NathanPhillipsIce.jpg

Hitting the Ice for the Holidays

My Toronto winter holidays are incomplete without a morning leisure skate at Nathan Phillips Square's ice rink. It's the best way to clear my head on Boxing Day, right before diving into the shopping frenzy at Eaton Centre. Incidentally, having a pair of sharp metal blades at my side gives me more breathing space in the crowds (or is it the smell?).

Outdoor skating captures a unique slice of Toronto that is close to my heart. Over the years I have seen just about every walk of life on the ice. The city operates 49 artificial outdoor ice rinks between December and March. Operating hours for all rinks are available by calling 416-338-RINK (7465).

NathanPhillipsOldCityHall.jpg

Skating is a great way to learn more about my fellow Torontonians. I feel closer to certain groups of people through repeated exposure on the rink, including: enormous school groups, slow-moving couples, show-off idiots, and that old guy who does strange cross-overs.

What really brings a tear to my eye is when I espy a first-time skater wobbling around the ice. Though the little ones are the most touching, I cheer for newbies of any age. It's never too late to learn how to skate.

Every time I step on the ice it feels like I'm weaving a thread in Toronto's winter fabric. In the brief half-hour that I share with the other skaters, I'm happy knowing that many fond memories are born before we all part ways.

To find out more about skating in Toronto (including indoor ice time), see the city's skating website.


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Sports & Play

Toronto cyclist draws giant moose across the city with his bike

Toronto Maple Leafs fans are beefing with Ottawa Public Health

This hiking trail near Toronto comes with sublime views of fall colours

The top 5 parks in Scarborough

Toronto Raptors could play next season in Louisville if border still closed

Toronto gyms upset dance studios are allowed to open but yoga is still banned

People in Toronto keep dressing up in costumes to paddleboard on Lake Ontario

You can rent this haunted house in Ontario for a lot cheaper than you'd think