Every year, police ask the public not to hang out on Toronto’s frozen ponds and open waters, and every year, people do it anyway. This past weekend proved to be no different as people ventured onto the lake to skate, play hockey, and get a good view of the city’s skyline.
Photos shared on Reddit show people (and their dogs) taking advantage of the frozen surface at High Park’s Grenadier Pond. The photographer clarified in the comments that the photos were taken last week before Toronto’s mega-storm.
Others couldn’t resist the opportunity to step out onto Lake Ontario for sunset views of the city.
According to police, the risk just isn’t worth it. In an advisory issued earlier this month, the Toronto Police Marine Unit wrote that open water and pond ice “is never truly safe.”
“This ice is very unstable, posing significant safety concerns for members of the public and their pets. For safety’s sake please avoid walking, skating and sledding on the ice,” the warning says.
Skating on Grenadier Pond has been a Toronto winter pastime for well over 100 years according to this photograph in the Toronto Public Library archives from 1908.
Many photos posted recently on Instagram show that the tradition is still going strong, despite the fact that the Marine Unit has had to rescue people from this very pond as recently as last winter.
If you have the Canadian urge to turn any frozen body of water into a giant hockey rink, do yourself a favour and hit your local rink instead.