I don’t remember a lot about the outdoor rink in Midland. I do recall going there often to skate, and I recall also watching some hockey games there. However, I think the rink served a good purpose in helping the health of the people of Pasadena. Many people frequented the rink and enjoyed meeting their friends there to skate. I recently discovered that it has been in existence for over fifty years. That’s got to be a record for Newfoundland!
Back in our teenage years I don’t think anyone really thought about being in shape. Exercise was not really a big topic back then. We were slim and trim and didn’t think we were doing anything to help ourselves be healthy. We wanted to go out and move, and having a pair of skates that fitted well and were sharp enough was the most important thing. We didn’t need the Rideau Canal to make us happy.
The outdoor rink was a big improvement over the icy road that we often used earlier in our lives. We used the two bladed skates which were strapped over our boots. We had to watch out for traffic, but Midland Row was not very busy back then.
One memorable thing about the outdoor rink was the sitting to put on our skates, pulling on the laces and then tying it around the top securely. It was also pleasant to remember finally jumping up and skating, doing figure eights and skating backwards. Finally, the rushing back home for hot cocoa and toast, after hours of getting chilled in the Winter air, was a time never to be forgotten.
If I’m remembering correctly there was no charge for skating on the outdoor rink. It was free to any person who wanted to skate there. I thought there was a rink in South Brook at one time and we liked to go down there from time to time. There was no money needed to skate and fun with friends from anywhere in our surrounding area.
There are now plans for a modern sports center in Pasadena, which is a great plus for the whole community. (Anyone with specific public knowledge, please send in a comment!)
As I’ve said many times in the past, Pasadena had many interests for growing children, teens and families. We had Mitchells’ Theatre for movies; Pasadena Beach, Rocky and Concrete Bottoms (and the trussle in South Brook) for swimming; Harry Antle’s Pool Hall for pool, games and hanging out; South Brook Park for swimming, picnics, dancing to the juke box and meeting friends and the outdoor rink for nice crisp Winter days of skating and comaraderie.
- Britain’s best outdoor ice rinks for 2011 (telegraph.co.uk)
- The Ten Best: Outdoor ice rinks (independent.co.uk)
- Cold war: who has world’s biggest rink? (cbc.ca)
Author’s Note: Anyone have a recent photo of the outdoor rink in Midland? Please let me know.