally allowed – for personal use only – without the need for a development permit. 

Where can I locate my skating rink?
Make sure the rink is entirely on your property and does not creep over the property line. Locate your rink 1.0 m from all property boundaries. Rinks may not be built in a front yard or a side yard.

If you are not sure where your property line is, now is the time to find out its exact location, either by referring to your Real Property Report or by arranging for an Alberta Land Surveyor to stake out your property boundaries.

How high and where can I construct rink boards and bleachers?
The City does not deem an ice rink as a “structure” and therefore no permit is required to flood a patch of ice on your own property. Things get trickier when you plan to build boards or bleachers. Building boards taller than 2.0 m or bleachers as part of the skating rink would now be classified under the City’s Land Use Bylaw as an accessory building. This brings the City’s Land Use Bylaw regulations into effect. Accessory buildings need to comply with the Land Use Bylaw regulations governing maximum height of the structure and setbacks from the property line in the backyard.

With this being said, and provided the following setbacks and height regulations are being met, a permit is not required. The rink boards and bleachers are required to be 1.0 m from the property boundaries and must not exceed a height of 2.0 m. Front yard rinks with boards or bleachers are not allowed in the front yard.

Can I put up lights and are there restrictions on when I can use the rink?
Excessive lighting could be consider a nuisance that unfairly affects your neighbours. Any outdoor light must be located and arranged so that:

  • no direct rays of light are directed at any adjoining properties; and
  • indirect rays of light do not adversely affect an adjacent site.

Stringing some holiday lights around your back fence is a simple way to provide lighting and nice ambiance (no need to start erecting light standards or spotlights!).

Similarly late evening or early morning noise may contravene the City’s Noise Control Bylaw.  The following hours are used within the City: Monday to Saturday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday and holidays 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

What other things should I consider before I build a rink?
Be aware that installing an ice surface will have a significant impact on your water bills, and drainage can be an issue in the spring depending on where all that melted water flows. You are responsible not to flood your neighbour’s basement.

Do I need permission from my neighbour(s)?
A friendly chat goes a long way to maintaining cordial relationships. Talk to your neighbours about your plans. Take note of any concerns and try to address them up front. You want to minimize any impact on your neighbours – lighting, noise, water drainage, etc. – for a positive neighbourhood experience for all.

Who can I call for further information regarding my skating rink?
Please call 780-962-7582 or send an email.