Skating Lessons in Toronto
Skating lessons in Toronto are about to be in high demand as the cold finally kicks in. Whether it's a kid flopping around on the ice for the first time like a fish out of water or an adult who has been left out of one too many games of shinny, first-timers always have their work cut out for them, but the following places are safe bets to teach newbies of all skill levels. From instruction on how to nail that double axel or help amping up for speed/power skating, these places have something for everyone.
With over 100 programs on offer at Natrel's lovely outdoor lakeside rink, Harbourfront has everything for the novice skater, even rental gear for the true newb. Heated change rooms let you warm up briefly and coin op lockers let you store your gear for the much needed post skate hot chocolate. Programs run from parent and tot up (25 mins each week for 4 weeks at $51.50) to adult (55mins for four weeks at $82.50). Harbourfront also offers private lessons starting at $35, or grab a few friends for a semi-private intro session. Just remember, as an outdoor rink, there can be weather-related cancellations.
North Toronto Skating Club
Located in a massive park near Yonge and Eglinton, North Toronto Skating club primps primaries for a lifetime of skating. Following the popular CanSkate program, NTSC has programs varying from 30 minutes (for 3-5 year olds) up to an hour in length (for advanced skaters). This club takes its skating seriously and the prices reflect a year's tuition starting at $425 and maxing out at $1130. Tests, competitions and performances are all part of the action. Private lessons are available once you are a member of the club.
Breakaway Skating Institute
With Breakaway Skating Institute, you not only learn to get comfortable on blades but you also get to try a bevy of other hockey-ish sports like Ringette and speed skating. With programs from three years old up to adult as well as two rinks to choose from (Rinx or Baycrest) there's a group class for everyone. Courses run by semester with 45 minute classes running for 12 week sessions for $399 (including HST).
Forest Hill Figure Skating Club
Also in the Yonge and Eglinton hood, this spot obviously specializes in figure skating but also runs the popular CanSkate program as well. Starting at a Gretzky inducing age of 2, members ($50 membership + admin fee) can register for fall/winter sessions as well as camps throughout the year. Adult classes are also available and members can book private lessons with coaches. Sessions start at $635 and run up to $2000 for intense programs.
Taking a course at Seneca? Why not double down with an intro to skating with the CanSkate program. With sessions offered at their massive sports complex at Finch and Don Mills, Seneca's skating program is easily one of the most affordable in the GTA. With a small skater to coach ratio, group classes start at parent and tot and go up to adult. Seneca's sessions are about 12 weeks long and start at $153 for a block of 45 minute classes.
Future Stars Arena
For hardcore hockey enthusiasts, Future Stars aims to live up to their name. With 5 rinks, two shooting pads, a goalie training facility and a hockey treadmill, this York University area arena is where juniors hone their hockey skills and figure skaters get left in the dust. Private and semi-private classes are available, and they offer a learn to skate program to start rookies off. Adult and learn to skate classes start off in packages with one hour classes starting at $39.75, with specialized classes going up from there.
Junior Blues at U of T
Also competitively priced is the skating program at U of T. Run by the Kinesiology and Physical Education departments, U of T offers intro and junior skating sessions at Varsity Arena or the Athletic Centre for downtown-ers looking for a semester of skating fun. Each class is 45 minutes long starting at $215. Figure skating, power skating and private lessons are also accessibly priced with 30 minute one-on-one's going for $456 per term.
Leaside Skating Club
Also following the CanSkate program, Leaside Skating Club offers 30 minute sessions starting at $270 for a 9 week term. With a focus on sports, junior skaters learn about hockey, shinny, speed skating and figure skating. Leaside also runs a popular synchronized class for those Battle of the Blades wannabes. Private lessons are available for those already registered in one of their programs starting at $11 per 15 minute class.
Central Toronto Skating Club
Always dreamed of charging across the blue line at Maple Leaf Gardens? Cough up the dough and make that dream come true! CTSC has two downtown rinks to serve you with Maple Leaf Gardens and Moss Park Arena. Fees start at $220 per one day per week 45 minute session. Not limited to their hockey roots, CTSC also features a popular figure skating program and private lessons can be booked once you become a member of Skate Canada.
City of Toronto programs
Not to be overlooked is the well run City of Toronto skating programs for 2 year olds up to adults. Learn to skate, figure skating, hockey and speed skating courses are all in the mix run out of arenas across this fair city. Drop in programs are also available. You are a resident of Toronto, right? Then your rates just got cheaper, with a beginner class starting out at just $57 a term.
Silver Blades Skating Club
This Royal York area skating club starts off with tiny tot skating and ramps kids up into figure skating, hockey or synchro specialities. Prices range from $274 for the tots one day a week up to the demanding 5 day a week $1410 for the mini- Kessel to be. Private lessons for your kids can also be arranged once you are a member.
Photo by Chewie2008 in the blogTO Flickr pool