News / Ottawa

Ottawa pop up skatepark fundraising for permanent facility

Managed by James Noble, founder of New Beginnings Skateboarding, the project takes over the church at 105 Slack Rd. for one week per month every winter.

A skateboarder hits a frontside tailslide at a local pop-up skatepark. Volunteers with The Skatepark Project take over a church every winter for five days a month, giving Ottawa’s skateboarders a place to escape the snow.

Supplied James Noble

A skateboarder hits a frontside tailslide at a local pop-up skatepark. Volunteers with The Skatepark Project take over a church every winter for five days a month, giving Ottawa’s skateboarders a place to escape the snow.

Ottawa has plenty of places to skate, but very few to skateboard.

Indeed, while the cold may bring many playgrounds for ice skaters, Ottawa’s skateboarders have a much harder time.

There are few indoor skatepark options in the city, but a group of volunteers with The Skatepark Project have been working to change that for the past two years with their pop-up skatepark.

Managed by James Noble, founder of New Beginnings Skateboarding, the project takes over the church at 105 Slack Rd. for one week per month every winter, installing removable ramps, rails, manual pads and more, and opening the facility to the skateboarding community for $10 per person.

The money goes towards upgrading the skatepark’s obstacles, but the project’s ultimate goal is to find a permanent space for Ottawans to shred all year round.

The project grew out of Noble’s own interest, as well as the youth movement that his mom, Colleen Noble, directs, called Revolution 457. Rock concerts organized by Revolution 457 as fundraisers for food banks and other groups began to attract skateboarders.

“Colleen was like, ‘hey, let’s just have tricks on the carpet,’” said Noble. Then the next concert included a few obstacles. Next they organized a competition, and momentum continued to grow.

“It kind of evolved over time to the point where we had so much (equipment) three years ago, and we had the volunteers, we had the support of the building, so it was just like, ‘we should try this,’” said Noble.

Now the skatepark sees up to 90 users per week, with skateboarders of various age-ranges taking part. It also has the support of many of Ottawa’s skateshops.

The pop-up park has been a unique way to fulfill a dream for Noble, as well as a resource for Ottawa’s skaters.

“I feel not only happy and satisfied when people are stoked and having a great time, but I feel grateful that we actually have the capability to do it,” he said.

The Skatepark Project’s third winter season begins this week, with the facilities open from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Jan. 16 – 20 at 105 Slack Rd.

More on Metronews.ca