Halifax skateboarder ramps up plan for indoor park
Craig McNally is trying to raise money for his project
March 14, 2016, 10:44 pm ASTLast Updated: March 15, 2016, 9:53 am
Craig McNally is rolling along with his dream of opening an indoor skate park.
McNally, a 23-year-old carpenter, has wanted one for years. He founded Scotia Skate World last year and has been trying to move ahead with his project.
He’s raised more than $5,000, but it’s far from what he needs. A facility would likely cost between $200,000 and $300,000.
McNally isn’t giving up. He wants to open his skate park next January.
“This park is way more than just a park that we’d be getting. It’s an opportunity,” he says.
McNally has raised a lot of the money by selling merchandise, like branded T-shirts, at Pro Skates in downtown Halifax and Sportwheels on Sackville Drive.
Freeman’s Little New York in Fairvew hosted a live music show Saturday night and raised around $640 through donations, a 50-50 draw and merchandise sales.
No indoor park
Halifax is home to 10 outdoor skate parks, but no indoor ones.
When the weather’s bad, there are no options for local skateboarders, except for skating in places like parking garages, which is usually not allowed.
McNally says the city’s climate poses a huge problem for local skateboarders. Halifax has around 168 days of rain and snow per year, and in many cases the snow sticks around for days or weeks.
“As soon as it starts to rain, as soon as the ground’s wet, as soon as it gets too windy or it snows, you can’t use your skateboard because it will just get destroyed,” he says.
“That’s two-thirds of the year where we’re not able to go out there and enjoy the sport we love.”
Luke Peters has been skateboarding for about 10 years and describes Halifax’s skateboarding community as a “pretty dedicated group of people.”
He says that sometimes on snowy days, groups of skateboarders shovel out the skate park at the Halifax Common themselves.
“Everybody’s just trying to keep it as clear as possible, because there’s nowhere to go indoors, right? It’s either that or parking garages, and you get kicked out in 10, 20 minutes sometimes.”
McNally isn’t sure where the indoor park would go. He’s considering Bayers Lake because of all the warehouse space, and since the area doesn’t have a skate park yet.
But ideally, he’d want it to be in the heart of Halifax.