Showing posts from March, 2013

Great Skate #20: Hodgson Public School

Skating in Toronto in March is a bad news/good news situation.

The bad news: most of the city's outdoor rinks close at the end of February - even if there is still snow, and bitter winds, and freezing temperatures.*

The good news: if the rinks are closing, it means winter is coming to an end, despite the weather forecast.

The rink at Hodgson Public School was one of the few still open in Toronto last weekend, so my friend Cathy and I bundled up and headed there on Saturday, March 2 to squeeze in another skate before spring.

We arrived at about 10am, and there were just a few families on the ice, with a group of shinny players on the neighbouring rink. The ice was smooth and hard, and the school walls sheltered the wind.

By 11am, the rink was getting busy. With so many rinks closed, the remaining rinks are even more popular. We couldn't feel our toes by that point, so we called it quits and went for breakfast.

Why do ice rinks close even when the weather is cold? The angle of t…

Skating in Orillia again

Orillia has seven public outdoor rinks. So far I've only skated on two of them - the Murray Street Park rink, and the First Baptist Church rink.

I was back in Orillia on the February 23/24 weekend, but didn't have a chance to add a new Great Skate site to my list. My dad and I drove out to Sparrow Lake, to see if there were any opportunities to skate there. But while the scenery was beautiful, and the ice was thick enough to support fishing huts, there wasn't a clear, smooth patch for skating. Even the rink at one of the local resorts was slushy and neglected.

Later, once my sister's family had arrived, the prospect of driving all over town with small children hoping that one of the new-to-us rinks would be in good condition wasn't very enticing. So we ended up back at Murray Street Park, which is so conveniently located just a few blocks from my parent's house.

There was a skim of snow on the ice, but otherwise it was perfect for skating. My nieces enjoyed sho…