Ice Skating in Downtown Regina January 10, 2018 · 8 min. readDisclaimer: While the thoughts and opinions are my own, this article was brought to you by a third party. Also, this article may contain affiliate links.
When I was younger, I really loved winter. I loved sledding, snowball fights and building snowmen. One of my favourite pastimes was visiting a little outdoor ice rink a few blocks from my house. Every winter my friends and I would climb over the walls of the rink and goof around on the ice. When we weren't falling over our feet, we'd play hockey with whatever snow chunks we could find. As these events became more frequent, we often talked about playing real hockey on the rink. Eventually, we would end up playing hockey, but we'd settle for the street in front of our houses instead.
Beyond childhood, the only other time I went skating was in high school. Everybody else's ice skating skills had improved with age, but mine were still that of a fourth grader. I remember standing in the rink, struggling to shoot while holding my balance, only to have a classmate swoop in and steal my puck! Ever since then, I've stuck to floor hockey.
As I got older, my love for winter dwindled. Now I find it cold, icy, dark and sometimes miserable. My blog usually slows down in the winter for this very reason. I've been trying to get out and enjoy our longest season of the year, but it's hard. Most days I just want to stay inside.
Since staying inside during the winter months isn't very interesting, I've been trying to find fun things to do outside each year. Last year I went skiing at Mission Ridge, and this year I tried ice skating. Every winter the City of Regina Parks Department floods and maintains rinks around the city, and the Regina Downtown Business Improvement District operates the rink in Victoria Park. The rink is open every day of the week, and they have staff available with free skates on weekdays from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM, and from 6 PM to 9 PM and on the weekends from 1 PM to 5 PM. This gives you plenty of chances to enjoy the ice, any day of the week.
The rink also has several unique events going on throughout the winter. If you visit the rink on January 18th you'll experience their highly anticipated "80s Night", while January 25th has their classic "90s Night". February 17th also has their "Disney Day" skate, in which children (and adults) are encouraged to dress up as their favorite Disney character.
If you're looking for somewhere romantic to take your significant other, February 1st, 2nd, 8th, 9th and 14th are all date nights dedicated to you and your sweetheart.
As I approached the rink in Victoria Park for the first time, I was a little hesitant. I had plenty of experiences falling on ice during my childhood and teenage years and it's not something I personally enjoy (and I don't get up as fast as I used to). But, when I arrived at the rink, I saw scores of people skating around on it. There were a few talented skaters, and there were also ones who had similar skating skills to me, and they were holding onto chairs for balance.
After seeing this, I decided to give it a try.
Although I don't really know how the skate, the staff were more than happy to teach me some basic tricks. I clutched onto my support chair for dear life as they helped me skate in slow circles around the rink, but I still did it. Although I was probably one of the clumsiest skaters out there, I still had a lot of fun, and, to make things even better, I never fell!
While there are dozens of rinks throughout Regina, the one in Victoria Park is unique because it's in the hub of the city. If you need a bite to eat, you are surrounded by some of the best restaurants in the province, and if you need an escape from the working world, the rink is the perfect getaway. With the streets around the park being some of the busiest in the city, it feels almost ethereal that you can skate peacefully (or awkwardly and lumberingly, if you're me) amid it all.
The rink downtown has been open for years and has been responsible for countless stories. The Regina Downtown Business Improvement District collected these stories last year for part of their "Rink Stories" series. They collected hundreds of stories of different people from different walks of life that ended up visiting the rink. Some of these people were students that had just moved to Regina, while others were long termed residents that have been skating for decades. Some were senior citizens, some were children and many were somewhere in between. Last year a couple special guests even visited the rink too, such as Spider-Man, Elsa and Anna from Frozen and even a newly wedded couple, still dressed in their tux and gown.
Last year, workers at the rink taught 25 Syrian refugees how to skate. Coming from a mostly desert country, many of these people had never stepped foot on ice, let alone learned to skate. Members of the Business Improvement District helped teach them how to skate, and in turn welcomed them to one of Canada's most popular winter pastimes.
I had a great time skating when I was at the rink last weekend, and it's something I can't wait to do again. Near the end of the day I was able to let go of my support chair and take a couple steps without it. Although I'm not comfortable enough to skate around the outside of the rink yet, maybe with a little more practice I will be.
Do you have any memories of skating in Victoria Park? Will you be heading down there this winter? If so, tag the Regina Downtown Business Improvement District on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and use the hashtag #yqrdt.
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And, as always, a big thank you to my sweetheart Jessica Nuttall for proof reading a countless number of my articles. I couldn't do any of this without you. I love you.
Nestled between the impressive Mount Royal and the majestic St. Lawrence River is Montreal, a city known for its festivals, abstract art, history and mosaic of countless cultures. Montreal is the second largest city in Canada, with a population floating around four million people. While the city is a dynamic mix of Canada's two primary cultures – French and English – there are areas of the city that are culturally specific, such as Little Italy, Greektown and Chinatown. Known for its artistic and liberal mindedness, Montreal also boasts the largest community of homosexuals in North America in their very own "Gay Village".
Being nearly 375 years old, Montreal was pivotal to the creation of New France and Canada and at a time held control over every waterway from the St. Lawrence down to the Gulf of Mexico. Having such incredible influence over the western part of the New World, Montreal hosted the "Great Peace of Montreal" in 1701, which started sixteen years of peace between the French and over 40 different First Nation tribes in North America.
Since its early days, Montreal has been one of the most influential cities in Canada. Montreal housed "internment camps" during World War I, became an ideal location for Americans looking for alcohol during Prohibition, and was the official residence of the Luxembourg royal family during World War II. Montreal held host to the incredible Expo 67, showcasing some of the most incredible architecture of that decade. The seventies saw serious political reformation in Montreal, with many Americans arriving, fleeing the Vietnam Draft. The late seventies paralyzed the city as a terrorist organization, the Front de libération du Québec, detonated explosives throughout the city and kidnapped and killed political figures. These actions forced the Prime Minster to enact the "War Measures Act" and deploy the military into the city to apprehend the terrorists. The eighties and nineties saw two referendums in the province of Quebec to separate from Canada, with Montreal playing a major role in both decisions. The last referendum in 1995 ended with 51% percent of Quebecers wanting to remain part of Canada and 49% wanting to separate.
Had history been different, this article would probably be written in French. New France, the birth child of French colonialism, once spanned the majority of eastern North America, dipping feet in both Hudson’s Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. It was only after the British captured the city in 1759 and opened the port of the St. Lawrence River did the once promising dynasty of New France cease to exist.
Although New France is long forgotten throughout most of the continent, Quebec City still embraces the same French language, culture and identity as it did nearly four hundred years ago. Visiting this city will bring you back in time to an earlier Canada – one of cobblestone streets, narrow houses, clanging church bells and horse drawn wagons. Quebec City is a unique location unlike anywhere else in Canada, being a slice of Europe seemingly untouched by the modern world. It is for these reasons and more that Expedia.ca asked me to write about this incredible city.
There are many ways to get to Quebec City, such as by plane, train, bus, car, bike or boat.
A few weeks ago Jessica and I decided to go on a shopping trip to Moose Jaw. Now that the snow is gone and the roads aren't so messy, I plan to get back on the road more often. I also took this opportunity to try out some video creation. After seeing some of the awesome content people like The Saskatchewanderer are putting out, I decided to try it out for myself.
Moose Jaw is about 45 minutes west of Regina, and is famous in Saskatchewan for its old brick architecture, small-town vibe and myriad of underground tunnels. Two tunnels tours exist in Moose Jaw. One is based around the famous gangster Al Caopne (whose cell I visited while in Eastern State Penitentiary) and the other is about Chinese immigrants who were forced underground by the Canadian government's "head-tax". Both tours are fascinating and I've done both several times. While we visited them on this trip, we didn't actually go on any the tours.
Although Regina is a larger city that Moose Jaw, downtown Regina lacks the quirky mom-and-pop shops you'll find in Moose Jaw. For the past few decades, much of downtown Regina has been transformed into either banks or big box stores, all which pushed the smaller boutique shops away. The past few years have seen a resurgence of them, but there isn't nearly as many as there used to be. Moose Jaw, on the other hand, has very few big box stores in its downtown area and still has scores of quirky boutique shops and restaurants.