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Have fun outside on the waterfront this winter

Dec 23, 2020

Skating at The BentwayRegister online to skate for free at The Bentway this season.  

By Arti Panday

While this year has presented unique challenges and this festive season feels vastly different than usual, there are still several opportunities to get outside on the waterfront and enjoy some free, socially distanced winter activities.

Bentway Skate Trail

The Bentway, 250 Fort York Boulevard
December 18, 2020 - January 31, 2021

The Bentway Skate Trail will be open daily from December 18, 2020 at 12 p.m. to January 31, 2021 at 8:30 p.m. Throughout the season the trail will have a fixed capacity of 25 people at any given time. Pre-registration for timed entry is required and will be available every Friday at 10 a.m. for the following week.

Visit the Bentway’s Eventbrite page to read through the details and restrictions before you book your skating time.

People skating at Sherbourne CommonBring your skates and enjoy some time on the ice at the Paul Quarrington outdoor ice rink on the waterfront.

Sherbourne Common’s Paul Quarrington outdoor Ice Rink

61 Dockside Drive
November 28, 2020 – March 2021 (weather permitting)

Sherbourne Common is not only a summertime destination. While the Splash Pad provides reprieve from the heat in the summer, in the winter it is transformed into a skating rink with a wonderful waterfront view. Lace up your skates and head down to the outdoor rink.

Note: Washrooms at this location are open from 9 a.m. to dusk.

Harbourfront CentreImages from Portraits in COVID Times are featured along the entire north face of the Harbourfront Centre's. (Image courtesy Harbourfront Centre)

Site Alive

Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West
November 27, 2020 – February 7, 2021

The Harbourfront Centre’s skating rink is closed this year as it undergoes repairs however, the 10-acre waterfront campus will still be animated with a unique, immersive world of sensory experience. 

First up, Portraits in COVID Times: Documenting a Nation in Change is a photography exhibition that showcases curated images including some by celebrity photographer George Pimental as well as submissions from all over the country.Images cover nearly the entire north face of the Harbourfront Centre’s building with additional images at 318 Queens Quay West at Rees Street. The intention behind the exhibition is to display aspects of daily life that have changed while demonstrating the ingenuity, kindness, grief, humour, hope and creativity that have surfaced during this pandemic.  

From January 15 to February 7, visitors to Harbourfront Centre can experience Festival of Cool and Northern Ontario Diaries. Festival of Cool, which features the Sonic Runway and Iceberg installations, creates a Northern Ontario experience using audio, light and technology. Sonic Runway is a corridor of lights more than 100 metres long, that brings sound waves to life, creating a rainbow bridge to a brighter tomorrow. Iceberg turns a sculpture into a living instrument, simulating the journey from glacial calving to open water migration to eventual melting – the life cycle of an iceberg.

Northern Ontario Diaries is a discovery-based audio experience that allows audiences to explore the waterfront area while listening to stories told by artists about regions and communities from the Canadian Shield.

Corktown Common in the winter.The snow-covered knoll at Corktown Common.

Toboggan at Corktown Common

155 Bayview Avenue

Snow is inevitably in the forecast this winter which means more time to play in it. Corktown Common has a series of open lawns that provide ample space for families to build forts, snow people and make snow angels.

Winter thrill seekers can also start at the playground and toboggan down the hill towards the athletic field in the southern-most part of the park. 

Map of Waterfront Toronto's permanent public art installationsThe map above shows the nine permanent public art pieces on the waterfront. 

Waterfront Toronto’s Permanent Public Art Installations

Going for strolls along the waterfront is a good way to get outside so why not visit one of Waterfront Toronto’s nine public art installations. With light features built into each public art piece, these are great destinations day or night.

  1. Light Showers, Jill Anholt (Sherbourne Common North)
  2. Light Keeper, Caitlind r.c. Brown, Wayne Garrett and Studio North (Aitken Place Park)
  3. Site Specific, Scott Enuson (Sumach Street & Eastern Avenue)
  4. Untitled (Toronto Lamp Posts), Tadashi Kawamata (Front Street)
  5. Water Guardians, Jennifer Marman and Daniel Borins (Front Street)
  6. Garden of Future Follies, Hadley+Maxwell (Front Street)
  7. No Shoes, Mark Di Suvero (Corktown Common)
  8. Peeled Pavement, Jill Anholt (Mill Street)
  9. Mirage, Paul Raff (Underpass Park)

These events and experiences are open to the public but they all recommend that you stay home if you are feeling sick, have been out of the country in the last 14 days or suspect you may have come into contact with COVID-19. Those who live outside of Toronto are not encouraged to travel to the area to visit the city at this time.