Cedarena is an old-fashioned outdoor ice rink nestled amongst cedar trees on the banks of the Rouge River in Markham, Ontario. It is operated by the Cedar Grove Community Club. Unfortunately, for various reasons, the rink has not been able to open the last couple of years.
Skating in Cedar Grove has embraced three centuries. Back in the 1890’s, it was the pond at Samuel Reesor’s flour mill that was the favourite spot. There were to be many others between then and “Cedarena”. About 1900, at the rink on David Reesor’s mill pond, a small building was erected and, with a stove added and the snow kept cleared, skating was enjoyed for over a decade. 1913 saw the formation of the Cedar Grove Athletic Club. It’s members moved the building and installed a pump to a dry land site on Colin Reesor’s flats. World War I and a severe spring flood in 1914 brought a recess to skating in Cedar Grove until 1920 when David Reesor’s property at Reesor Road and Steeles Avenue became the rink site for two good years. A pipeline from the mill to the barn supplied the water. Then came a new generation of skating enthusiasts, who, in 1926, formed a Minstrel Club whose objective was to raise money for a new, permanent rink. The first Minstrel Show was a great success and the site chosen for the new rink was on Arthur Lapp’s Rouge valley property, convenient to water and well shaded. The old building had to be cut in half to move it-but move it they did and on February 8th, 1927, with a five piece brass band, the first public skating began. Coleman and Chinese lanterns lighted the skating on this long awaited occasion. Next year the affluent Minstrels were able to add an engine driven dynamo for electric light and a battery operated amplifier supplied the music. By year three, hydro had come to Cedar Grove-the dynamo was obsolete and, with a new amplifier, the music was wafted to Box Grove. “Cedarena” was about to become a tradition. Eventually, under the auspices of Cedar Grove Community Club, the ice was expanded to Olympic size and continual improvements have made the old building convenient for hundreds who enjoy their winter pleasure at “Cedarena”.