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Grenadier Pond

Grenadier Pond 2009-1010
2009: January

Peter Kuitenbrouwer, writing on the National Post web site, January 4 2009:

This morning at 10 a.m. I became the first person of the season, as far as I know, to skate on Grenadier Pond. Every year I watch the thermometer, waiting for the conditions to be right. When the temperature drops, and others curse, I cheer, because the pond is freezing up! Just before Christmas the kids and I went to check on it: we stood on the little deck that overlooks the pond, peeled small sheets of ice off the wood planks and skittered them across its frozen surface. It looked frozen. But I put the tip of my boot on the ice at the edge and I plunged through. So we waited.

But with the cold snap we've had since the new year, I had a feeling the pond would be okay. In the quiet still of the morning, having parked by the Colbourne Lodge, I slid down the hill through the woods, dampening the seat of my jeans, to reach the shore. I looked. About 5 cm of powdery snow covers the pond. In the snow I saw dog prints and, more promising, the tracks of a cross-country skier. I laced up my CCMs and took off the skate guards. And I took the plunge.

Ice report: the snow has a tiny crust, and in places the wind has traced ripples on the snow. Under the snow, the ice is a little bit bumpy in parts. The snow is thin enough that I could skate across the pond without shoveling it. However, I'd recommend you take a shovel and clear off a speed-skating oval or, more importantly, a hockey rink. It may be a bit bumpy; even so, it is, as always, Toronto's best skating option..... Grenadier is a sheet of perfect, natural glass. And no tax dollars were spent making it so. So get out there, skate, ignore the city's "Ice Unsafe" signs, and happy new year.

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Content last modified on January 16, 2015, at 07:03 PM EST