Oro-Medonte man creates epic skating rink in his backyard

An Oro-Medonte man takes his love of winter to a whole new level this season.

Jeremy Rupke has always had a passion for the cold Canadian winter months. This love led to the creation of igloos and an ice rink. However, when his son Mason’s birthday party had to be scaled back due to the COVID-19 community shutdown, he had an idea for his next winter-themed creation.

“I had about a week and really cold weather, and I thought why not make it even more special,” Rupke said. “I laid out the skate rink and surprised him on his seventh birthday with a full skate rink so people could park in the driveway, skate to the rink and have fun.”

This skating rink stretches about 400 feet, weaving back and forth through Rupke’s rural backyard.

“I would say the biggest surprise on his birthday was when I skated down the track with his birthday cake,” Rupke said. “It was a big gamble because I was either going to deliver it epically or eat it completely and maybe be first in the cake, but I took the risk. I figured it would be memorable in one way or another.”

Creating the trail was no small feat. Rupke, an established content creator on various social media sites, enlisted the help of fellow content creator Haden Hiles.

“We spent 24 hours straight working on this thing,” says Hiles. “We stayed up all night, and we still hadn’t finished! Then we had the biggest snowfall since I can remember, and we had to clear it the next day, so it was a week of hard work!”

While admitting the track is tricky, both men say the kids had fun sliding in different ways.

“[Mason] I absolutely loved it,” Rupke says. “The parents thought I was crazy, but they thought it was pretty wild.”

Rupke says he’s not done yet. He is currently working on icing the tips of trees in the nearby forest to create an ice palace.

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