The local roots of ice racing may be traced back to what
we would now probably call 'Ice Slaloms'. A few of these events were held in the early 1960s and, unlike the parking lot "gymkhana"
of the day, involved no stopping, reversing or other restrictive maneuvers.
Twisty quarter mile courses were the order
of the day and snowbanks were the only markers. The best remembered events had enough snow on the inside of the turns to discourage
corner cutting. Later events on bare ice used oil cans filled with gravel as markers.
Two or three decades later,
ice racing had become a popular event with the Atlantic Sports Car Club and others. Fletcher's Lake, Lake Thomas and others
were used for many events. Most had the advantage of being close to home for many competitors but had the disadvantage of
being in suburban residential areas. This continued at various sites until the mid 1990s, but died when an unfortunate break
through accident in Ontario resulted from inadequate ice thickness.
The discovery of what was described as a large,
very shallow, pond (or maybe a flooded swamp) about forty minutes from downtown Halifax has made possible the revival of this
sport. I recently visited it for the first time.
I question the use of the term "pond". I know of several areas of
water in the Dartmouth metro area which are smaller and are named "lakes"! Maybe the description was used to refer to the
extremely shallow water depth.
This appears to be a perfect site for the sport - nobody lives within earshot, it is
well hidden from the road, the access road has no hills to be a problem when slippery, and it is big enough to provide lots
of safe spectating area.