Approach Grenadier Pond in High Park from any direction and you are met by bright yellow signs telling you: “Danger. Ice Unsafe. Keep off.” Look past these signs—which indemnify the City of responsibility for your safety—and you’ll see dozens of people walking their dogs, skating on the many icy paths running the length of the pond, playing hockey on shovel-smoothed rinks, or just out for a stroll on the lake. This was the scene last weekend: people enjoying getting out on the ice and experiencing a familiar place from a whole new perspective.
According to a recent National Post article by Peter Kuitenbrouwer, the city’s Parks, Forestry & Recreation department has been putting up these signs since 1999, and after reviewing their policy in 2007 decided to officially prohibit all activity on frozen open water in the “Activities on Frozen Open Bodies of Water Policy.” In a follow-up article, Kuitenbrouwer offers some hope with news of a policy review by City Hall later this winter.
This weekend the temperatures are forecast to be above freezing, and getting out on Grenadier Pond might not be an option, but being able to take advantage of this public space when the ice is good seems like a no-brainer. Especially at a time when the city is struggling to find more space for recreational skating.
Photos by Miles Storey/Torontoist.