Showing posts from January, 2013

Great Skate #16 - Nathan Phillips Square

Winter returned to Toronto this past weekend, but I didn't make it out to skate until Monday night. And then the wind was so bitter that I almost quit before I started. But missing a Great Skate two weeks in a row would not be good, so after work I headed out to the rink at Nathan Phillips Square.

I chose this rink because it's easy to get to, it wasn't booked for shinny, and there were sure to be other people around. (If you're going to skate in circles by yourself, it's nice to do it in a crowd.)

It always surprises me how many people are around wherever you go in the city, even when there's a severe windchill factor. There were a few dozen skaters at Nathan Phillips Square just after 6pm last night. Bundled in layers of winter gear, really wishing I hadn't left my hat behind on a streetcar earlier this week, I wanted to ask them all, what are you doing out here?

The answer of course is that they were having fun, skating. And I was too.

Great Skate #13: Ha…

New rink links

This is not skating weather.

I was so happy with the snowy, frosty, freezy weather we were having. Now three warm days have melted everything and it feels like we've skipped a few months in the calendar.
So instead of actually skating, I'm updating the Rink Links. Here are some new ones:
How to Build an Ice Rink in Your Backyard (Source: Lifehacker, Jan. 4, 2013) For anyone who lives where it actually stays cold in the winter.
Best Backyard Rink contest hosted by CBC in PEI (Source: CBC) The winning rink is impressive!
The Shops at Don Mills skating rink (Source: Shops at Don Mills) A new possibility for the Great Skate location list.
Massey Lectures 2011: Adam Gopnick's meditations on winter (Source: CBC) I heard these lectures on the radio last year. There's a section about how ice skating in the 1800s came to be an approved activity that encourage flirtation and also allowed the working classes to experience some social mobility.

Skating on the Don River in 1910

Great Skate #15 - Monarch Park

On Saturday, January 5 my sister's family joined me for Great Skate #15 at Monarch Park. The girls - ages Two, Four and Six - were excited about skating again (although I think Four was a little concerned that she wouldn't remember how).

Great Skate #14 - Fairmount Park

It's a new year, and a new chance to enjoy outdoor skating!

The goals of my Great Skate Project are simple: try to skate on a different outdoor rink each weekend, and encourage as many friends and family members to join me as possible.

Great Skate #14 - the first Great Skate of 2013, on New Year's Day - was a quiet one. Unlike last year, the weather was perfect for skating: cold and sunny, with lots of snow on the ground. I wasn't feeling ambitious, so I headed for Fairmount Park, not too far from where I live.

On my way there, I ran into my friend Mike. When I told him where I was headed, he told me he's one of the "ice masters" who volunteer their time to keep Fairmount's two natural ice rinks maintained. Way to go, Mike!

This photo shows one of the rinks. The other one is right next to it, but it isn't surrounded by boards. There's a picnic table and lights, but that's it.
Wondering why this rink is so empty on such a perfect day for skatin…