Named after England’s Queen Victoria, Kitchener Ontario Canada’s namesake park sprawls over some 59 acres in the downtown core. Victoria Park has seen many changes over its more than a century history.
A man-made lake on the edge of the Park has a much different purpose today than in the past. In the summers of the 1950s and ’60s, one could pay a nominal fee to rent a canoe and paddle around the small lake. A rental of more than 1/2 hour would be wasteful because there are not many places to paddle on a little bitty lake. Canoes were stored in an old frame building after hours and off season.
In the winter the lake became a wonderful outdoor skating rink. Children of all ages would skate and twirl on the ice, music blaring from outdoor speakers. People could go into the old boat storage building to warm fingers and toes, and re-lace loosened skates.
The nostalgic days of skating and canoeing on Victoria Park Lake are long past. The canoes are gone and there is no ice rink anymore. But … one piece of history remains … the old boat house.
Today The Boathouse, with its same creaky old floorboards is a live music venue for blues bands. The former canoe platform now serves diners lakeside.
Victoria Park Lake