A popular piece of ice in a south Kitchener neighbourhood has been demolished, much to the surprise of people in the area.

It isn’t one of the 30-plus outdoor rinks maintained by the city. It’s actually a stormwater management pond off of Robert Ferrie Drive, which is used for hockey and skating once it freezes over.

Residents of the surrounding neighbourhood have been taking care of the makeshift rink for the past six years.

Tuesday morning, they were surprised to find that heavy equipment had been brought in to tear up the ice.

“My kid (was) in tears … when he saw them digging it up,” Brett Mulligan told CTV News. Parents also questions why the work had to be done now, in the middle of schools’ Christmas break, instead of waiting until classes resumed.

A letter sent to homes in the area later in the day explained that scheduled maintenance was taking place.

City officials say using stormwater ponds for any sort of recreational pursuits is illegal "due to the inherent danger and risk associated with this activity."

Coun. Yvonne Fernandes, who represents the area, says she’s going to look for a way to get the stormwater pond rink reopened for the rest of the winter.