Health

Get Outside

By Ted Mitchell
Published January 24, 2008

Get off that computer and get out!

This is the weekend to do something about cabin fever. Come back later and read some more RTH, but now is the time to get outside and enjoy some real winter - the forecast calls for pleasant temperatures just below zero.

Hiking trails around the city are in great shape with very little ice. There's just enough snow for some cross country skiing on the golf courses.

Princess Point has some of the smoothest ice ever, presently at least 3 inches thick, which is safe for skating. If you do fall through, the greater worry is not drowning, but how to get all that mud out of your skates. Bring a shovel and the rink can be as big as your enthusiasm.

Bus #6 Aberdeen will get you there, and car trippers are reminded that parking is now $1 per hour. See you there!

Ted Mitchell is a Hamilton resident, emergency physician and sometimes agitator who recently completed a BEng at McMaster University. He is fascinated by aspects of our culture that are harmful, but avoid serious public discussion.

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By fanc3 (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2008 at 15:50:46

Is there a phone number or a website which has the daily ice conditions for Princess Point or any of the other outdoor rinks? I saw someone working on the baseball diamond at Victoria Park and it looks like it's ready to go, but I haven't seen any skaters yet...

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By hmag (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2008 at 16:10:12

H Mag's Hamilton Sketchbook illustrator David Collier is tending to a really nice patch of ice at the base of bayfront park. He spent 5 hours shovelling snow of what he describes as an Olympic sized rink. Join him and his family down there - the water below is shallow (only 18 inches) and he says the ICE is solid! It holds him and he's 200 lbs! he was in here raving about it yesterday...



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By jason (registered) | Posted January 24, 2008 at 16:44:32

anyone else's weight we can publish while we're at it?? Lol.

Yes, the Vic Park rink looks great. I plan on checking it out this weekend....I just might try those harbour rinks too. You can't beat skating on the harbour. If you've never done it, you must try it. It's a blast.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted January 24, 2008 at 16:59:38

Hmmm. Evening skate at Princess Point, or stargazing at the RBG. What to do, what to do...

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By hmag (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2008 at 17:03:49


"anyone else's weight we can publish while we're at it?? Lol."

He's a tall 200 lbs Jason! :-)

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By bastet328 (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2008 at 17:04:05

The Bayfront is a fabulous spot to get a bit of exercise and see some wildlife. Last time I have gone to the park, I have seen four adult swan pairs and last year's cygnets. This is the time you might see the swans flying across the icy water.

There are some humourous sites to see while you are there. Go by the beach and you will see so many signs warning you against swimming. Has there been a sale on signs? The other funny thing is the huge ball made of rock/cement attached to a huge chain. Is the city afraid that someone will steal the ball or the chain? I presume it is an artistic expression of some social angst, but which one?

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By hmag (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2008 at 21:06:24


Ahh Alan Fint's rock. Glad to see someone noticed it. Well it's hard not to notice it.

We should have more things like that around the city.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 24, 2008 at 22:29:41

I agree. I'd like to see more prominent public art and artsy sculptures on buildings/light poles etc.... along James St and downtown. Adds an element of fun and creativity to the city. I'd love to see some huge inukshuks built in the harbour as well.

I noticed people playing hockey at Vic Park tonight. The big lights are on too at the diamond/ice rink.

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By ventrems (registered) | Posted January 25, 2008 at 10:55:24

fanc3:

Websites are pretty limited. I came across a Spec article from way back in 2007 that lists a few:

http://www.thespec.com/News/Local/articl...

There is also this website here, but I do not know how accurate it is:

http://www.foundlocally.com/Hamilton/Spo...

The City should really do a better job promoting these rinks!

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By ventrems (registered) | Posted January 25, 2008 at 12:22:25

One more site. This one's from the City so it should be accurate.

http://www.myhamilton.ca/myhamilton/city...

I don't see Victoria or Princess Point on here though... Are these not City maintained?

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By fanc3 (anonymous) | Posted January 25, 2008 at 14:43:07

ventrems: thanks for the sites. According to the second link, the HAAA grounds might have some ice, which is right in my neighbourhood. Hopefully there are some other Ward 1 rinks around...

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 25, 2008 at 15:43:23

Victoria Park, Princess Point and Bayfront Park have all been flooded and maintained by local citizens.
I'm not aware of any outdoor rinks done by the city.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted January 25, 2008 at 16:34:05

Another ward 1 rink is the one in Churchill Park - also created and maintained by citizen volunteers.

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By Leisha/bastet328 (anonymous) | Posted January 25, 2008 at 18:59:43

Can you tell me briefly about the Alan Fint rock? What is the social angst he is trying to capture? Is it to make you laugh, ponder life...?

The other thing that I find puzzling and amusing is the position of some of the rocks at the Bayfront Park beach. The rocks are large, illogically placed and lack a purpose. I find it hard to believe that they are an artistic expression. I can't help but think of Easter Island when I walk by them.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 25, 2008 at 23:32:09

hey Leisha, I'm not positive, but I think Alan Flint was making some sort of statement about humans trying to control nature or something to that affect. Dave will probably know. As for the other rocks by the beach, you won't believe this, but they used to be covered in water up to around a foot or two below the top of the rocks. I recall some summers where the rocks where almost completely covered in water - just a few years ago. People were able to walk out on the rocks and sit over the water. Now you can walk right beside the rocks. I assume once spring comes we'll see the water levels rise again. Cootes Paradise had much of it's water gone this past summer...you could see the bottom of much of it. I'm guessing it's all tied into the falling water levels on the Great Lakes.

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By fanc3 (anonymous) | Posted January 28, 2008 at 18:06:10

Princess Point was looking great this weekend - saw a snowblower and lots of shovels out. It's too bad that the city doesn't maintain/promote it - the surroundings were great (if you ignored the 403) and it was easily accessible using the 6-Aberdeen.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 28, 2008 at 19:29:04

Victoria Park was hopping all weekend...still is today (Monday). Yea, I'm not sure why the city doesn't promote these places and even help develop a few other rinks in prominent places like Gore Park (I forgot, we need all that valuable parking on the south leg of King), Gage Park and Bayfront.

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