Since the closure of Calgary’s only remaining roller rink, Terry Roberts has started frequenting skateboard parks and trails throughout the city.
For him, roller skating was more than just a physical activity; it was about connecting with others.
“I can confidently say that all the things that Lloyd’s has provided us with have continued to influence my life as an adult, as well as the lives of those I am acquainted with,” Roberts expressed. Following the closure of the renowned roller rink in 2018, residents of Calgary actively pursued roller skating through various pop-up events and workshops held throughout the city.
The individuals responsible for planning these events have observed a significant interest from residents of Calgary in roller skating. As a result, efforts are being made to establish a new permanent venue called the House of Skate in southeast Calgary. The opening is expected to take place in the upcoming months.
Roberts first laced up his roller skates when he was 13 — and now at age 64 he said he’s excited for what the new rink will bring.
“It marks the beginning of a brand new era. All those who were associated with Lloyd’s during those years were immersed in the culture established by its owners, Lloyd and Flo. However, moving forward, there will be a completely different culture, a fresh start. It will involve a large gathering of individuals coming together to skate and engage in social activities,” he expressed.
After the closure of Lloyd’s, Theresa Tucci, co-founder of House of Skate and Calgary Roller Skate, stated that roller skating culture in the city did not perish, but rather went into hiding.
Shortly after the shutdown, Tucci and her business partner Kathleen Janzen, also known as Roxy in the skating community, began organizing temporary roller skate events at various gyms throughout the city.
The pop-ups were primarily frequented by experienced skaters in search of a skating spot. However, the popularity of roller skating soared during the pandemic.
“What happened there is people were looking for more recreational activities and there were some TikTok roller skaters that blew up. The resurgence in skating from that point — there was a worldwide shortage of skates,” Tucci said.
She stated that roller skating has gained popularity on social media and has once again become prominent in pop culture. Roller skating was even featured in concerts by P!nk and Usher, which helped bring it back into the public’s attention.
“People were either reengaging with skating after a long hiatus or new individuals were starting to develop an interest in it.”
Janzen, one of the founders of House of Skate and Calgary Roller Skate, stated that during pop-up events, they received clear and loud feedback expressing a significant desire for a permanent rink.
WATCH | How Calgary’s roller skating community is� making space to keep the sport alive:
Janzen stated that the space will provide individuals with a regular opportunity to skate, develop their skateboarding skills, socialize with new people, and continue fostering the community that has greatly impacted our lives.
Janzen and Tucci dedicated several months to searching for suitable locations. Ultimately, they decided on the former Silver Dollar Casino at 1010 42nd Ave. S.E. Construction is currently in progress at the chosen site, and their goal is to have it open by the end of the year.
The two founders are also seeking funding for a maple floor.
Janzen stated that the appearance of the place will be very neat and tidy. The lighting will be aesthetically pleasing. The floor will be a major highlight for visitors. Additionally, they will provide the typical expected amenities such as a complete set of skates for rent and a snack bar.
“We aim to establish a long-lasting presence. Our intention is not to simply initiate something temporarily and then cease operations. Therefore, our focus is on constructing a facility that will serve future generations, allowing individuals to enjoy skating presently and enabling them to introduce their children to this activity.”