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Rink season footnotes for 2016 outdoor rinks report

In 2003, Parks management proposed shrinking the rink season to only 8 weeks, but that caused an uproar – so the season went back to 12 weeks for all rinks. The same year, Parks signed a $10 million contract to do energy retrofits to many city facilities including the rinks (but in 2012, the city auditor criticized the project as a waste of money).

In 2004 three rinks opened on Nov.27, 13 weeks. The rest opened Dec.4, 12 weeks.

In 2005: City Hall opened on Nov.26, three neighborhood rinks Dec.3, the rest December 10. For comparison: Harbourfront Rink opened Nov.19. Five rinks were scheduled to stay open to the end of March break.

2006: A proposal was submitted to city council to close all city rinks permanently (except Nathan Philips and Mel Lastman Square). This was not accepted. That year four rinks were scheduled to stay open to March 18.

2007: A proposal, supported by Mayor David Miller, was presented to city council, to not open any rinks until Jan.1, 2008. Mastercard donated $160,000 to open rinks. Some rinks opened Dec.1, others on Dec.8.

At the end of February 2008 there were some cold days. All except 7 rinks were scheduled to close on March 1. The deputy mayor wanted all the rinks to keep on running, and when his motion was defeated, the Toronto Sun ran the front page headline “Pink finks sink rinks”, referring to the city councillors who were in the majority.

From the Dufferin Rink Diary: Meantime the Toronto Sun is polling its readers to see if they're for or against reopening the outdoor rinks. I sent them this offer to pass on to their readers: an hour's free skate rental plus a free mug of hot chocolate and a park cookie, for anyone bringing the Sun rinks clipping to Dufferin Rink. That would be a chance to see for themselves what happens with outdoor rinks in March. But nobody came. The weather got so sunny and warm that the 7 rinks had to close too.

2008: Three rinks opened Nov.29, scheduled to March 16, but had to stop for bad ice by March 5

2009: Dufferin Rink friends kept asking for a return to the mid-November opening. Dufferin Rink was scheduled to open on Nov.21, perhaps to show that it couldn’t be done. City staff were unsuccessful making ice when flooding the rink in the daytime, so volunteers added two nights of overnight floods – the traditional way of starting up the rinks. Despite warm temperatures, the rink was able to open on Nov.22. But the Star did a story and the union filed a grievance about volunteers having access to the hoses for flooding.

2010: There was a late night vote at Council to open 14 rinks two weeks earlier than the rest next season, i.e. Nov.20 instead of Dec.4. So the opening of the 14 rinks was scheduled, but the general manager simply said they couldn’t make ice. Harbourfront opened without a problem on Nov.20. The city's designated 14 rinks opened Nov.27, closed March 5

2011 Dufferin Rink opened Nov.19, (despite only two nights of floods by city staff) closed March 9. Harbourfront: Nov.19

2012: Opened Nov. 24, after three days of floods, strike threatened by end of February, but settlement was reached. Harbourfront opened Nov.17

2013: Opened on Nov.23 after three days of floods, closed March 15. Harbourfront: Nov.16

2014: opened Nov.22, closed March 22. Harbourfront: opened Nov.15

2015: opened Nov.28. Harbourfront: opened Nov.27 (weather or unfinished renovations?)


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Content last modified on March 14, 2016, at 10:28 AM EST