Peter Kuitenbrouwer: Get out there and skate

National Post

We live in Canada because, as my stepfather remarked during -40C winter mornings on the farm where I grew up near Montebello, Quebec, “We couldn’t afford anything warmer.”

As a child I travelled between my mother’s farm and my father’s farm in Ontario using a ferry that crossed the Ottawa River. In winter the journey was easier: We drove across the ice.

Which brings me to skating. Skating for miles on natural ice is one of the God-given pleasures of living in Canada. Early settlers figured that out pretty quick, and invented hockey.

Twenty years ago my wife and I moved to Toronto. In winter friends took me to skate on Grenadier Pond in the city’s largest park, High Park. A bonfire crackled on the shore, with logs on which skaters could lace up or drink hot chocolate; city employees at night drilled holes in the ice and hooked up pumps, as they do on the Rideau Canal in Ottawa…

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