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Lake of Bays Community Centre Arena

10 University St, Baysville, Ontario, Canada P0B 1A0

The Lake of Bays Community Centre serves the residents of Muskoka, Nipissing, Parry Sound & Timiskaming. It has an Arena that features a single 185’ x 85’ OMHA ice surface, 6 change rooms, a referee room, and gym facilities. There are two curling sheets in an adjacent building. The Baysville Public Library is attached to the arena to form the overall Community Centre.


Best ice in Ontario with new TRAK HVAC/R Smart Energy System (SES)

The ice refrigeration system at Baysville's Arena received a major upgrade thanks to a $500,000 Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant. The refurbishment made the HVAC/R system more environmentally friendly, which Lisa MacLeod, Ontario’s Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, says will extend the life of the arena that was opened in 1979. “Arenas are the cornerstone of rural towns and townships and back long before my time arenas were shrines in small communities like ours all over Canada and I’m certain they’ll remain an integral part going forward,” Terry Glover, Mayor of Lake of Bays, says. “These are places where young men and women dream of the NHL.”

Mayor Glover complimented Scott MacKinnon, Superintendent of Parks and Facilities, on a “fantastic job” in coordinating the upgrade with TRAK International and called him a “hero of Lake of Bays.” According to MacKinnon, this new refrigeration plant — unlike most other plants in North America — doesn't use ammonia as a refrigerant, which is highly flammable and extremely hazardous. Through the refrigeration process, ammonia captures the heat and transfers it to the outside atmosphere. Geothermal technology helps remove heat from the arena floor and use it to heat the building, preheat water heading to the hot water tank, and, in the future, provide dehumidification. “By capturing the heat from the floor, we are saving money on propane to heat the building and water, reducing our carbon footprint and greenhouse gas. This is a multi-step project for the municipality with hopes of expanding the system to potentially heat other spaces and possibly add air conditioning in summer," said MacKinnon.

TRAK International refurbished the ice rink refrigeration system over the summer of 2023.

The original ice rink facility featured equipment at end-of-life and included:

  • Open-drive reciprocating compressors 30hp 575V (x3) operating with R22 refrigerant (Freon). Open flooded chiller barrel for cold floor brine cooling and use of distributed condenser coils within air handling unit and external dry cooler for heat rejection (condenser). Large volume accumulators and distribution headers. Expansion valve regulation.

  • High-horsepower rink brine circulators and secondary water circulation pumps.

  • Wall mounted Indoor/Outdoor Liquid Propane Non-Condensing Tankless Water Heaters (x2).

  • Commercial Propane Gas Atmospheric Vent Storage Water Heater, 98 Gallon, 75,000 BTUH Input/68,000 Output 180°F maximum (1).

  • Central Air Handling Unit (1) with refrigerant connected heating coils and damper regulation for distribution to the warmed arena space common observation hall, gathering area, activity room, and change rooms 1 to 4. 

  • Dry cooler (1) with refrigerant coils and staged propeller fans (3).

  • Standalone rink electric dehumidifiers (x2). 

  • HRV and electric at Change Rooms 5 & 6 and exercise room. 

  • Propane fired and DX cooling Rooftop Units for the Library and indoor spaces. 

  • KMC Controls using BACnet controllers and network application controllers regulating Digital Output (ON/OFF) controls for the compressors (x3), Brine pumps (x2), and Condenser (Dry Cooler) valve and staging and Air Handling Unit. 

TRAK International's retrofit of the ice rink facility included:

  • Engineering study and upgrade plan to have a clear understanding of the existing systems and conditions, and the best path to energy efficiency, lower GHG emissions, and long-term lower operating costs. This involved a detailed review of the existing equipment condition, energy consumption, and environmental impact study. The proposed energy-efficient and environmentally beneficial conditions were modeled together with economic analysis. A long-term plan that could be implemented in phases as the municipal budget allowed considered the addition of TRAK's Smart Energy System (SES) to the connected library, and looked at the capacity for future expansion to the nearby buildings being the curling rink, firehall, and Lions Club community building. 

  • Demolition and salvage plan considered what could be saved or sold at market value to reduce project costs.

  • Reduction of refrigerant volume and components to increase safety and enable reclassification of the machine room. Much of the pressure vessels/heat exchangers that make up the receivers (evaporators) and condenser loop of the existing system could be removed in TRAK's design.  

  • Replace reciprocating compressors with scroll compressors within heat pumps using low volumes of refrigerant and 100% input energy recovery for heat energy displacement. The scroll compressor configuration reduces the space requirement and has a more cost-effective service factor. It reduces sound levels. Existing Freon R-22 refrigerant was replaced with a code-compliant and energy-efficient and environmentally friendly R-407C refrigerant that has the capacity for ice making and the performance for the proposed heating applications.

  • Cool Floor Brine Solution Removal & Replacement with Water/Glycol Solution to enable direct heat transfer capabilities and eliminate brine's corrosiveness that leads to equipment degradation and failures.

  • Replace Condenser Side Refrigerant Distribution with a Glycol Solution.

  • Replace Propane Floodwater Heating with Energy-Efficient Heat Recovery.

  • Upgrade and expand Building Automation Controls.

  • Enable the future addition of a vertical borehole Geoexchange Field.

  • Enable the displacement of Dehumidification and Air Conditioning electricity.





The Township of Lake of Bays

General Contractor:

TRAK International Green Energy Resources Inc.

Piping Fabrication:

Muskoka Millwrighting & Machine Ltd.

Electrical, Pipe Insulation, Salt Flushing, and Glycol Fill:

Black & McDonald 

Project Contract: 


Project Manager: 

Scott Zimmer PEng, TRAK International

Completion:  2023

New piping fabricated, fitted, welded and installed


Heat pump hot water recovery reservoirs and circulating pumps

Media Photo 7_OTF Ice Plant Commemoration_New Geothermal Ice Plant.jpg

Centralized bank of three modular TRAK hydronic heat pumps - 180 RT

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