January 5, 1885
There has since the official opening of “The Loop” in Bannerman Park on December 24 , 2013 been much excitement about “open air skating” in the city. It is the talk of the town, there has in fact not been so much enthusiasm about ‘open air skating” since January 1885.
In January 1885 “three enterprising young men” recognized that “open air skating” might be an attractive proposition to offer to the citizens of St. John’s. They suggested that the good citizens of St. John’s would much prefer “open air skating to the tame monotonous round of Rink skating.”
The three men arranged to have “a wide avenue down and across Quidi Vidi Lake kept clear” that would be reserved for their skaters. They also proposed erecting “a shed containing a stove” near the skating surface “where warm tea and coffee will be served.”
On January 5, 1885 the St. John’s newspaper, The Evening Telegram reported:
“We note that three enterprising young men are making arrangements to enclose with boughs and to keep swept clean during the winter a suitably spacious area of Ice in Quidi Vidi Lake, for skating purposes. Undoubtedly, this idea fills a universally felt want. Those who prefer open air skating to the tame monotonous round of Rink skating are reckoned by the hundreds, and as a wide avenue down and across the lake will be kept clear, we fully believe that the enterprise will receive large public patronage. A shed containing a stove will be erected near where warm tea and coffee will be served.”
One hundred and thirty two years later (132) in St. John’s skaters have once again forsaken “the tame monotonous round of Rink skating” and are now heading to Bannerman Park.
The new ice trail, loops through the centre of Bannerman Park and offers a unique skating experience in the heart of the city. It is designed for leisurely skating and is family friendly. Lighting also allows it to be used in the evenings.
Recommended Archival Collection: https://www.therooms.ca/collections-research/our-collectionsin the search bar type Bannerman Park
Recommended Site: Loop Schedule:http://www.stjohns.ca/public-advisory/bannerman-park-loop-scheduled-maintenance