Showing posts from January, 2015

Great Skate #27 - Christie Pits Park

Here's what can happen if you have a Great Skate Project.

You can come across Tara, who runs a "Meet Up" group for people in Toronto who like skating. She organizes a skating night at Christie Pits Park, which is on your list of ice rinks you haven't visited yet. So you go, not quite sure what you're getting yourself into.

The skating event takes place on a clear, cold Friday night. There are about a dozen skaters on the rink. Only a few are there for Tara's meet-up.

You meet Wayan, who moved to Canada from Indonesia. This is only his fourth time on skates. He doesn't give up when he falls and soon he's more confident on the ice. He says his friends in Indonesia were puzzled when he showed them photos of people ice skating. "Why are they wearing knives on their feet?" they asked.

You meet Camille and Waleed, who are from New York. Waleed hasn't skated in 20 years. Camille seems to be more skilled at it.

The rink isn't crowded, and yo…

Great Skate #26 - Newmarket Riverwalk Commons

I launched my Great Skate Project in 2012, aiming to skate on a different outdoor rink each weekend throughout the winter. Now, as the project enters its fourth winter, I have to travel farther afield to find new rinks to add to my list. (Here's the list so far.)

On January 3, I visited some friends north of the city to check out the Riverwalk Commons rink in Newmarket. Although the weather was approaching blizzard status, Susan and Ian were surprisingly enthusiastic. (Their kids, perhaps wiser than us, stayed home.)

Located in downtown next to the community centre, the Newmarket skating rink (officially named the Tim Hortons Skating and Water Feature) is pretty spiffy. There aren't indoor changerooms, but there is an "ice lounge" at one end, with fancy seating and a big-screen TV showing a video of a roaring fireplace. It's sort of the polar (ha ha) opposite of the log benches and campfires you find at the Harbourfront skating rink.

We skated until the Zamboni came…