Stay safe around stormwater management ponds and tobogganing hills this winter

The City of London would like to remind residents to stay safe while enjoying the outdoors this winter. Stormwater management ponds are not safe for skating, hockey, sledding or any form of recreational activity at any time of year. Residents should also use caution to ensure their safety when tobogganing.

Stormwater management pond safety tips

A stormwater management pond is a constructed facility that is designed to improve water quality, provide flood protection, and reduce erosion in nearby rivers and creeks. There are more than 50 of these ponds throughout London. They are typically found in newer subdivisions and can be identified by their headwall, which is a concrete structure with a large pipe at one edge of the pond.

Residents are asked to stay off the ponds. Stormwater management ponds are unsafe for skating, tobogganing, and ice hockey for several reasons:

  • Due to the continuous flow of water in these ponds, the ice that forms in winter is unstable and dangerous.
  • The ice depth varies across the pond’s surface. While ice may appear thick in some areas, other areas may have little to no ice.
  • Many ponds collect road runoff that may contain salt, which lowers the freezing temperature of the water.
  • Snow often obscures holes or thin ice, and it can be difficult to see unsafe ice conditions. 

While stormwater management ponds are unsafe for winter recreation, they are safe to visit and walk around, as long as residents stay off the ice.

Tobogganing safety tips

Residents are asked to use caution, be aware of their surroundings, and remember the following tips when tobogganing:

  • Winter sports and recreation such as tobogganing come with inherent risks.
  • When participating, please use all appropriate safety gear, including helmets.
  • Be respectful and careful around other participants.
  • There are no supervised or designated toboggan hills maintained by the City.
  • Do not construct or groom ramps or rails or use existing ramps or rails.
  • Do not trespass.
  • If a location is determined to be a higher risk, signs and fencing may be placed at select locations to restrict or prohibit tobogganing. (Tobogganing at a portion of Whisperwood Park is currently restricted due to unsafe conditions.)
Last modified:Friday, January 21, 2022