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City of Toronto Skate exchanges

2019/2020 season

Nov.29, 2019: times and locations now updated on the city website here:

Dec 14 – Don Montgomery Arena -- not a skate exchange but a collection and giveaway for newcomers
Jan 11 – Sir Adam Beck [changed to Colonel Sam Smith] POSTPONED to Jan26, see below
Jan 18 – Mel Lastman Square
Jan 25 – Sunnydale
Jan 26 - Colonel Sam Smith
Feb 1 – Harry Gairey
Feb 8 - Regent

At the Jan.18 skate give-away, staff required anyone who got skates to sign a liability release form. The text is here.

Nov.23, 2019:

The link for last year's skate exchange schedule on the city's website is still posted here.

Nov.13, 2019, Inquiry to citywide rinks program manager Kelvin Seow:

"Thank you for your enquiry about the Sate Exchange events. Staff have begun planning and are excited to build upon our results from the Skate Exchanges held last seas.

Each of the Exchange event is planned and operated separately by each district. Staff work with the local ward councillor, community groups and volunteers to support the Exchange.*

Staffing levels will be different based on the types of activities that are planned and the anticipated volume of skates being exchanged and claimed.

Scarborough for example last year brought in 1 PT staff to support the Exchange table. The event was also supported by the Youth Outreach Worker and 6 volunteers they had recruited. The full time CRP who oversees skating programs was also present.* At the event we served hot chocolate provided by one of our community partners. The Councillor's office also provided support to the event. And finally, Scarborough hockey was involved and donated most of the skates.

When skates are received they are inspected by the full time CRP to ensure they are usable. We do not ask that skates be sharpened before they are donated and we do not sharpen the skates. If skates are deemed in good shape by the staff they are inventoried and placed out for recipients to try on and claim.*

We will be providing the skate recipients with a tip sheet that provides information about how to maintain skates; where they can get them sharpened; and how to put them on and tie up for best skate performance."

*NOTE: red bolding to represent the costs involved.


2018/2019 season

Report from the PFR general manager:

Parks, Forestry and Recreation operated a total of six pilot skate exchange programs during the 2018/2019 winter skate season. Over 500 people participated in the skate exchange, with over 60 per cent of participants receiving a free pair of skates....
As directed by Council, PFR piloted a skate exchange event in each of the five districts between January and March 2019. An additional event was offered at Greenwood Rink, 150 Greenwood Ave, in the Toronto East York district (ward 14), one of the city’s best-known destination outdoor rinks....

Prior to the start of the 2018/2019 skate season, PFR received 90 pairs of skates from a private donation through the Hockey in the Neighbourhood initiative. Over the course of the six skate exchange pilot events, an additional 343 pairs were donated for a total of 433 pairs of donated skates. Of those, 332 pairs were distributed directly to participants at the events. The remaining skates will be used at next season's skate exchange events.

In preparation for future skate exchanges, donation locations will be identified and promoted to receive skates in advance of events.The pilot events leveraged local community partners to help promote the exchange and to assist with event activations including programming and food. Staff assisted with sizing, lacing and checking skates for their usability.

The pilot events were successful, with an average attendance of 90 participants at each skate exchange event. To gather timely feedback, participants were given a written survey to complete at the events. More than 275 participants returned surveys. From the completed surveys: 21 per cent had never skated before and 20 per cent intended to use the skates the day of the event. All skate recipients, through the exchange, inquired about either skate lessons and/or leisure skate times. Further, responses indicated that the majority of participants heard about the events through social media, local flyers, and through word of mouth.

Comments to staff at the exchanges revealed that many of the recipients were newcomers to Canada and were welcoming of the Skate Exchange and Skate Lending Pilots Page 4 of 4 opportunity to try skating, but didn't have skates. The opportunity to receive donated skates reduced the barrier for participation.

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Content last modified on February 08, 2020, at 09:19 AM EST