This might be the most over-the-top backyard skating rink in Toronto
A backyard rink in the heart of Toronto was a childhood dream for resident David Weiss.
The rink is about half the size of a standard NHL rink but built with a refrigerated ice-making system, spectacular lighting and a professional sound system.
Weiss told blogTO he started to build the rink in his backyard in Armour Heights about eight years ago.
"It was a childhood dream because I wasn't fortunate to be in any type of organized sports or any type of hockey because my parents didn’t have the means to do it," Weiss said.
So he decided when he was older and had children of his own, he would offer them the best he could.
His three children, Alex, 21, a hockey player, and twins Ariel and Ashley, 19, have all made use of the rink over the years and particularly this year during the pandemic, Weiss said.
He and his wife Elise also skate around the rink.
"We use it for pleasure skating."
Weiss also gets a lot of joy seeing kids from the neighbourhood and friends and family using the rink.
"It is a personal pleasure for me to see other people get enjoyment from something I created," Weiss said. "The best satisfaction I get is when I see my kids out there enjoying it and the second best satisfaction I get is when I see other little children using that rink and going nuts over it."
He has even had little league team members come out and use the rink.
The rink is spectacular, set in the wooded yard.
"One of the things to make a successful backyard rink is the ambience, you have got to have that," said Weiss.
Weiss contracted professional hockey rink builders.
"I wanted to mimic the Scotia (arena), I wanted to have that real authentic hockey experience," he said.
When the ice comes out, it becomes a sports court used all seasons.
Recently the rink has caught the attention of the media.
After his wife Elise posted a beautiful snowy photo of the rink on Instagram the last month, people started to notice — such as YouTubers NELK and hockey coach Pavel Barber. Barber posted a video on YouTube about his experience on the rink.
Weiss didn't seek out attention but has enjoyed getting some calls.
"For somebody who loves hockey — to get a phone call from the NHL that they want to feature it — I am freaking out," he said.
The NHL wanted to post a photo of the rink on social media and next week TSN is coming out to film, Weiss said.
But Elise said her husband didn't do it for recognition, he simply wanted to bring joy to their children and the other kids they invite to the rink.
"He is so passionate," she said. "This is what a father does for his children."
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