Made in Ontario: Ontario Ice Skating Center
The Ontario Ice Skating Center first opened in the fall of 1957 and is the second oldest ice skating rink in Southern California. Donald Bartelson owned the rink for 33 years, and worked at the rink for over 50 years before he retired in 2015. He can remember a time when Ontario was predominately fields and orchards, rather than the freeways, businesses and neighborhoods seen today.
Today, the Ontario Ice Skating Center offers its patrons many different options such as hosting birthday parties, taking ice skating lessons, playing hockey, renting the ice for a private session and much more.
Family, Friends and the Community
It was Donald’s dream to own an ice rink since he was 11 years old. After coaching at the ice rink for years, Don decided to buy it himself and make that dream a reality.
Donald always valued the importance of creating a family atmosphere at the Ontario Ice Skating Center, and that value holds true today.
Donald shared his love of the family atmosphere in the City of Ontario, and how important it is to maintain friendships with the people of Ontario. Even the staff members at the ice rink are close to the former owner, “All the instructors that are on staff were all hired by me personally. I know of them, their family, and their grandparents because I want to be sure that the community is definitely receiving the highest individual, not only qualified, but also morally and family based.”
The Ontario Ice Skating Center offers classes through the City of Ontario where citizens of the City of Ontario can come and take classes at a discounted rate, which they have offered for 40 years.
Unique Part of Ontario
The ice rink is an important part of Ontario’s history. It has seen Ontario transform from a small community surrounded by groves, to the thriving metropolitan area it is today.
The building itself is unique from other ice rinks. Humidity rises, so the 32 feet from the ice to the ceiling is vitally important to get rid of humidity in the building. Most other ice rinks are damp and require a dehumidification system. However, the Ontario Ice Skating Center remains dry and doesn’t require one.
Another interesting fact about the ice rink is that in 1984, they produced the United States National Novice Figure Skating Champion, Patrick Brault, out of the Ontario Ice Skating Center.
Donald opened up about his hopes for the future of Ontario Ice Skating Center after his retirement, “My intentions were from the day that I bought the rink that I wanted it to continue, after I was through, to be an ice rink. I did not want it to see it to become a box building.” He chose to pass on his ice rink to his manager and friend who he had been working with for 25 years, “We worked out an arrangement, and him and his wife now run the business, own the business and I’m also the godfather to their newborn daughter.”
Regarding the City of Ontario, Donald was also very optimistic, “The future is bright for the City of Ontario. We are going to see major changes happen as we progress through the next decade, and our business will become even greater due to the growth of the city. New people moving in and wanting a clean environment for young people to be in.”
To learn more about the Ontario Ice Skating Center, visit www.ontarioiceskatingcntr.com
Ontario Ice Skating Center is located at 1225 W. Holt Boulevard, Ontario.