Yukon North Of Ordinary

Sports archive for January 15, 2014

New Ross River rec centre unveiled

The newly-constructed Ross River recreation centre is now open to the public.

By Marcel Vander Wier on January 15, 2014 at 2:17 pm


Photo by Whitehorse Star

READY FOR USE – Ross River’s new recreation centre is now open to the public. The northern community’s previous rink was destroyed by fire in March 2011. Photo courtesy GOVERNMENT OF YUKON

The newly-constructed Ross River recreation centre is now open to the public.

The Yukon community of 360-plus people has been without a rec centre since March 2011, when the previous facility was destroyed by fire – a span of nearly four years.

The construction of a new rec centre was a campaign promise by the Yukon Party in 2011, Minister of Community Services Brad Cathers told the Star today.

The centre was designed for energy efficiency and accessibility. It includes a natural-ice arena, change rooms, a heated viewing area, a multi-purpose room for recreational programming, a kitchen and a youth lounge.

The project came in slightly under-budget from its $7-million price tag.

“The recreation centre in Ross River provides a new and improved gathering space for Ross River residents,” Cathers said.
“Recreational facilities play a significant role in encouraging healthy and active lifestyles and are often a central part of life in rural communities.”

Planning for the new centre was directed by a building committee chaired by former Ross River Recreation Society president Fran Etzel, and included community members, recreation society members, representatives from the Ross River Dena Council, and the Government of Yukon.

The community is “very excited” to have a new facility, Etzel said.

“The youth are eager to move into their new youth lounge and our local hockey players look forward to skating in a new indoor facility.”

Construction started in spring 2012 at the site of the old recreation centre. In the interim, the government constructed an outdoor rink in the community located northeast of Whitehorse and 75 km east of Faro in Dec. 2011.

“The Ross River recreation centre project is one of the government’s key commitments to my constituents,” Pelly-Nisutlin MLA Stacey Hassard said. “I am pleased we have delivered on this commitment and I am confident it will add to the quality of life for Ross River residents.”

CommentsAdd a comment

john gould

Jan 16, 2014 at 10:10 am

Congratulations and great job Fran, Stacey and everyone else who seen this well needed project through for this humble community. I hope it brings many years of enjoyment to the whole area and is a positive place for their youth good luck and best wishes.

north of 60

Jan 16, 2014 at 10:20 pm

Hey, take care of this one.


Jan 18, 2014 at 3:10 pm

It is so ugly, I would cry. Looks, from the outside, like some storage shack or
garage. Hopefully, it’s functional.


Jan 19, 2014 at 7:17 am

I agree with North of 60 Lets hope the resident youth of Ross don’t ruin it for something to do.

north of 60

Jan 19, 2014 at 1:24 pm


They had a pretty one before, designed by architects, but it mysteriously burned down.


Jan 20, 2014 at 5:30 am

They never put windows in because they would be broken every night ...that’s how they roll in Ross River. They should be thankful for anything they get. Personally I wish the govt would stop wasting our tax dollars.


Jan 20, 2014 at 4:57 pm

Wow! Such negative comments. It didn’t mysteriously burn down. Get your facts straight before you say stuff. And how do you know that’s how people “roll” in Ross River, are you from the community?
The community is very happy to have the arena back and the youth a place to have back for them so there not out busting windows right Piper?
Thanks John for the nice words.
Very Happy for the people of Ross to be able to enjoy community time again at the new Rec Centre

S Ladue

Jan 20, 2014 at 5:16 pm

Every community has growing problems. Ross River which is mostly a native community where the traditional lifestyle was interrupted by incoming missionaries and residential school is finding itself a more stable and healthy environment than ever before. 
My elders taught me if I couldn’t say anything respectful to keep quiet.  I think some of the people leaving messages should do so as they are leaving hateful ignorant messages for a tough little community that loves its people, its heritage and its future.
In the future, don’t pick on Ross River, we know who we are and where we come from and where we are going.  Do you?


Ross River Gal

Jan 20, 2014 at 11:18 pm

Yeah Piper. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it. U don’t know our community. If you don’t have anything nice to say, say nothing at all. haven’t you been taught that?

north of 60

Jan 21, 2014 at 2:25 am


So then, tell us how you think the previous rec centre burned down.

Clayton Johns

Jan 21, 2014 at 6:14 am

Wow, you people just can’t wait to complain and throw negative remarks out.  Pretty sad that all you can do is say kids are gonna burn down the rec. center. Feel sorry for you all, must suck being so negative all the time!


Jan 21, 2014 at 2:29 pm

I know Ross River & you can see the evidence of ongoing vandals all over Ross. Here’s a tip, don’t leave your house unattended for a day or you will see I speak the truth. Go to Ross for a few days & see for yourself. You can’t keep whitewashing the plain truth.

yukon gal

Jan 21, 2014 at 4:08 pm

The last rec centre burnt down due to faulty wiring. It hadn’t been inspected in years. Gawd. Learn the facts ppl. it was a very old building!

john gould

Jan 21, 2014 at 8:59 pm

I too am familiar with the town of Ross River and a more helpful humble people would be hard to find when the tourist went missing a couple years back. This whole town went looking and found the little guy. Community hunts to feed everyone traditional lifestyles and healthy living as well as some of the oldest married couples in the world who pass on their wealth of knowledge to their people so that they to can learn how to deal in today’s world and still maintain some of their Kaska heritage. As for the community of Ross River, again congratulations and as I am familiar with your community, I know you will do big and fun things for many years to come enjoy and be proud you are all Beautiful people.

S Ladue

Jan 22, 2014 at 1:26 am

@ piper. You are spreading unsubstantiated remarks about a town I and many others love.  Basically again it comes down to if you can’t say anything respectful don’t say anything at all.
Ross River has a lot to offer its residents and the residents have a lot to offer to each other, including watching out for each other and taking care of each other which not is not something you see in other towns.
I am from Ross River.  I am proud to be from Ross River. I have lived there off and on through out the years and I have never had my vehicle or house broken into unlike in other cities I have lived in. 
S Ladue

north of 60

Jan 22, 2014 at 6:38 pm

@john gould   yes, all the remote Yukon communities have “helpful humble people”.

They also have increasingly more young vandals who love to destroy community property.  Unfortunately those “helpful humble people” seldom do anything about it even when the identity of the vandals is well known.

Those who turn a blind eye are complicit.


Jan 22, 2014 at 7:06 pm

Piper is a piece of work.  You now know the building burned down due to negligence, but negligence of the Territory as owners and managers of the building.

Truth be told, there was a sordid history to the old building, one of corruption and special interests favoured by the Yukon Party, not the present one but an earlier version.  It would be nice to know that this time, the project actually involved the community and not just outside friends of the government.


Jan 23, 2014 at 6:42 am

I’m not saying Ross has no good people they have many good ones. They are the minority to be sure. Ever wonder why so many windows are just permanently boarded up? I feel sorry for the good folks who have to live in such a lawless community.
My challenge? Go see for yourselves. End of story.


Jan 24, 2014 at 9:01 pm

Wow such hate, little bit of optimism goes along way, congrats Ross, may your new rec center bring you many good times…

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