Roads of northeastern Ontario

Randy Russon
November 27, 2018

There are a number of certainties pertaining to the winter months in northeastern Ontario. One is that towns such as Sault Ste. Marie, Blind River, Espanola, Sudbury, North Bay, Timmins, Iroquois Falls, Kirkland Lake, Cochrane and Hearst will get their share of snow.

Another is that on a given day or night, there is a hockey game being played, be it at the organized or shinny level and involving age groups from five (or younger) to 65 (or older.)

Not all the games are played on the ice of the indoor arenas of the northern towns.

To be sure, some of the games are still played outside — and not just on city or town operated rinks.

Yes, some of the kids of the north still organize and take to playing hockey in their driveways, on the streets and roads and in parking lots or school yards.

Which, just may be hockey in its purest and most innocent form.

Whichever northeastern Ontario town it may be, chances are there is a hockey game going on somewhere.

Which, during the cold, snowy winter months, can serve to warm the hearts of so many.

Is it any wonder that hockey is known as Canada’s great game?

See them at the indoor rinks.

See them playing on the driveways and streets in Canadiens and Maple Leafs toques, winter jackets and pants and good, old winter boots.

“He shoots … he scores! He shoots … oh, what a great save! She shoots … look at that girl go! Just five more minutes, mom. Can dad come out to play, too? … Hey dad, look at me, I got a hat trick!”

PHOTO: Youngsters playing road hockey in Sault Ste. Marie. (Photo by Allana Plaunt.)

What you think about “Roads of northeastern Ontario”

  1. Not restricted to the northern parts of the province, Randy. As youngsters growing up in East York (suburban Toronto, 1940s), we spent countless hours every winter in good old games of road hockey. We were sometimes able to scrounge a real puck somewhere, but if not, a tennis ball, coal briquet or plentiful ‘road apple’ was good enough for a game. And you seldom heard the old warning call “car!”, simply because very few were around in the ‘burbs back then. (I can recall only three families on our street having a car before the late ’40s.)
    However, we did enjoy one privilege – our dad and a neighbour flooded a flat vacant lot to provide our own ‘private’ skating rink. The problem was, the natural ice season was pretty darn short, hence a lengthy road hockey season.
    Those were grand old days, b’gosh. Cheers!

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