Note: for information on outdoor rinks see this earlier post: http://kitchissippikids.blogspot.com/2010/11/winter-hockey-skating-outdoors.html
When I go to J.A. Dulude Arena, just on the other side of Carling, I go back in time to what seems to have been pretty much the same arena experience when I was 10 or so. The same look, the same feel, the same smell! I remember running around the bleachers, chanting cheers at the players, skating to '70's music and the smell of french fries drowned in vinegar. I grew up in a really small town and frankly there wasn't that much to do so we made the most of what we had....often....and it was good.
So take your kids out for a skate, lace up your own , circle around the oval and see what you and the ice still have in common. I'm still working on my stops...
The neighbourhood's two main ice rinks are J.A. Dulude Arena and Tom Brown Arena. Take advantage of the public skates, sign your kids up for skating lessons (through the City) or the West End Hockey League (WEHL) or rent the ice to host a birthday party or just to become the neighbourhoods favorite parent! Registration for next year's hockey season starts in the spring.
The City does have 1, 3, 6 month and 1 year skating passes (child, adult or family) available at reduced rates for those who are frequent skaters.
JA Dulude Arena
J.A. Dulude, technically outside Kitchissippi, is located at 941 Clyde Avenue. Basically just turn south off Carling right beside the big Canadian Tire Store (Cole Avenue), continue for a couple of minutes and you'll see Dulude on the left. It's open year round and does have a canteen and skate sharpening.
There is also a big sledding hill - Carlington Hill - which is officially sanctioned by the City and which (if you want some trivia) was a downhill ski operation with tow lift for many years. It's also a great hill if you want a climb (any season!).
Tom Brown Arena
My experience with Tom Brown is limited to the line-ups of the H1N1 clinics so I won't comment much, though like Dulude it had that same old-style arena feel...a good thing. It's located at 141 Bayview Road, just off Scott Street and is open year round. It offers skating lessons, public skates and hockey, hockey clinics and pick-up hockey.