At first, his wife and neighbours thought his idea was crazy.
But after they saw what Grant Lawrence managed to create in the yard of his East Vancouver home last week, they were “shocked.”
While most people were adding extra layers of clothing to their wardrobe, or avoiding the snap of cold weather altogether, Lawrence was revelling in it.
Or rather, it was his three-year-old son Josh who was the happiest, thanks to his dad’s construction of an outdoor ice rink.
“It was my son’s idea [to build the rink],” Lawrence told Daily Hive.
Josh’s favourite book is Brady Brady and the Backyard Rink, his dad explained, and though he’s asked his dad numerous time to build an outdoor rink, “I’ve always had to tell him it’s too warm and green in Vancouver,” Lawrence said.
That was, until last week.
We made a backyard rink! In Vancouver! WHOO HOO! Excuse me while I check to see if house is flooding… pic.twitter.com/5SetPQvoBg
— Grant Lawrence (@GrantLawrence) December 14, 2016
“I noticed it was going to go below zero, and I started thinking ‘maybe,'” he recalled.
Lawrence decided to stamp out an area in his front yard and began perusing YouTube for videos on how to build a backyard rink.
By his own admission, Lawrence isn’t a handyman. “You’re talking about a guy who can barely nail two boards together,” he quipped.
As it turned out, handyman skills weren’t overly necessary, as Lawrence found a video where the only required items were 4×6 boards, a trap, and a hose.
After laying tarp over the boards, Lawrence covered the approximately 300 square-foot surface with “about an inch” of water, and within minutes, it was freezing.
The key is to add the water slowly, until the ice is four to six inches thick, he explained.
With the first layer of water frozen by the beginning of the week-long cold-snap, it wasn’t long until his son – and other kids in the neighbourhood were enjoying a classic Canadian pastime.
— Grant Lawrence (@GrantLawrence) December 15, 2016
And with warmer temperatures back in Vancouver, the final skate on the rink took place this past Sunday, December 18.