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wood stove at Dufferin


2022 - 2023

Jan.25, 2023

danger/liability sign

too much snow coming down for skating

most prominent park sign is about rules

From Livia Ambros: There was lots of places to put on skates both inside and outside.

No sign about skate rentals and the one staff member told me that there will be no skate rentals at all here and only city hall has them

There were three or four people there but no one skating when I was there because there was too much snow on the ice

Dec.19, 2022

The rink is open now. A different zamboni driver said there was a leak in an unspecified pipe,and that the whole system had to be drained and then they had to start all over. They began with hose floods on Saturday and intended to use the zamboni today. There were lots of skate marks on the thin ice already. Lots of danger tape up too, with gaps in between. The change room was unattended but nice and warm. There was a bunch of sanitizer and an open first aid kit on one of the benches, plus a big covid sign.

the rink has started up again (Dec.17, 2022)

the change room was unattended but with covid material on a bench
Dec.14, 2022

A city zamboni driver said he heard that there's a problem with the new compressors at College Park. The cooling is done by CO2 instead of brine. He said they are waiting for new parts, hopefully to arrive any day.

Dec.9, 2022

Listed as closed because of "mechanical issues."


Rink diaries for earlier years

2021 - 2022

Nov.27, 2021

Opened for the season

2020 - 2021

COVID-RELATED RESTRICTIONS: To find out how to book a skating time, go to the city's outdoor rinks web page.
All shinny hockey has been removed except for Greenwood (and only children and youth are allowed there). The city's opening rules are described here and our rinks blog is here.

Nov.29, 2020

At 3.15 p.m. College Park was well-used. The two staff said that although the trail is long, they were told to treat it as a single pad. They clear the rink every 45 minutes, and also take names and phone numbers of all participants, including drop-ins. They said it was not easy since skaters can get on anywhere and not all the parts of the skating trail can be seen from the rink house.

Many of the skaters were not masked and many looked pretty pleased to be skating.

College Park: some people masked, many not

College Park: washrooms are available

2019 - 2020

Dec.8, 2019

Quite a few people were skating on the ample new trail. Inside, a pleasant young woman was sitting at a long table with a census sheet. Behind her, off to the side, a silver automated door to a single washroom, impressively large. During the 10 minutes we were there, three different couples came in asking to rent skates. The building attendant had to tell each of them that there are no skates to rent. That can't be fun -- watching the disappointment over and over. The Delta Hotel is across Gerrard Street, and there must be many people there who would be happy to get a little fresh air and a glide.

skating trail, looking north

rink house with tall grasses

rink house bench

only one washroom, but very large
A little history:

College Park with skate lending

On April 13, 2016 CityRinks' editor Jutta Mason made a deputation to the City of Toronto Community Development and Recreation Committee. It included some photoshop examples of including skate lending in the College Park renovation.

Sequel: Regarding the CELOS proposal for incorporating skate lending into the new version of this rink, city management was not interested.

December 7,2019, from the BIA:

We invite everyone to join us for the Barbara Ann Scott Ice Trail opening at College Park. There will be activities for the whole family.

Fire Pits will be lit and Interactive Ice Sculptures will be available starting at 1PM

Performances from Brant Matthews aka the Fire Guy start at 2 PM and 4PM

Official opening at 3PM followed by an ice performance by Glisse on Ice

You donít have skates, donít worry, the Toronto Public Library will be on site with their Skate Lending program.*

Bring your sweet tooth, weíll have some maple taffy too!

*Editor's note: the library doesn't lend out skates. The skates came from the skate lending collection that CELOS donated to Parks and Rec last year.

Dec.7, 2019 City Of Toronto news release

TORONTO, Dec. 7, 2019 /CNW/ - Councillor Mike Layton (Ward 11 University-Rosedale) and Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam (Ward 13 Toronto Centre) were joined by Mark Garner, Executive Director of the Downtown Yonge BIA, this afternoon to officially open the Barbara Ann Scott Ice Trail at College Park in downtown Toronto.

The trail is named after figure skater Barbara Ann Scott, an Olympic gold medalist who received the Lou Marsh Trophy three times as Canadian athlete of the year.

The five-metre-wide trail, designed to be a walking loop in summer, is the first exterior skating path in North America to incorporate state-of-the-art carbon dioxide technology in its refrigeration system. This environmentally friendly technology is natural, non-toxic and non-flammable, with no net greenhouse gas effect.

Adjacent to the trail, an architectural construction of wood, glass and stainless steel has been designed as the new rink house/warming station/Zamboni station. Additional park features include a water fountain and large frog sculptures.

Funding for the College Park redevelopment was secured through Canderel Stoneridge, with additional funding provided by the City of Toronto. The College Park redevelopment project is the result of the City collaborating with partners including the Downtown Yonge BIA, MBTW Group/Watchorn Architect and Project for Public Spaces.

On the Urban Toronto website, April 2019: finishing touches

Rink Diary

2019 - 2020


2918 - 2019

The original rink and rink house have been demolished and have been replaced by a skating trail and a new changeroom. The city's webstie has some older project information here

Opening date unknown: the city's construction web page said "park completion 2018" but the rink never opened that season, reasons not stated
Feb.4, 2019

It's clear now that this rink will not open this season. The tarps and heating hoses are still covering the skating trail and the designer change room is obviously not done.

designer change room -- back of a napkin?

tarps and heating hoses still covering trail
January 13, 2019

The heater hoses are still going (over a month now, something must be really wrong) and the rink house is not done.

Dec.19, 2018

looking northeast, heaters still going

CRCE Construction sign "think safety"

The construction company's website emphasizes safety and the company's honorable behavior. From a City of Toronto engineer: "I have worked with Roman and Rob Jankowski on a number of projects over the last 10 years and they have always stuck by their word. Any verbal agreement has always been followed through on." The writer implies that this is unusual.

The rink heaters are still going, with tarps laid on top. The rink change house is half uncovered, but also with heaters still going. There are workers working on a high light standard, using scaffolding rather than a cherry picker.


looking south, with pigeons

starchitecture change room building?

The rink change building is very curvy, but it has no place for skate lending. Astonishing.

Dec.13, 2018

There are hoses running along the skating trail surface. They have hot brine in them to thaw out the water that turned to ice in the pipes when the system was being tested. Workers say the rink was going to open on Dec.21, but nobody knows, really. The change house is completely covered with tarps, to keep in the heat from the propane heaters that are being used to speed the concrete drying inside.

view from the west side, through the fence

changehouse covered with tarps to speed drying

looking south, with heater hoses on trail surface

heater truck for the cables
Nov.23, 2018

This morning this rink has reappeared as "College Park" on the city's website, listed for "delayed opening."

Nov.5, 2018

grass is still green

change room: needs glass, plywood forms removed and roof finished

This rink has been closed for five years. It looks like the redesigned park is about ready to open, with grass still green and flowers still blooming despite the lateness of the season. A big tent is up: to hold the reopening celebration? But there's no listing on the city's website, nor on Councillor Wong-Tam's website. And the rink changeroom has no windows yet, and an unfinished roof.

giant tent ready for opening celebration?

benches still shrouded in secrecy

earlier rink diaries

2017 - 2018

Nov.13, 2017

Nov.13, 2017 rink change room going up on left
Oct.15, 2017

Oct.15: view through the fence

On the city's College Park website, an announcement says that construction will finish in 2018.

"PFR's Landscape Architecture Unit in Planning, Design and Development Section of PFR is supervising the revitalization, which includes planning and design work from the MBTW Group/Watchorn Architect and Project for Public Spaces."

looking southwest

2016 - 2017

There seem to be lots of problems with Aura, with a largely empty mall underneath, water leakage in the 70-story condo, and frequent elevator malfunction. Will this perhaps mean the developer won't be able to fulfil his commitments to building the new park? We asked Eric Stadnyk, the city's project coordinator. His answer: "College Park construction, including the skating trail, is planned to proceed in 2017. We expect it to be open for the '17/'18 skating season."

However, in December 2016 the project coordinator sent an update: "The park will begin construction as planned this spring; however, it will not be complete until spring/summer 2018. We expect it to be open for the '18/'19 skating season....Canderel is the developer who have hired landscape architect consultants (MBTW) to design and oversee the construction of the park, of which the rink and building are a part."

Meantime Canderel is being sued by the Aura condo corporation for $31 million for "negligent misrepresentation, breach of contract and construction deficiencies."

Excerpts from the April 6, 2016 budget committee minutes: The committee recommended that

City Council authorize deferral of cash flow from 2016 to 2017 within Parks, Forestry and Recreationís approved 2016 Capital Budget in the amount of $2.000 million for the College Park Artificial Ice Rink (AIR) sub-project in the Arena project, funded by $1.000 million in donations and $1.000 million from the Section 42 Alternate Rate (AR) Cash-in-lieu (CIL) for 460 Yonge Street (XR2213-4200658).


At its meeting on February 17, 2016, City Council approved the 2016 Capital Budget for Parks, Forestry and Recreation through item EX12.2 (28b and 29). The College Park Artificial Ice Rink (AIR) sub-project was approved with a total project cost of $2.5 million, funded from $1.000 million from the Section 42 Alternate Rate Cash-in-lieu for 460 Yonge Street (XR2213- 4200658), $1.000 million in donations, and $0.500 million from South District Local Parkland Development Cash-in-lieu reserve fund (XR2209).

A major revitalization of College Park and its entire open space is being undertaken by a Developer responsible for the Aura development at Gerrard and Yonge Streets. The Developer has entered into Section 37 and 45(9) agreements with the City of Toronto and has agreed to provide $3.0 million in improvements to College Park, including public consultation, design services and construction. The project will be implemented by the Developer on behalf of, and under the supervision of Parks, Forestry and Recreation (PFR) Division.

The $3.0 million budget for improvements to College Park, to be delivered by the Developer, does not include a new artificial ice rink/skating trail and rink house components. Through the 2016 PF&R Capital Budget, Council approved $2.5 million Staff report for action on Adjustments to PF&Rís 2016 Capital Budget 4 sub-project of the Arena project for the artificial ice rink/skating trail and rink house components. Of the $2.5 million, $1.0 million is to be funded from the Section 42 Alternate Rate (AR) Cash-in-lieu (CIL) for 460 Yonge Street (XR2213-4200658), $0.500 million is coming from PF&R reserve funds, and $1.0 million from donations. To date, only $0.250 million of the $1.0 million donation has been identified from the Downtown Yonge BIA.

Due to related agreements needed for: 1) the leasing of adjacent lands to be added to College Park and 2) the re-waterproofing of the garage roof membrane underlying the entire park by the tenant of the garage, the project has been delayed from initial timelines. Although the existing park will be demolished in early 2016, the rest of 2016 will be dedicated to allowing the tenant of the underground garage to do their waterproofing. The park will then be re-built in 2017.

This report seeks authority from Council to defer $2.0 million in cash flow from 2016 to 2017, including $1.0 million in donations and $1.0 million from Section 42 AR CIL.

April 13, 2016

College Park with skate lending

CityRinks' editor Jutta Mason made a deputation to the City of Toronto Community Development and Recreation Committee. It included some photos of possible inexpensive improvements to existing rink buildings, and also a suggested way of including skate lending in the College Park renovation.

Sequel: Regarding the CELOS proposal for incorporating skate lending into the new version of this rink, city management was not interested.

2015 - 2016

After various local consultations and external design consultants, it has been announced that the current pond-shaped rink and rink house change room/warming room will be replaced with a skating trail and a "service building." From the city's information web page:

Canderel Stoneridge, the company responsible for the Aura development at Gerrard and Yonge Sts., has entered into Section 37 and 45(9) agreements with the City of Toronto. They have agreed to provide approximately $3M of major improvements to College Park, including public consultation, design services and construction. The project will be implemented by Canderel Stoneridge on behalf of, and under the supervision of Parks, Forestry & Recreation (PFR) Division.


E-mail from cityrinks, March 13, 2016, to Eric Hess, Parks, Forestry & Recreation, City of Toronto, Etobicoke Civic Centre

I just got Councillor Wong Tam's newsletter, announcing the new skating trail etc. at College Park. You are listed as a contact.

I'm part of a group of outdoor-rinks enthusiasts who run a non-municipal website about Toronto's compressor-cooled outdoor rinks (the site is now in its 12th year). I'd like to update our page for the Barbara Ann Scott rink at College Park.

I would appreciate it if you could answer the questions below:

  • Is the "service building" on the final drawing primarily a washroom/storage area for the Parks staff?
  • Is there any provision for skate lending or snacks?
  • The current change house is filled with light. The building in the new drawing appears to have very small windows. Is it still meant to provide a warming and observation area?

I appreciate any clarifications you can give me.

Response from Mr.Hess, March 14, 2016

The building will be a warm-up area with a family type of wash room facility to be used by the public.

There will be an area for park staff with a small office space and a Zamboni garage. The building will have a green roof as well. The entire front of the building where the public can gather will be entirely glass for visibility. Please see attached plans for more details.

The building size is appropriate to the available space and limitations within the park therefore space will not allow for a snack bar or a skate rental area.

Response from cityrinks, March 14, 2016

Thanks for your quick answer. I see that the building will have less public space than the current one, and only one washroom, guaranteeing lineups. The current building, with which I am familiar, would have had space for skate lending, but I agree, from your drawing, that the new one would not have such space.

I'm not sure why the current building needs to be replaced, but one way of expanding the public area in the new one is to remove the office. There is no need for the rink staff to be separated from the public -- a small desk in the corner would serve just as well (better).

The only reason to preserve a separate, lockable space would be to have a skate loan collection. Skate lending changes the constituency that can use the rink. The rink then becomes available to people who don't have skates e.g. newcomers, occasional skaters, people with kids who can't afford to replace their skates every year (but then kids' skates must be cheap to rent), and in the case of College Park, hotel guests from Gerrard Street. Adding skate rentals rounds out the staff's job and reduces their boredom, plus raising money to offset the operating costs. Harbourfront's Natrel Rink pays a large chunk of their operating costs that way. Even a poorly-run but much more affordable skate loan program like the one at Dufferin Rink raises over $5000 a month -- for $2 skate loans.

One possible skate-lending-shelf location, allowing room for another w/c to replace the current office space, would be the shared wall with the zamboni garage. Similarly to rink staff, zambonis don't need to be hidden behind an opaque wall. If the shared wall was glass, with a generous wicket window, there would be lots of room for the narrow skate-lending shelves along the garage side of the wall, and the many kids who admire the zamboni would not be disappointed if they missed the twice-a-shift ice cleaning -- they could still see their hero through the glass. :-)

Just for the record. I'll post our correspondence and the pdf you sent, thanks for helping me update.


2014 - 2015

November 11, 2014

The rink is still not demolished, nor is the prize-winning-design rink house gone. Only abandoned, with cracked concrete and weeds growing on the roof. What a waste.

Aura building seen from northwest rink entry

rubble in front of abandoned rink change house

weeds growing in eavestroughs


Tuesday November 12, 2013

The Aura condo tower is enormous, still with a crane on top. It dwarfs the rink, but the rink has not yet been torn out. However the City website marks it as closed.

This rink was a little jewel with lots of potential for a social space (e.g. if there had been skate lending and coffee/hot chocolate). A partnership with the Delta Chelsea Hotel across the street would have brought more skaters. But this rink was treated as an orphan from the time of amalgamation onward. Too bad.

Somebody must have complained about the look of the equipment-and-materials storage area that the rink became last year. This year there's a very nicely planted fall garden, and no more rickety chain link and piles of construction rubble. Who planted that garden? Surely not the Parks staff, who seem to have been told to neglect this site for years

the Aura condo towers over the rink

rink is still there

skating schedule still up

2012: equipment and supply storage for the condo company?

2013: storage yard replaced by attractive garden beds


January 30, 2013

This rink is closed because there's a giant condo being built to the south. The building is under construction but the bottom two floors are already running as a bed&bath store. There is no construction near enough to the rink to hurt anyone, but there's a small supply depot on the north side of the rink house -- rented by the condo company for convenient storage spot?

no ice, just garbage

the Aura condo rising up behind

equipment and supply storage for the condo company?


Diary 2011 - 2012 Diary 2010 - 2011, Diary 2009 - 2010, Diary 2008-2009, Diary 2007-2008, Diary 2006-2007, Diary 2005-2006, Diary 2004-2005, Diary 2003 - 2004

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Content last modified on February 09, 2023, at 07:20 PM EST