Old Skating Photographs from Toronto

I visited the Toronto archives recently looking for old skating photographs from the 1900s-1970s. Ponds, rivers, lakes and man made rinks were all used for pleasure skating for over 100 years around our city.

Ice skating is a Canadian past time and it is hard to imagine it not being a part of our daily life during the colder winter months. It is also interesting how long many of the rinks that we still use today have been used for. Riverdale, Withrow, Christie pits and more have long been popular winter destinations for many Torontonians to go ice skating.

Badminton played on skates in Maple Leaf Gardens ice show
Badminton played on skates in Maple Leaf Gardens ice show – ca.195?

I love this collection of old skating photographs because it shows the ways skating was enjoyed in the past. There were lots of performance shows and there were a lot of large public skates. It is also cool to see the outfits, clothing and the ice skates themselves. All have come a long way in the past 100 years.

Enjoy the collection and feel free to share your favourite pics on social media with us.

View more photos on the Toronto Archives.

M. Flack, skater
M. Flack, skater – ca. 1915-1940

Iceboats and skaters on the bay. - [1908?]
Iceboats and skaters on the bay. – [1908?]
Group skating on vacant lot. - [1912?]
Group skating on vacant lot. – [1912?]
Group skating on a vacant lot. - [1912?]
Group skating on a vacant lot. – [1912?]
Four children skating. - [between 1910 and 1912]
Four children skating. – [between 1910 and 1912]

Boys in skates being pulled by car, High Park. - 1908
Boys in skates being pulled by car, High Park. – 1908
Women skating on Riverdale Rink. - ca. 1910
Women skating on Riverdale Rink. – ca. 1910

Women prepare to go skating on Grenadier Pond. - 1907 Withrow Park — skating Willowvale Park — skating rinks Stewart Reburn and Sonie Henie, skating team, skating on rink in Varsity Stadium Stewart Reburn and Sonie Henie, skating team Speed skaters of Old Orchard skating club. - [1925?] Sonia Henie and Co. ice show, with Toronto's Stewart Reburns, Maple Leaf Gardens Toronto Island - Cherry Beach & Island Airport.. - 1970-1970 Skating Club, Wilson, Maud & Cecile Smith, Jack Eastwood. - February 26, 1926

Creator: Unknown Date: February 10, 1931 Archival Citation: Fonds 1266, Item 23102 Credit: City of Toronto Archives www.toronto.ca/archives Copyright is in the public domain and permission for use is not required.
Skating Club, Montgomery Wilson, action February 10, 1931
Creator: Unknown Date: February 2, 1931 Archival Citation: Fonds 1266, Item 23026 Credit: City of Toronto Archives www.toronto.ca/archives Copyright is in the public domain and permission for use is not required.
Skating Club, Miss Eileen Noble, Calgary, pose February 2, 1931
Creator: Unknown Date: February 2, 1931 Archival Citation: Fonds 1266, Item 23016 Credit: City of Toronto Archives www.toronto.ca/archives Copyright is in the public domain and permission for use is not required.
Skating Club, Aidrie Main and Rupert Whitehead, Winnipeg, action February 2, 1931
Creator: Unknown Date: February 2, 1931 Archival Citation: Fonds 1266, Item 23022 Credit: City of Toronto Archives www.toronto.ca/archives Copyright is in the public domain and permission for use is not required.
Skating Club, Adolph Windsperger, pose February 2, 1931
Creator: Unknown Date: February 11, 1931 Archival Citation: Fonds 1266, Item 23110 Credit: City of Toronto Archives www.toronto.ca/archives Copyright is in the public domain and permission for use is not required.
Skating Carnival, Peter Hertzberg, piglet February 11, 1931

Skating carnival, George Machado & Miss Elizabeth Blair. - March 20, 1924 Skating Carnival, ballet, Cecil Smith in centre. - March 23, 1925 Skating Carnival, ballet group. - March 23, 1925 Skating at Varsity Rink. - [1912?] Skating - Grenadier Pond Skaters on Don River, looking south from Riverdale Park. - [between 1900 and 1930] Skaters in High Park. - [ca. 1910]

Item consists of one photograph taken at the park named either Ossington Avenue Park, Willowvale Park, or Christie Pits.
Item consists of one photograph taken at the park named either Ossington Avenue Park, Willowvale Park, or Christie Pits.
Item consists of one photograph taken at the park named either Ossington Avenue Park, Willowvale Park, or Christie Pits. Note says the workman may be filling in edge of the pit.
Item consists of one photograph taken at the park named either Ossington Avenue Park, Willowvale Park, or Christie Pits. Note says the workman may be filling in edge of the pit.

Skater Jim Good at old orchard Riverdale Park free skating rink. - [1912?] Rehearsals for Audrey Miller's Ice Skating Show, Varsity Arena copy 3 Rehearsals for Audrey Miller's Ice Skating Show, Varsity Arena copy 2 Rehearsals for Audrey Miller's Ice Skating Show, Varsity Arena copy Rehearsals for Audrey Miller's Ice Skating Show, Varsity Arena

Moss Park — Skating Championships February 27, 1915
Moss Park — Skating Championships February 27, 1915
Moss Park — Skating Championships February 27, 1915
Moss Park — Skating Championships February 27, 1915
Moss Park — Skating Championships
Moss Park — Skating Championships – February 27, 1915
Skating Club, Adolph Windsperger, pose. February 2, 1931
Skating Club, Adolph Windsperger, pose. February 2, 1931
Women prepare to go skating on Grenadier Pond. - 1907
Women prepare to go skating on Grenadier Pond. – 1907
Joel Levy
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Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography