christie pits park

Toronto just got an accidental ice rink but maybe leave your skates at home

Skating at Nathan Phillips Square, The Bentway, Grenadier Pond, and even Toronto Harbour have become winter traditions in the city, but all of these destinations could be looking at some new competition after an accidental rink began to form at Christie Pits Park overnight on Thursday.

Christie Pits is already home to a rink during the winter months, known as the Sid Smith Artificial Ice Rink since 2017, but after a huge dump of mixed precipitation that included rain, freezing rain, ice pellets and snow, another skating surface has started to crystallize in the lowest areas of the park.

Ward 19 Trinity—Spadina city councillor Mike Layton was passing by the park on Thursday evening amid a citywide flood warning issued by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, noting a new pond inundating the park's benches, picnic tables and pavilion.

Since a photo of the soon-to-be ice surface was shared on Twitter, temperatures have plummeted, and wind chill factors have had air temperatures feeling like the negative teens throughout Friday, creating an impromptu rink just in time for the weekend. Well, almost.

A video shared to YouTube on Friday shows that the city must have caught wind of the hazard, and quickly responded by cordoning off the hazard with caution tape. But if you watch until the end you'll see an intrepid parkgoer test out the ice and…crunch…their foot goes clean through the top layer and into the frigid slush below.

So maybe leave your skates at home until the pond has some more time to freeze.

Even though it hasn't fully frozen over yet, the pond's location in a city park and the unforgiving obstacles embedded in the new ice surface could put the city at risk of being held liable should anyone injure themselves skating here, a concern a few people have brought up in the Twitter thread.

Councillor Layton jokingly addressed the elephant in the room. Or was he serious? It's actually kind of hard to gauge, given the context.

The cute little rink is unlikely to last long if it even fully freezes. Temperatures are forecasted to climb back above freezing by Sunday, the warmer weather set to stick around until the mercury plunges again on Wednesday.

Lead photo by

Mike Layton

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