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Winter in the Park

When the temperature starts to dip, and the snow begins to fall, people gather in Town Park to experience the Canadian winter together.

A colour image taken during the winter months that shows adults and children skating on a large outdoor rink. A couple of male skaters are holding hockey sticks. In the background to the left is a chain link fence with a large white building directly behind it, to the right two houses are visible.

The armoury creates a unique backdrop while skaters of all ages enjoy the Town Park ice rink.

Over 120 years ago, masquerade carnivals were annual events on the open-air rink and prizes would be awarded for the fanciest costume and best comical dress. The 1896 masquerade charged an admission of 15 cents for skaters, 10 cents for masqueraders and 5 cents for spectators and the music was provided by the Battalion Band. Unfortunately, there are no pictures, however, one can imagine Victorian-era men and women dressed up in their costumes and skating underneath the stars in the Park.

Pair of ice skates, complete with boots; boots dark brown leather with lace and eyelet fastening, and strap over front of ankle, fleecy lining; steel blade shows signs of rust

Sisman’s Ice Skates, c. 1920s

Weather permitting, the rink continues to be a seasonal fixture in Town Park keeping the tradition of outdoor skating alive and well.

Audio clip with transcript: “Learning to Skate”


A colour image taken during the winter months showing a woman who is using a chainsaw to carve a snowman figure out a large block of ice. The background is out of focus but a crowd of adult and youth onlookers who are dressed in winter attire and gathered behind a bright orange barricade is visible.

Live Ice Sculpting in Town Park, 2016

In recent years, Town Park has become home to Arctic Adventure, a one-day event that transforms the Park into a winter playground complete with an array of activities and concessions. Visitors are entertained by live ice sculpting, tubing, carnival games and, of course, open-air skating and hockey games on the rink. Wells Street, the western border of the Park, is closed to traffic and filled with candy floss, popcorn, beavertails and other concessions for the crowd to enjoy.