Nathan Phillips square, right in front of Toronto city hall, is beautifully used for practically everyone nowadays – we can hear top quality international jazz acts for free during Jazz-fest (or pay to be inside the tent, on much nicer non-concrete seats), we get many free annual art exhibits and festivals, several times during the year, performances and parties of all sorts (we just won the Grey cup – the big prize in Canadian football – so our mayor and the team were out there enthusing, just this very afternoon).
But if you ask most Toronto people, the very sweetest thing about this square goes right back to it’s inception – and the public rink here is one of the nicest and best-attended in the city. There’s a skate rental, a hot chocolate concession, with a much nicer cafe upstairs (tons of great restaurants a block away in literally any direction you choose), and there are always some great food trucks and stands in that prime location – they even present varied cuisine on the day and night shift!
Tonight was especially cool – because it was so warm (around 58º F or 14º C) – so no one even had to wear their scarf, gloves or trendy hat – let alone snow-pants, toque, neck AND face-scarf, and of course mittens with a string-through one sleeve to the other (so you couldn’t ever lose them). ;o)
I really love people who work late shift – having done it myself in a few capacities. Caught a few snaps of these lovely little food-stands, but the one where the gent is ordering works best, naturally. I even like the way the action is minimal – sort of thing Hopper might do, to impart a lonely feel, despite the depiction of interaction.
I’m sure there are a number of rink-rules (no hockey or figure-skating, are pretty standard prohibitions, since they both have a tendency to knock other people over!), but the only ‘thou shalt not’ style signs that I actually came across tonight said, “Do not climb on arches” which seems a very sensible rule, all things considered – particularly when it gets icy. Must say, I really do still love that space-pod council-chamber, even if the emanations therefrom have been decidedly mixed!