We’ve just experienced a serious cold snap here in Southwestern Ontario, with temperatures dipping below -16°C with a wind chill factor of -30°C – yet even these cold temperatures could not keep hockey enthusiasts off the ice. We Canadians are a hockey crazed bunch – just find any patch of ice, anywhere and at any time – and there will be someone with skates, a stick and a puck.

Canadians are obsessed with hockey!

We live right next door to a park with a baseball diamond and this year someone made it into an ice rink.  Basically, there are wooden planks surrounding the edges of the ball diamond and the area in between has been flooded with water. It’s a tiny little rink and mostly likely very uneven ice – yet there is someone playing hockey on it almost every moment of the day. Even during the work and school day there were guys out playing on the ice – perhaps playing hooky from work to play hockey? On the weekend you can here them playing late into the night – there are no lights at the park so they are playing in the dark, and having a great time.

During the cold snap, I drove by the pond created by the highway runoff near our place. There was a line up of cars all along the shoulder (illegally parked of course) and on this small stretch of frozen water, there were at least 5 small rinks that had been cleared! That means that not only did people come out with their skates and sticks, but someone also had to bring a shovel to clear off the ice and make a smoother surface. And there had to be at least 50 people on the ice and more walking over to join the fun.

What are your Canadian Winter rituals?

Do you and your family participate in this Canadian winter ritual? I have enjoyed skating since I was a small child, although I’ve never really played hockey. When I was growing up, there weren’t really opportunities for girls to play hockey.  The first time I had even heard of girls hockey was in university when my roommate played.

Now, it’s a different story. There are many more opportunities for girls to play, still on the boys teams at a younger age, but at least they have the chance to learn. And for adult women – there are leagues all around! I believe I have more female friends playing hockey this season than male friends!! I wonder if women in their 30s, 40s and 50s feel liked they missed out one something truly patriotic by not having the opportunity to play hockey as a child?

Hockey is truly a national obsession as some of you might remember from the Olympics almost one year ago. The final game between Canada and the USA – it was a real source of national pride for our men (and our women) to bring home the GOLD. I wonder what is it that makes the game such a part of our national culture, and makes it so deeply worn into the thread of our country?

Tell us about some of your hockey memories.  Are you one of the ones who is outside every weekend, playing a game of pick-up? Or perhaps you’re one of the women who has picked up hockey at a later age and developed a passion for it? Check in on the comments below. Have a super day everyone and enjoy the Canadian winter day!

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