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Legendary skater given keys to the city in 1947

Figure skaters from across Canada and the US used to travel to the Mac every summer
Barbara Ann Scott and Mrs. Scott at a railway station in an undated photo.

When we think about summertime in the north, we may think beaches, bugs, fishing, the cottage and more. What we might not think of is figure skating. 

The McIntyre arena was and still is an icon in the community. Not only was it home to hockey or curling but it was also the home to North America’s only summer skating school outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. Many travelled to practice here including top skater Barbara Ann Scott, the North American Senior Ladies Champion, Canadian Ladies Senior Champion, Canadian Olympian, and a two-time world champion.

The McIntyre arena hosted this famous skating school each summer. Figure skaters gathered here from as far away as Boston, New York, Chicago, Cleveland, Western Canada, and Western United States. 

Every Thursday night they hosted exhibition skating featuring dancing and solos alongside the McIntyre Band. In August 1947, the city presented Ms. Scott with keys to the city. At the end of a day of parades and street dancing sponsored by the Associated Canadian Travellers, Mayor J. Emile Brunette, on behalf of the people of Timmins, presented a mahogany key of the town to the skating queen. 

Each week, the Timmins Museum: National Exhibition Centre provides TimminsToday readers with a glimpse of the city’s past.

Find out more of what the Timmins museum has to offer here and read more Remember This columns here.