Outdoor Ice Skating in Vancouver 100 Years Ago (PHOTOS)

Comments 3 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Temperatures have been below zero for a little while now so outdoor ice skating in Vancouver is taking centre stage. Let’s take a look back at the City of Vancouver Archives at this winter activity over the years:

Outdoor Ice Skating in Vancouver

Lost Lagoon Outdoor Ice Skating 1929
1929: Skating on Lost Lagoon. Archives item#: CVA 99-1975. Photographer: Stuart Thomson.

1929: Archives# CVA 99-1976 & CVA 99-1977. Photographer: Stuart Thomson.

Outdoor Ice Skating in Vancouver
1929: Skaters at Trout Lake. Archives# CVA 99-1902. Photographer: Stuart Thomson.


People have been enjoying outdoor skating for the last century at least, when the conditions have been right. The Sunday Sun had a letter to the editor in 1936 urging the city and park board to create safe skating surfaces outdoors (see clipping to the right).

Back in 1962 an article in The Sunday Sun announced that Coal Harbour froze over as did Beaver Lake and Lost Lagoon.

“By mid-morning about a quarter of an inch of ice covered the harbor in the area between the Burrard and the Royal Vancouver yacht clubs… …A thin coating of ice also formed on parts of False Creek and in Fisherman’s Cove in West Vancouver.”

On November 15, 1955 The Vancouver Sun published a public notice that it was unsafe to skate on Trout Lake however, Beaver Lake remained the only safe outdoor skating area in the city. In 1969 a post in The Sunday Sun warned residents that it was unsafe to skate at Lost Lagoon, Beaver Lake, and Trout Lake — a notice with which we are familiar in recent winters.

1930s: Skating on Lost Lagoon. Archives# CVA 1376-669.

1890s & 1900: Skating at Trout Lake/Cedar Cottage. Archives# M-3-11.3& SGN 870.

1924 or 1925: Lost Lagoon. Archives# St Pk N6.

Safe and guaranteed outdoor skating options around town include Grouse Mountain, the Shipyards, and Robson Square, complimenting our range of indoor rinks.

Related: Vancouver’s Snow Lifeguards

3 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. Steve v.Thursday, November 21st, 2013 — 2:35pm PST

    I remember coming over from the North Shore to skate on Lost Lagoon and it seemed like the whole city was there. It was when my parents lived in a different house than the last one they owned, but recently enough that I can remember it and be able to skate, so had to be between 1976 and 1979

  2. LauraThursday, November 21st, 2013 — 2:42pm PST

    I want to take my fiance somewhere special (he deserves it!). Was looking at this place and would LOVE to go there!

  3. karen rockwellSunday, December 8th, 2013 — 7:28pm PST

    my Mom might have been in the Lost Lagoon shot of the 1930’s. she grew up on Turner Street and talked about skating on Lost Lagoon in most winters growing up. she also skied up on ‘Hollyburn’ as she called it, or on Grouse. they would hike up in the summer, chop wood for the cabins and bring canned goods for the winter. lots of great photos in the family archives of her and her high school friends having fun in and around Vancouver.

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