It’s almost winter, Toronto! If you’re out of the loop on one of the most popular winter sports in the country, shinny hockey or pick-up hocky are informal games of hockey played on ice, so wintertime is often the best time to get in in the action.
A controversial ban in 2020 on shinny in outdoor public rinks due to COVID caused quite a bit of backlash for the City of Toronto, but as of now, people are still continuing the tradition.
City of Toronto now supervises Drop-in shinny slots at rinks and while full equipment isn’t required, make sure to bring a helmet (and faceguard if you’re under 19), hockey gloves and a neckguard, and your own stick, puck, and skates. Pick up hockey, for adults over 19, is unsupervised but the right equipment is still recommended. If you don’t have skates, there’s a great mobile initiative that lets you rent skates for free.
With that out of the way, here are some of the best indoors and outdoor rinks to play shinny hockey in or near Toronto.
1. Trinity Bellwoods Park
This popular Toronto park has a space to skate for fans of shinny hockey. The City of Toronto has the full winter schedule online with morning, afternoon and evening slots for children, women-specific, and free slots for everyone else who wants to participate. Afterwards, if it’s not too cold out, take a nice stroll through this 38-acre park.
Where: 790 Queen St. W
2. Kew Gardens
Enjoy a game of shinny at these beautiful little park, Kew Gardens. An artifical skating rink is prime for shinny hockey during the winter months and after, check out one of the park’s firepits to warm up after a great game. The City of Toronto’s schedule is up from now until December 17th.
Where: 2075 Queen St.
3. Cedarvale Park
Located in the Cedarvale Area, this park has a huge schedule for anyone who wants to play shinny hocket in Toronto. There are different slots available for all age ranges, from youth to children (supervised by a guardian) to women only to free slots for whoever decides to show up. Time range from morning to evening, so check out the schedule here to find the perfectly suited time slot. Skating is available outdoors in the artificial ice rink, weather permitting, or indoors at the Phil White Arena.
Where: 443 Arlington Ave.
4. Greenwood Park
North of Dundas East St. in the Toronto and East York District is Greenwood Park, another community space perfect for playing a game of shinny hockey or pick-up hockey. Their schedule is here. Greenwood Park also has the city’s first covered outdoor ice skating rink, plus, it has a pleasure skating trail located beside the rink, one of a growing number of skating trails in the city.
Where: 150 Greenwood Ave.
5. High Park
One of the most popular parks in Toronto, High Park is an excellent place to head out to for a game of shinny hockey this winter in Toronto. The perfect season round destination with gorgeous leaf peeping in the fall, bloomg cherry blossoms, and views of the skyline, High Park also makes itself a great winter destination as it’s centrally located. Check out the schedule here.
Where: 1873 Bloor St. W