When it comes to winter recreation, skating makes it to the top of every Canadian's list. So what better way to assert your northern pride than by getting out into the open air and challenging ice to a duel in Toronto?
Harbourfront's DJ Skate Nights aren't a bad way to take in a spectacular city — Photo courtesy of Brian Medina / Harbourfront Centre
There is nary a cover charge in sight, and you don't have to worry about tipping a bouncer or showing too much skin. In fact, it's advised that you show as little skin as possible in order to have a good time, although you may find yourself shedding layers as you work up a good sweat.
Gliding to tunes under the open sky is a pretty romantic place to take a date and suitable for all sizes of wallets, as it's free (skates not included).
Hundreds of people come every week to skate — Photo courtesy of Brian Medina / Harbourfront Centre
These fun events usually run from mid-December through to late February on Saturday nights, 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. This year, DJ Skate Nights run through to Feb. 21.
There's a weekly theme at DJ Skate Nights. Classic hip-hop night is charmingly titled "You Gots to Chill," while lovers of the oldies can get retro with "Shake Rattle & Skate."
Glow sticks optional — Photo courtesy of Brian Medina / Harbourfront Centre
Skating has been around a long time. Estimations are that as early as 3000 BC, people were securing sharpened animal bones onto their feet to conquer the perils of winter. We're happy about that, because without ice, there would be no Wayne Gretzky. Or there would, but it's unlikely that there would be so many tourists at his restaurant.
If you're a skating neophyte, let us provide you with some tips. Wear moveable and comfortable clothing (And, no, jeans don't fit into that category.).
Keep your body relaxed. Start by walking before you start gliding on the ice.
Finally, don't take yourself too seriously. You will fall. It is a rite of passage.
There are a lot of great places around to take a hot chocolate break — Photo courtesy of Brian Medina / Harbourfront Centre
There will be people perfecting their break dancing moves on the ice and others getting really good at decorating their butts with ice crystals. Toronto's top DJs are primed and ready to keep you as warm and happy as possible.
With fresh air in your lungs and a good burn in your legs, it will make the winter seem like the most wonderful time of the year.
The final reward is to be crowned a winter warrior (or at the very least, a proud Torontonian).