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There's nothing like outdoor skating
A project of CELOS (*)
See also Editor's & Rink Users' Blogs
posted December 08, 2013
On Sunday Dec.8 the city's outdoor rinks web page says that all but four of the city's 53 outdoor rinks are open.
Harbourfront's Natrel Rink (not municipal) began making ice on Nov.10 and it opened on Nov.16. Check their webcam for lively skaters, Lake Ontario sunsets, planes landing at the island airport, and excellent ice making.
Find your outdoor rink
click for a map
What makes rinks run well? See our animation.
City Skating programs
For drop-in hockey and shinny times, see this schedule on toronto.ca (shows arenas as well as outdoor rinks): drop in hockey and shinny.
For pleasure skating, see this schedule on toronto.ca (shows arenas as well as outdoor rinks): leisure skating.
For women's shinny see this schedule on toronto.ca Women's Shinny.
Cityrinks Lists of Interest
Yesterday, Dec.5, was a nice warm day -- temperatures went up to 12 in the mid-day, with periods of weak December sunshine. By 6 pm, all but one of the North Toronto outdoor rinks were listed as closed. Four Etobicoke rinks were shut down too, plus one closer to downtown (Cedarvale). Closing rinks when there is even a thin layer of water on top of the ice is a common practice in North Toronto. Beyond that, rinks with thinner ice are more unstable and vulnerable to warm temperatures early in the season. Since the ice-making at most of Toronto's municipal outdoor was so short before opening day (at many rinks, flooding began two and a half days before opening), there wasn't much in reserve. During the same time as all these rinks were closed, Harbourfront's Natrel Rink (not municipal), which had careful ice-making from the beginning, was filled with skaters. Dufferin Rink -- one of the few rinks that had a good standard of ice making at the outset -- was busy too, with excellent ice.
How long will this low standard carry on?
1st Wednesday night women's shinny at Greenwood this week. The time slot has moved forward an hour this year. Historically, it's been 8-10pm; now it's 7-9pm. I asked the BA at the opening on Saturday if there is a permit afterwards, but he said he didn't know. There is nothing on the schedule from 9-10pm. Not thrilled about the time change. Enjoyed the later time to play after the kids were in bed. Oh well. Played from 8-9 with a great group of about 16 skaters. The ice hadn't been cleaned, but wasn't bad. The rink guard gave us a "5 minute" warning a little earlier than he should have while a large group of male players were impatiently waiting to get on the ice. He didn't stop a few who stepped on to shoot pucks around. They weren't a permit but expected that we should leave the ice after the women's shinny time slot, since they aren't allowed to play with us. A little education is needed here. Read More >>
The City also runs three tuck shops for Shinny hockey gear at Dufferin Rink, Wallace Rink, and Campbell Rink includes sticks, pucks, tape, wax, skate tightener, skate file, and helmets for loan or to keep
The City of Toronto operates three snack bars at Dufferin Rink, Wallace Rink, and Campbell Rink. The fare is reasonably priced and includes hot chocolate, vegan soup and chilli, chocolate chip cookies and mini pizzas.
Do you have Rink Diary material to share?
If you have stories, pictures, rink condition updates, a family or community event, etc. to share about your local outdoor rink, send us the material at email@example.com, and we'll post it in the rink diaries (subject to editing of course).
an info bulletin about
Rink Shoveling for
Central Toronto outdoor rinks
What is shinny hockey? A little film clip from Campbell Rink.
Our rinks are community rinks. All members of the community are welcome to skate, play hockey, or meet their friends here. Rink staff would be pleased to answer any questions you may have about the programs and policies.
Please observe the following rules so that everyone can enjoy the rink:
In case of a serious disagreement between rink staff and a rink user about any of these rules, the staff may ask the rink user to leave the rink until the matter is discussed with the Recreation Supervisor. If the rink user refuses the staff’s request to leave the rink, a letter of trespass may result.
posted November 12, 2013
City of Toronto website links
For tournmanents, special events, and other one-time bookings, complete a One-Time Use Application, and submit your package to the permit office.
About Rink Costs
Rinks By The Numbers is a Cityrinks Library section which is a start at extending our investigation of city rinks budgets (a bit over $3M per year). Much of this is a "public filing cabinet" with links to lots of material, including staff allocations, while we sort it out.
Here's an article from our 2007-2008 news: $250,000 more to zamboni the ice: why? See Outdoor ice maintenance costs.
Freedom of Information
Here's an idea of the type of work often involved in getting information from the city.
Women of Winter 2007-2008
About Running the Rinks
The City of Toronto is always behind Harbourfront in getting their rinks open. Here's why: Toronto Ice Rink Story The science is there, the history is there (pre-amalgamation), professionals say it can be done, Harbourfront is doing it, even volunteers have done it. Yet Toronto can't seem to manage the fundamentals of ice making.
See Correspondence 2011-2012 for insight into how ongoing issues are handled.
Here's a basic orientation: Basic "rink literacy".
Read up on the fundamentals of ice making.
The CELOS Outdoor Rink Report:
Prepared in 2007 by CELOS, funded by the Metcalf Foundation, this report provides outlines of city rink operational issues and their possible solutions. The report is still relevant today (2010-2011).
Monday Rink Reports:
Climate and Outdoor Rinks:
To determine the rink season (by ice condition), changes in temperature matter much less than the angle of the sun. Our weather researcher shows why: get the facts.
311 Rink Information Monitor:
Read about the City's rink hotline monitor and 311 rink information monitor.
Here's some material from the City's Archives.
We've kept journals from time to time, such as News 2008-2009 - Extending Artificial Ice Skating Season 2008-2009; Injury Risk at Ice Rinks investigated.
We have our rink news journals going back to 2005.
Remember the Save our rinks campaign from 2007?
There was a Rink Management Board proposal in 2006.
Report cards were created by this website for the 2007-2008 season.
Most Rink detail web pages have diaries to peruse. Some go back several years.
Christie Pits 1923
Contact the City of Toronto
The science is there, the history is there (pre-amalgamation), professionals say it can be done, Harbourfront is doing it, even volunteers have done it. Yet Toronto can't seem to manage the fundamentals of ice making.