Showing posts from February, 2013

Great Skate #19 - Alexandra Park

Monday, February 18, 2013 was the Family Day holiday. It capped a busy weekend filled with errands, household improvements and visiting. In the afternoon, after all the family had gone home, I woke up from a nap and realized I had one weekend task still to do: skating.

Alexandra Park - at the top of the city's alphabetical list of rinks and easy to get to by transit - was where I ended up at about 4:30pm. It's not a particularly lovely rink, but it feels like part of the city fabric. The streetcar runs past it. You can see the CN Tower from it. Scadding Court Community Centre is next door. There's a Buddhist temple across the street, and the Toronto Western Hospital is a block away.

Shinny players filled one of the two rinks at the park. The other one was filled with about a dozen skaters, representing a wide range of pleasure skating categories:

two small boys who thought they were Gretzky(s)one couple, the female half demonstrating the twirls she had learned as a teenaged …

Great Skate #18 - Withrow Park

On Friday, February 8 we had the biggest snowstorm Toronto's had in years. School buses were cancelled, businesses closed early, flights were delayed and I saw cross-country skiers on city streets.

But it takes more than high winds and a few feet of snow to stop the Withrow Park Neighbourhood Skating Party, hosted by the Friends of Withrow Park.

My friends had warned me that last year's party was so popular that there was barely room to move on the rink. This year the weather thinned the crowd, but there were still lots of skaters of all ages who stayed out for hours.

It was a great way to spend a dark and stormy night. (Although I think was was more exhausted from trudging through the snowdrifts to get there than I was by the actual skating.)

I went back on Sunday afternoon, in much milder weather, for part two of Great Skate #18. I skated with my friend Jen and her girls, and then with my sister's family.

Rink Link update:

Found another great site: RinkWatch, "where …

Great Skate #17 - Colonel Sam Smith Skating Trail

Do groundhogs skate? Last Saturday, February 2, seemed like the right day to find out. My friend Cathy joined me for Great Skate #17 at the Colonel Sam Smith Skating Trail in Etobicoke. It had been on our skating wishlist since last year. We didn't see any groundhogs, but skating on this trail was a lovely way to spend the morning.

The skating trail opened in 2010, and its one of the few non-rectangle outdoor rinks in Toronto. The trail is a sort-of-figure-eight shape that winds through trees and over a small bridge. As my friend Csilla told me, if you're expecting something like the Rideau Canal, you'll be disappointed, but it's much bigger than the Brickworks skating trail. And it's one of the best things you can do in Etobicoke.

You can change into your skates in the Power House Recreation Centre, which was built in 1888 as the heating plant for the neighbouring Lunatic Asylum, which is now Humber College. (I wonder if the college puts that fact in their promoti…