Best of CityPlace

Snowy skate night a success at CityPlace’s new outdoor rink

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Canoe Landing Park, CityPlace

The snow was gently falling right in the downtown core, and the only sound was the whoosh of ice skates.

It felt like the first significant snowfall of the season and Toronto was already halfway through February.

The swoosh belonged to the blades on figure skater Michelle Long, 24, who has been skating for 20 years.

“It was a fun experience; it allowed me to have fun instead of focusing on technical skills,” she said, after finishing her performance at the CityPlace skating rink launch party at Canoe Landing Park Friday, February 10th.

“But I am wearing two layers of tights! ” she laughed.

Yes, the snow fell for the entire hour she was performing.

“I don’t think about it. It’s not so bad until I realized my makeup might have been coming off,” she laughed.

She wasn’t the only one jumping about in the snow. There was so much snow piling up that all the dogs and their humans were playing around, so much that I spotted several schnozes digging in the snow.

The people who came out to the Valentine’s Day themed event were all couples: humans and their dogs, parents with their kids, and romantic partners.

Over on the rink, right in front of a huge heart made out of a thick, solid chunk of ice, was a couple hand-in-hand, skateless but smiling.

Maya and Massimo have lived in CityPlace for five years.

“This is wonderful! ” Maya exclaimed. “It’s going to be the next big thing after City Hall’s skating rink; it’s awesome. It’s nice that it’s helping form the community.”

Living above the rink at Telegram Mews, the couple watched it being built from their window.

“The weather wasn’t cooperating for a while, but now we can enjoy it,” Maya said. “And the puppies!”

Bonnie and her son Vinny, 4, were skating hand-in-hand.

“We love it! It’s good for kids if it wasn’t for the wind,” she laughed. Vinny smiled and blushed, speaking too softly to hear him over the (amazing) DJ who was playing right outside the rink in the park.

Then there were Courtney and Shannon, skating flawlessly around the rink.

416 Mag caught up with them in the tent that Concord set up.

“I love the music; I love the tent to get warm in,” Courtney said.

“It’s a great way to get to know your neighbours. And I’ve been waiting for this; it had been a sludge puddle for a while because of the mild weather. It’s nice just to walk over. It’s a common place to go that fosters a sense of community instead of the hike to the rink at Harbourfront.”

The tent also had free hot chocolate and snacks from Starbucks.

“The festive Starbucks was a nice touch,” Shannon added.

The tent also housed free red mittens and red toques with a white Maple Leaf on them that were given out to participants.

And mid-way through the event, a batch of single red roses magically appeared from the tent, with a few volunteers carrying them outside, handing them out.

Singles, couples, parents and kids, dogs and humans; all seemed to enjoy the simplicity of a skate on a snowy night to cap off the week.

Concord hopes to host more events at the rink and hopes community members keep taking advantage of the new place to skate.

Diana Pereira

Diana Pereira is a journalist, a university journalism teacher, a world traveller, a fair-weather kayaker, and a frequent bruncher. She's working on her mermaid status, travelling to as many countries as she can that include a body of water and when she's home in Toronto, you can find her in a kayak on Lake Ontario.

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