Wednesday, December 11, 2013

What skating used to be like in Toronto

toronto ice skating historyTime to put away that fall gear - the skating season is officially upon us. Toronto's public rinks are now open for shinny and the first Bambi-like forays onto the hard stuff, despite a recent uptick in temperatures.
Unfortunately, there's no more skating on the Don or the Toronto Bay, as there was until around the 1930s and 40s - the temperatures don't get low enough and it was probably never all that safe anyway.
In winters of old, however, every patch of frozen water became prime real estate for skaters, even shallow puddles in vacant lots. Here's a look back at when skaters in Toronto looked like subjects in an L. S. Lowry painting.
toronto ice skatingSkaters on the Toronto Bay
toronto ice skatingA frozen Don River near Riverdale Park, looking south to Gerrard
toronto ice skatingSkaters at Christie Pits
toronto ice skatingFigure skaters put on an outdoor show
toronto ice skatingA group of girls take to the ice between 1910 and 1912
toronto ice skatingWomen lace up beside Grenadier Pond in High Park
toronto ice skatingSkaters on Grenadier Pond
toronto ice skatingNervous skaters cling together in High Park
toronto ice skatingMoss Park skating championships race
toronto ice skatingAnother view of a skate race at Moss Park
toronto ice skatingWomen on the ice at Riverdale Park
toronto ice skatingWide shot of a frozen Riverdale Park
toronto ice skatingA makeshift rink on a vacant lot
toronto ice skatingFigure skaters show off for the camera at Varsity Arena
toronto ice skatingHeavy winter coats on display at Varsity Arena
toronto ice skatingRinks at Christie Pits, then Willowvale Park.
toronto ice skatingSkaters at Withrow Park
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