This post was made in proud partnership with Ontario Tire Stewardship. We earned compensation and/or product in exchange for our review. As always, opinions expressed herein are entirely our own. View our Disclosure for more information.
We’ve just come off a rare weekend of little hockey booked in the schedule for our big guys. It’s the calm before playdowns, so we seized the free time and treated our older sons to a day in the city – their choice of fun. And what do two hockey-crazed kids want to do with some downtime from hockey? Go skating of course!
There’s been a bit of a January thaw and break from the cold snaps of late, so an outdoor skate was their pick. We’ve been wanting to check out Toronto’s newest skate trail, The Bentway, located under the Gardiner Expressway right by Fort York Visitor Centre (250 York Blvd). Unused urban space totalling 1.75 km was transformed into this innovative public area, making an incredible place for Torontonians and tourists to gather and get active outdoors.
With skate rentals, lockers, food, drinks, music and events scheduled for the rest of the season, The Bentway got two thumbs up all around from us for a perfect family outing this Winter.
As parents, it wasn’t only great to see the boys have a blast on the trail (with a side of skating shenanigans) and get some good outdoor physical activity, it was a fantastic educational experience as well.
We learned that the entire Bentway Skate Trail is surrounded by rubber matting made from recycled Ontario tires, courtesy of Ontario Tire Stewardship (OTS) – an organization championing waste division in collaboration with a network of industry partners to collect and recycle used tires into new products.
The Bentway is also outfitted with convenient rubber cube seats scattered around the ice trail and other amenities on location. Our observant boys pointed out to us a pretty neat fact: the rubber surface and seating are made from the estimated equivalent of 1017 recycled Ontario tires! That’s some amazing waste reduction.
As a large family, we appreciate eco-friendly products and sustainable living initiatives to reduce our environmental impact. We also have two other kids who are beginning their skating journey and were pleased to learn the recycled rubber matting helps protect skate blades to ensure skates last as long as possible. Since it’s looking like hockey will be a part of our life for many years going forward, knowing we can extend the life of the older kids’ skates to hand down to the little ones thrills us (and our bank account!).
And the Rethink Tires initiatives don’t stop at The Bentway. There are more than 70 other community projects throughout Ontario the organization has supported, including the skate-safe surfaces of many arenas and community centres the boys play at during the youth hockey season.
So, how can Ontario hockey families and those who love to skate do their part to keep the Rethink Tires momentum going?
1) Help give old tires a new life by dropping them off at a registered collector. Visit RethinkTires.ca to find a registered collector near you;
2) If you love building an outdoor rink in your backyard like we have in previous years, check out RethinkTires.ca for DIY tips and info on sustainable recycled tire products (like rubber matting around the ice surface) to improve your outdoor rink project and save your skates.
Other recycled tire products and why you should choose them
Recycled scrap tires can also be used to make an endless array of products for use around the home, garden and driveway. Besides the benefits of being eco-friendly, choosing products made from recycled tires have other fascinating benefits, like being:
- Fire resistant
- Noise reducing
- Durable and low maintenance
There’s no denying that the Rethink Tires initiatives are making a tremendous impact on our province – job creation for hundreds of Ontarians, eco-friendly, sustainable products for many family lifestyle needs, all while diverting more than 100 million tires from landfills since the organization was established.
For more information on OTS, visit: