While it may look safe, the Town of Bracebridge is warning residents to avoid stormwater management ponds.

“These man-made bodies of water are unsafe for any form of recreational activity including skating, hockey, and sledding,” town officials say. “While the ice surface may look safe, these ponds can be dangerous because it’s what’s below the surface that makes them different from natural ponds.”

The town lists nine ponds, “most” of which aren’t fenced off:

  • On the north side of Clearbrook Trail (opposite Pheasant Run)
  • At the end of Colton Court
  • Between #14 and #24 Hunter Place
  • On the east side of Chamberry Crescent
  • At #110 Clearbrook Trail (behind the Bracebridge Sportsplex)
  • Behind #15 Little Ryan’s Way
  • East of the Walmart Parking Lot
  • South-east corner of Manitoba Street and Quinn Forest Drive
  • Behind #192 Covered Bridge Trail

The ponds are designed to have a permanent pool of water and are not monitored for ice thickness. The continuously flowing water, fluctuating water levels, and inconsistent temperatures can lead to “unstable ice.”

Town staff asks residents to spend time outdoors at a park or trail, or use the outdoor skating rink at Annie Williams Memorial Park off of Santa’s Village Road or at Memorial Park on Manitoba Street.

It should be noted that both outdoor rinks are currently closed for maintenance.