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The local hills have been padded by city staff and scouted by local junior daredevils, and with snow arriving over the ‘holiday season,’ the sleds have hit the slopes. Sledding can be safe, active, outdoor winter fun, and as such is a valuable part of the parental arsenal. All you need is a sled and a slope, and both of those abound.
The snowfall this winter is not uncharacteristic of the past decade or more, but the five inches plus of snow which has fell in the GTA after Christmas was a much better start than last year, when we had a record low 16 inches of snow all winter. There are likely at least two full months of sledding ahead, and there are several lists of suggestions online for where to find good hills. The Little Paper one is, naturally, the best of the bunch. Any of the parks with several slopes or a double slope allow parents to choose a pre-school sized drop while sledding ‘with the big kids.’
Canadian Tire stocks a wide variety of hill riders, including some popular choices for the very young. The made in Canada JAB ‘baby sled’ may cause problems with a 4 year old in deep powder, but for most Toronto preschoolers is enough for an introduction to this great winter sport. Other popular places in Toronto to buy sleds and toboggans include Walmart and Home Hardware, as well as a few smaller retailers around the city selling sporting goods or outdoor toys for children. Second hand retailers are also worth checking, as sleds for the very young tend to only last each child a couple of seasons.
The proliferation of skating rinks which become available when winter sets in will get its own examination, but that and the number and variety of good hills to slide down make Toronto’s parks fun even in the thick of winter. Most parks have enough of a drop for very young riders, and full on busy sled hills can be found in every area of the city. Browse through a guide or two, grab a vehicle, and enjoy your neighborhood in a different way.