For better use and better management. The UNOFFICIAL Website of Toronto's Outdoor Skating Rinks


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A Manual for Running Compressor-Cooled Outdoor Rinks Really Well. Read more>>

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wood stove at Dufferin

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< Christie Pits Rink | Go to List of Rinks | Dieppe Rink >

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Welcome to The Unofficial Website of Toronto's Outdoor Skating Rinks

There's nothing like outdoor skating

A project of CELOS (*)

City Hall/Nathan Phillips Square Rink Profile

Opens: Nov.22, 2014
Closes: TBA, 2015

Rink change area: A new change area, with a snack bar too.

Staff: One to three rink guards at a time, plus a zamboni operator always on site.

Helmet use: only leisure skaters under six

Cityrinks.ca position paper: is the city's helmet in need of an update? Should little kids be forced to wear only CSA approved helmets?

Maintenance: The rink has its own Zamboni, and its own operator on two shifts. Very well maintained. However, during large events in the Square, the ice isn't cleaned because it's too hard to get the large crowd of skaters off the ice. 14 shifts a week.


Comments about this rink: e-mail us at rinkissues@cityrinks.ca.


a very popular spot for skaters -- how can they even move?

Rink Diary

2014 - 2015

Nov.21, 2014

The rink looks in good shape, ready to open tomorrow.


smooth surface, ready to open

washroom has mats right into the stalls
 

2013-2014

Dec.23 2013

The rink reopened in the morning.

Dec.22 2013

The ice storm coated the city with ice, and City Hall rink was closed down. The city's website doesn't give a reason, but in the long lineup across the street at the Sheraton (people looking for hotel rooms because their homes were cold and dark), somebody said that the strings of Christmas lights on the arches above the rink were so heavy with ice that the staff were worried they'd drop down on the skaters. So they got everybody out of there.

Read More >>

Views of the rink

From The City of Toronto Website 2013-14

For the skating schedule, go to City Hall, then click on Skating.

Notes

City Hall Rink

  • This rink is always opened first and closed last. Because it's in the shadow from a big hotel to the south, its ice is better than rinks that are in direct sunlight.
  • Parking underground in city hall lot (pricey but handy).
  • 5 minutes from two subway lines and 2 minutes from the Queen Streetcar.
  • Skate Rental: 416 304-1400. This is also the most reliable number to find out how the ice is.

Rink Diary 2013 - 2014

2013-2014

Dec.23 2013

The rink reopened in the morning.

Dec.22 2013

The ice storm coated the city with ice, and City Hall rink was closed down. The city's website doesn't give a reason, but in the long lineup across the street at the Sheraton (people looking for hotel rooms because their homes were cold and dark), somebody said that the strings of Christmas lights on the arches above the rink were so heavy with ice that the staff were worried they'd drop down on the skaters. So they got everybody out of there.

Read More >>

Rink Diary 2012 - 2013

Feb.1, 2013 from skater Linda Sims

I am going to be skating at Nathan Phillips Square, and wondered whether there are lockers we can rent to hold our purses/phones/other valuables?

Feb.2, from cityrinks to Linda

Hello - there are lockers, it seems. See here: http://www.cityrinks.ca/wiki/wiki.php?n=CityHallRink.FrontPage#Diaries If you get a chance to let us know if they are accessible and what your experience was like - please do.

Feb.2, from Linda to cityrinks

Thanks for this information. I went skating and it was terrific good skates, plenty of lockers, and lots of fun!

March 8, 2013, from skater Fiona McAlister:

Your website says that the nathan phillips square rink closes for the season on March 10 but according to the city of Toronto it closes on the 15th. Normally that difference of 5 days wouldn't matter but it happens to cover March break so visitors to the city might want to know that the rink is actually opened. Your site is the one that comes up first when I google Nathan Phillips Square skating so I imagine that is true for other tourists too.

Response from cityrinks:

Thanks for pointing that out. Cityrinks.ca actually has individual pages for 56 compressor-cooled rinks plus 18 natural ice rinks. On the home page we wrote March 15, but I'll change the sub-page too.

If you look at the home page you'll see that we're the unofficial website, i.e. we're not a municipal site, we're outdoor-rink enthusiasts who want the rinks to work well. Outdoor rinks don't work at all well in March, the sun is too high already and has too much power: http://cityrinks.ca/wiki/wiki.php?n=HowToFixIt.OutdoorRinksAndWeather. Compressors are strong but the March sun is stronger :-)

Note today's "latest news" on our home page -- if the sun keeps shining during most of the day, the rinks will start to be mush by 1 pm, and will be mostly unskateable by 3. Some ice surfaces may come back for an hour or two by this evening, if they're not too rutted from people trying to skate on them.

So out-of-town visitors might want to leave their skates behind, no matter what the city's rink schedule says...

Read More >>

 

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

Rink Capital Costs

Total cost of City Hall Rink reno was increased by $750,000.00 net of all applicable taxes ($763,200.00 net of HST recoveries), revising the current contract value from $1,935,019.00 to $2,685,019.00 net of all applicable taxes.

See here for Contract award details.

CELOS Estimate of Rink Operating Costs (2009)

posted January 07, 2009

We have gone to several disparate sources to arrive at an estimate of annual (seasonal) operating costs of Toronto's 49 outdoor rinks ("AIR's" - Artificial Ice Rinks).

Our best estimate of direct costs from these approaches is

  • maintenance staff $1.3M
  • rink guards $0.5M
  • energy $1.4M

Total direct cost estimate $3.2M (average about $65,000 per rink - 12 week season)

Read More >>

 

To see the (2007-2008) report card, click here

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Content last modified on November 22, 2014, at 11:09 PM EST