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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

Latest News

posted March 19, 2018

Recent rink reports:

On the last day of the extended season, only two outdoor rinks were even slightly skateable by the afternoon. But all the other extended-season rinks still had their compressors running all day, under a high March sun of +8. The city is throwing money out the window every March.

- The outdoor rinks are now closed for the season. Rink open/closed information was available on the city's outdoor rinks website. To find out how accurate it was, the record of postings is here.

- Blog: This winter, people still couldn't telephone their neighbourhood rink to check if it was slushy from late-winter sun or if it had been cleared after a snowfall -- or if the ice was covered with water. Find out why

Find your outdoor rink


click for a map


List of Rinks and addresses.


Google Map of rinks and satellite map


Get Connected

What makes rinks run well? See our animation


 

Attendance was very sparse in March, as usual

Good news: city says it was NOT illegal for Humber students to bring loaner skates and coffee to Col.Sam Smith skating trail

Regent Rink Family Day skate-lending leads city to offer pop-up skate-lending next winter

prev next

City Skating programs

Information gathered from Toronto.ca

For drop-in hockey and shinny times, see this schedule (shows arenas as well as outdoor rinks) drop-in shinny hockey

For pleasure skating, see this schedule (shows arenas as well as outdoor rinks): leisure skating.

Special Programs

For women's shinny see this scheduleWomen's Shinny

Lessons

Skating Lessons


Rink links of interest

The CELOS skate lending story so far
Skate Rental.
Natural Ice Rinks.
Covered Outdoor Ice Rinks.
List of Unfenced Ice Rinks.
Permits

Editor's Blog by Jutta Mason

2018

City outdoor rinks: community gathering places or tourist destinations?

Parks, Forestry and Recreation (PFR) was completely restructured in 2004. It takes time to turn a city department around, and this revolution took more than 10 years, getting everybody lined up going in the same direction. But now most of the job is done.

Here's how this affected the city's 50 neighbourhood outdoor rinks. Recreationists, who in wintertime used to run skating classes and little hockey leagues and flip burgers at neighbourhood skating events, were renamed "community recreation programmers" and were set in front of computers to do data entry. Becoming virtual data entry clerks made many of them unhappy. But their wages were increased enough that pushing against this transformation -- with the risk of being fired -- raised the stakes. Most went along, the rest left.

The staff re-structuring went with a re-definition of the "core values" -- now usually referred to as the "council-approved core business" -- of Parks and Rec. Consultants that were hired by the city recommended that most staff resources should go to registered fee-based programs rather than to drop-in places like outdoor rinks. Drop-in places were to be allocated only "minimal staff supervision."

The recommendations seem to have been approved by city council as part of a bigger package. The "core business" approach translated into turning most front-line rink staff into -- essentially -- security guards. Their job is not to set up fun things at the rinks but to sit at a rink office desk or to patrol the rinks. They do a bit of cleaning and otherwise monitor the behavior of the rink users, recast as "customers."

Since most rink users don't come to make trouble, new rules came out to keep the staff busy. Staff have to keep a close lookout for shinny hockey players and kids under 6 who are not wearing special CSA-approved hockey helmets, or who are taking photographs at the rink (not allowed). If skaters don't want to use a city-sanctioned helmet, or still try to take a photo, staff will eject them from the rink, and feel proud to have done their job exactly as outlined during their training.


Attendance is often sparse

Having the outdoor rinks run by security guards has taken away a lot of the fun. Attendance is often sparse. This fact appears to be only slowly dawning on city management. It comes up at meetings, but so far, there's not much action. There's no signage at rinks for opening dates. The city's outdoor rinks website is often unreliable during unstable weather, but the city won't publish rink phone numbers so that people can check if the rink they want to go to is really open. At some rinks, change rooms and washrooms may be locked on holidays. Some are not open on weekdays before 3, meaning school classes won't come. Change rooms are made only for skate/footwear changing, not for sitting and chatting with neighbours, or having a hot chocolate as part of the outing. With the exception of three rinks in Ward 18, no neighbourhood rinks have skate lending, because that's not part of the city's "core business."

So a new kind of rink has started up as an alternative: the tourist attraction. The Bentway skating trail is an example. There's plenty of seating, skate lending, hot drinks and alcohol in a cafe/bar setting, warming tables with cozy gas fires, food trucks on weekends, DJ nights, performances, art shows. Tourists, from both outside and inside Toronto, are expected to come in large numbers.

But it costs over a million dollars a year to run such a rink. Therefore, skate lending and drinks, priced to help cover that cost, add up to more than many ordinary families can afford. Plus: there's no shinny hockey! And the emphasis is on spectacle, not on making a community gathering place where near neighbors can meet in winter, as the outdoor rinks were meant to be.

There are simple, cheap ways to make the neighbourhood rinks work as gathering places and make them more fun again. Those ways don't need more money, in fact the rinks will be cheaper to run than now. But the remedy does require Parks and Rec management to admit that their 2004 restructuring didn't work. Learning from mistakes is an honorable way to get good at things! (Jane Jacobs: "if people could just look at their mistakes, and be honest about them, and learn from them, what a lot we could get done.")


Dufferin Rink, a chess-and-cookie break from skating

Dufferin Rink clubhouse: skating makes you hungry

There's no sign that this reckoning has begun. Too many city staff are invested in the power that they have under the current system, top-heavy in management and meetings. So the waste of our rinks, and the more-than-$6-million-a-year in taxes to pay for them each year, will continue for now. City councillors will continue to be distracted by the glitter of mega-projects, instead of checking the pantry for useful resources we already have.

Too bad.


 

Amplified music and ads from the Nathan Phillips skating rink, booming all over our civic square?

Family Day


2017

Climate change and mechanically-cooled outdoor rinks

A letter from Lauren Archer:

"I am a cultural heritage specialist and conservationist who works in and around the GTA. I am preparing a paper to present at a heritage conference in Ottawa later this year on the impact that climate change is having on the Hockey Cultural Heritage Landscape.... Do you feel the weather has affected the viability of outdoor rinks or other hockey landscape features?"

Our answer:

Attendance for drop-in shinny hockey at the city's mechanically-cooled outdoor ice rinks has been going down despite good ice. Fewer skaters are coming. The reason I mentioned declining attendance is actually not unrelated to climate change. It's kind of fascinating how much people rely on their news feeds (as well as the weather forecast apps) to make their plans. It's not unusual for people to say that they're sure the artificial ice rinks must be on the decline because it's too warm, and so they are switching, already now, to some other kind of physical activity, usually inside a gym. But the compressor-cooled outdoor rinks are not declining at all -- their ice is good most of the time.

Climate change is a handy explanation for a host of unrelated problems:

1. When the cities amalgamated in 1997, rink staff had their season-start-up night-time ice-making shifts changed to daytime, i.e. they were sometimes trying to make ice in sunshine. Also, the ice-making days were shortened from 6 days to 3 days prior to opening date. Neither of those practices are considered acceptable in the ice-making industry, but they fit in better with staff holidays and trying to finish fall chores.

So the rinks are often not open on time. The reason given is once again, "climate change." CC makes such a good excuse for every kind of poor workmanship.

2. Until the cities amalgamated in 1998, the rink season in central Toronto was from mid-November until the end of February (from the time of the first A.I.R.'s in the 1970's). That's when (observation showed) the sun is weak and the rinks are best. Then in the past 5 or so years, for political reasons, the city councillors extended the rink season into mid-to-late-March. A staff report that showed low usage and bad ice in March seems to have been ignored. People see the mush and talk about how "climate change" is hurting the rinks.

The irony is that running the rink machinery under the March sun is so energy-intensive. As our website says, using all that power in the higher-sun time is both financially and environmentally indefensible. But so far, the widespread use of "climate change" to explain every kind of bad ice-making practice seems to have paralyzed both thrift and good sense in some places. In heritage terms, those are traditional virtues :-)



2016

Here are some "lighter, quicker, cheaper" (LQC-type) fixes we proposed in our 2016 Outdoor Rink Report for some Toronto outdoor rinks.

Scarborough Civic Rink in 2015

Scarborough Civic Rink in 2018?


Giovanni Caboto Rink now

Giovanni Caboto Rink in 2017?

Knock out a wall, add some windows, snacks, and loaner skates.


Mel Lastman Rink now

Mel Lastman Rink next year?

The empty market building could be used for skate lending.

Each could be done for between $5000 and $30,000. But sadly, city hall wouldn't consider our report. The councillors message was effectively "go away." So for now we'll have to stop trying to help make rinks better. But we'll still document what rink users say, and what we see on rink visits.


2015-2016 Editor's blog


2014-2015 Editor's blog


2013-2014 Rinks users' blog


2012-2013 Editor's blog


Media about outdoor rinks (a very partial record)

Stories we're following, longer term:

MLSE

2018

March 1, 2018: CBC radio Ieva Lucs

"120 pairs of donated skates inspiring Regent Park residents to hit the ice." Sub-headline: "Free skate-lending program only offered at 2 events in Regent Park this winter"

Jan.17. 2018. The Star, Jennifer Paggliano

....with a partial story about skate lending,saying Councillor Layton "first proposed" the idea last week. Actually we sent him and 14 other councillors our skate lending offer on Sept.11 2017. But, who's counting?

Jan.13, 2018, Tory on twitter

Jan.12, 2018: May Warren in the Star -- another follow-up to skate lending, with a headline turning Councillor Layton into the champion -- a shift from his previous stance.

Jan.11, 2018 May Warren, in Metro News, a follow up about skate lending.

2017

Dec.29, 2017: CityTV "City website causing confusion over outdoor skating rinks closures."

Dec.17, 2017, Globe, Andrew Savory, "Toronto gets three new skating venues"

Dec.14, 2017: Maytree Foundation Newsletter: Story of Change

Dec.7, 2017: Press Reader here.

Dec.6, 2017: Metro News here.

Nov.28, 2017: Edward Keenan from the Star give the outdoor rinks a plug. They included a reader questionnaire asking who's looking forward to using the rinks -- only 267 say they are. And in fact many of the outdoor rinks don't get much use. But there's a nice photo showing three guys (illegally) playing pond hockey on Ryerson Rink.

Nov.25, 2017, CBC radio "Toronto's outdoor rinks opening despite warm, cloudy day." [8 celsius]

Nov.20, 2017: CBC radio morning news here

Nov.20, 2017: CBC radio Here and Now afternoon show piece here.

Nov.18, 2017, Metro News here

March 26, 2017 (Updated from June 26. 2012), Globe. Kelly Grant, "Auditor slams Toronto energy retrofit program"

Jan.23, 2017, CBC Radio, Metro Morning "How Toronto's skating rinks stay frozen even when temperatures rise" Quotes cityrinks.ca/CELOS information about the mechanics, and the parks director's description of a rink as a "giant refrigerator."

 

2016

Feb.10, 2016

From: CUPE Local 79 <[email protected]>

Date: February 10, 2016 at 6:46:21 PM EST

To: Local 79 members

Subject: Bargaining update: Raise the stakes - Take your breaks!

Reply-To: CUPE Local 79 <[email protected]>

Join us for a great skate on Family Day!

On February 15, Locals 79, 416 and 4948 are hosting skating parties at rinks across Toronto. It’s a great opportunity for you and your family to get a little ice time while showing the public our dedication and commitment to the quality public services that make Toronto a great place to live.

The skating events will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.on Monday, February 15, at the following rinks:

Nathan Phillips Square, Mel Lastman Square, Scarborough Civic Centre and High Park.

There will be free hot chocolate, visits for the kids from some Minions and maybe even a Storm Trooper or two, and lots of fun.

 

2014-2015

Dec.11, 2015

CTV News: "Skating Ban to be lifted at High Park's Grenadier Pond"

Toronto City Council voted 28-9 on Thursday in favour of a program that will allow skating on a designated area of Grenadier Pond next year... Doucette proposed that the city allocate $50,000 to hire an "ice engineer" who would test the thickness and quality of the ice on a daily basis, for a period of eight weeks.

He or she would then post signs or flags to let skaters know when the ice is safe to use, and which parts of the pond are available for skating....Council voted in favour of the motion only after [Councillor] Doucette agreed to drop the funding request from $50,000 to $25,000.

Instead of hiring an engineer, city staffers will be trained to do the tests.

Weather permitting, legal skating will begin in the winter of 2016-17.

September 19, 2015, "Keep the Bureaucrats off the Pond" Chris Selley, National Post

Excerpt:

"a one-time capital outlay of $192,000 and annual operating costs of $123,000, to cover “the services of an ice engineer and ice surveyor,” “de-naturalization of a portion of the eastern shoreline to ensure safe access,” “maintenance staff … maintain the ice surface,” yet more staff to provide first aid and keep skaters in their officially approved area, “purchase of required maintenance equipment such as a Zamboni,” “construction of a seasonal storage building,” a “safety perimeter boundary, a flag system, minor safety lighting and signage,” “seasonal washroom facilities and office space for staff.” So that people can skate on frozen water. Which they do anyway, every year it’s safe, without incident. It is beyond parody."

Chris Selley "Keep the Bureaucrats off the Ice"

Keeping rinks open longer

Feb.28, 2015

"For city hall, $200,000 for rinks is a stretch." Globe column by Marcus Gee. Some excerpts:

The city’s 2015 budget is close to $10-billion. Spending by the parks, forestry and recreation department alone stands at $437-million...

The city government has a staggering list of responsibilities. It issues 45,000 building permits a year and conducts 165,000 building inspections. Its paramedics answered 274,220 medical calls last year, while the year before its cops made 41,255 arrests. It maintains more than 4,000 emergency-shelter beds in 58 locations.

City hall is spending $162-million for new subway cars and $600-million for new buses, not to mention $1.6-billion to upgrade the Ashbridges Bay sewage plant and $88-million to build new bike paths. Its state-of-good-repair backlog – what it needs to keep everything from falling apart – stood at $3.7-billion for 2014....Within a few years, city hall forecasts it will bump up against its debt ceiling, which keeps debt-servicing costs to under 15 per cent of its tax levy....

The plain fact is that the city must either a) do fewer things for its residents, or b) ask them to pay more for what they get. On past evidence, it will opt to do c) neither, and get Tim Hortons to pay for ice rinks instead.

Comment from CityRinks: There is a fourth option: do some better housekeeping of the outdoor rinks program.

(1) Open the rinks as soon as the sun is low and people are excited about winter (mid-November).

(2) Turn the rinks into more hospitable places, so that they’ll get maximum use during the skating season. That includes keeping the change rooms and washrooms open on all the stat holidays, and having more skate rentals. Staff can move the focus from rule-enforcement to fostering people’s enjoyment of skating, of the outdoors, and of wintertime neighbourhood sociability.

(2) Then close the rinks when the sun gets too high for good ice, fuel costs go through the roof, and attendance drops off anyway (early March).

Feb.26 2015

Globe editorial "Skating rinks are an essential service."

Feb.25 2015

Globe: "Toronto moves toward making more outdoor rinks available." Excerpts:

Toronto’s parks committee has moved to address recent criticism over the city’s ice skating policies, approving two motions that aim to make more outdoor rinks available, and for longer.

On Wednesday, the committee approved a motion to create a contingency fund that would allow the city to extend its outdoor rink season in years when the weather is cold enough to do so. The committee also approved a motion that asks city staff to report back on the viability of allowing skating on Grenadier Pond in High Park.

Feb.24, 2015

Globe: "Last-minute donation needed to extend Toronto's skating season." Excerpts:

Waste management company Green For Life, which last Friday pledged $100,000 to keep additional rinks open through the March break, withdrew the offer after city staff flagged problems over the weekend. Tim Hortons stepped in Tuesday with a replacement donation, matching a $100,000 gift from Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. The corporate funds will allow an additional 12 rinks to stay open for an extended season, taking the total in the city to 29. All others are now closed....

...Councillor Gord Perks said the rules on donations and sponsorship are clear and the switch could have been avoided if the sponsorship deal had been vetted by city staff before they were announced.

“In between the announcement and today, someone in the public service checked the rules and found that there was a problem with GFL,” he said. “I think it’s a great thing that members for the community want to step up and help out, but we have to make sure that we are absolutely spotless when we take that money.”

MLSE also has extensive dealings with the city, including a $10-million loan it received from the city last year for the expansion of BMO field.

Asked whether city policies were followed in securing the donations, Mr. Tory said the corporate donors approached the city and details were worked out by city staff. He agreed measures need to be taken to avoid such last-minute fixes in the future.

“I think we have to take a serious look at how many rinks we can keep open with city funds – knowing that they are not unlimited – through the school-break week,“ he said.

Feb.22, 2015:

The Star: editorial "Toronto should find money to keep its outdoor ice rinks open."

Feb.20, 2015

The Star: "Corporate donors keeping 12 rinks open"

Feb.27, 2015

The Star: "Eleven Outdoor rinks will remain open until March 16"


Grenadier Pond

February 18, 2015

The Star -- Councillor Sarah Doucette will ask staff for a report

January 25, 2015

The Star - a story about writer Richard Sanger's yearly adventures on Grenadier Pond

January 26, 2015

CBC story and poll about skating on the pond.

January 27, 2015

680 news story

Torontoist story

January 29, 2015

National Post editorial about skating on Grenadier Pond

"Get out there and skate" by Peter Kuitenbrouwer.

Star editorial about skating and tobogganing

Rules for a community rink

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:

  • Respect programs and permit times in designated areas.
  • Do not use hockey sticks or pucks on the pleasure skating side.
  • Leave the ice surface or any other rink area when asked to do so by staff.
  • Put garbage in cans, not on the floor.
  • Do not smoke in the rink house or on the ice.
  • Be considerate of noise levels.
  • Do not use foul, offensive or racist language.
  • Do not fight or play roughly inside the building or on the rink surface.
  • Do not damage anything.

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.

Ice Allocation Policy and Permits

posted November 12, 2013

City of Toronto website links

 

Helmets

Helmets have lost some of their luster in both the medical and the sports media. It turns out that they have some important limitations in preventing concussions -- which is really their main purpose, as far as many skaters are concerned. The City of Toronto has hung on to its mandatory helmet policy, requiring all shinny hockey player to put on head armour. Little kids under 6 are also required to wear ONLY CSA-certified hockey helmets -- for pleasure-skating. Hockey helmets are designed to absorb impacts from pucks, sticks, and body-checking.

CELOS, the Centre for Local Research into Public Space (the sponsor of this website) has collected quite a bit of material on all sides of the helmet question.

Cityrinks.ca Opinion

A Rink Safety Story

The approach of mandating hockey helmets for little kids effectively blocks families from using the rinks if they don't want to buy another set of helmets in addition to the bike (or trike!) helmets most kids already have.

Read this rink user's story

The Data

Noncompliance by shinny hockey players continues to rise citywide. The city's inability to enforce its own policy should be a flag to rinks management.

Data collected by Rule-Makers

Data collected by CELOS

Helmet Rules Across Canada

PFR Management

It's time to revisit the helmet rules, but with a different procedure than the last time. Instead of a staff decision made at a closed meeting at City Hall, the city should welcome wide-ranging rink-user input. Read our latest letter from Kelvin Seow, City Manager for PFR, and the latest letters to and from Jim Hart, General Manager for the PFR, City of Toronto.

Click on correspondence for everything we've received from city management through the years.

Problems with the City's Helmet Policy

...continued

City Rinks Special Edition on Helmets

Read the Special Helmets Issue and its References as published January 9th, 2014

Links

"Restore CSA"

A Calgary group called RestoreCSA: they say that the CSA's monopoly on hockey helmet certification in Canada "appears to be in violation of multiple sections of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)"

On November 28th, 2013, the Federal Industry Minister, James Moore, made a declaration to Parliament that materials developed by the CSA and incorporated into provincial laws are merely "voluntary standards" whose character as independent of the law is unchanged by inclusion within the law. As noted previously, this action invalidates as a legal requirement all inclusions within law as furnished by CSA or other commercial entities." 178 specific CSA standards included within a wide variety of Federal laws.

Z262.1 is the identifier for the CSA standard for Ice Hockey Helmets.

Additional Web links

From Ken Dryden's book Game Change:

"Some helmet skeptics had argued for decades that head protection made a player more, not less, vulnerable. Without a helmet, a player can sense danger even from behind; with a helmet, it's as if his radar is jammed...Helmets lessen the risk of a fractured skull, but do almost nothing to prevent concussions."

 
BASIC RINK LITERACY

Toronto has more outdoor compressor-cooled rinks than any city in the world - 53. But our civic knowledge of the physics of ice maintenance hasn't kept pace with our collective rink wealth. Many people seem to find it amazing, even shocking, that outdoor rinks can be skateable when the air temperature is above freezing, as high as 11 or even 15 - during the low-sun months.

What's the surprise? Collectively, as taxpayers, we spend about $500 a day at each rink to fuel the compressors that cool the rink pad. The rink compressors vary between 100 and 200 horsepower each. You can hear their noise through the compressor-room doors at the sides of the buildings. These compressors push a brine (salt water) or glycol solution through a big tank of cooling ammonia, and then out into the extensive grid of PVC pipes underneath the concrete floor of the rink. The cold liquid brings the entire big concrete slab to well below freezing, so any water that's put on the surface of the rink pads sets up as ice right away. The brine liquid in the pipe grid circulates back into a large pipe in the "header trench" right next to the building, underneath where everybody stands when the zamboni is doing ice maintenance. From there the brine gets pushed back into the compressor room, where it passes through the freezing-cold ammonia tank, and out again into the pipes under the concrete, and so on.


March 8, 2014, Harry Gairey rink

The only serious match for this powerful cooling system is the sun. In the months on either side of the December 21 winter solstice, the sun is very weak. It doesn't get to spend very much time above the horizon, and that suits the compressors just fine. By March, though, the sun is getting much higher in the sky, and the compressors labour to keep the ice frozen at minus 4.

Even on a sunny day at the end of February, when the air temperature is minus 8, the ice gets really mushy near the reflective boards, and a bit soft in the middle. The compressors are losing ground as the sun prepares to bring on spring and summer. But on a low-sun Monday in November at 11 degrees, a thin film of water forms on top of solid ice, and the shinny hockey and pleasure-skating are brilliant.

It's not only rink users whose rink literacy is in some need of upgrading. The city's rink staff are also confused. In our travels around the city's outdoor rinks, we have heard some zamboni drivers say in low-sun November that they can't make ice because the temperature is above zero. Over the years, the city's Parks management has blamed a multitude of ice-making sins on the temperature, global warming, etc. Convenient - but most of the time, not true. The compressor-cooled rinks can do their job, and having all those rinks can take some of the sting out of the dark months of winter for Torontonians. But if the zamboni staff tell you that their zamboni sinks into the mush in early March, you'd better believe them -- or just take a look yourself.

Here's an interesting history of mechanically-cooled ice rinks, written in 2004 by Ted Martin, then the general manager, Ontario Operations, with Cimco Refrigeration in Toronto.


Read about better ways of stewarding our mechanically-cooled outdoor rinks here.


Parks and Rec Master Plan, 2019 - 2038: outdoor rinks


Rink information log


Ice Maintenance


shovelling by skaters


Unfenced rinks


Holiday Rinks


Rink ice conditions information


Outdoor ice rinks in other places: Kingston market square (See their webcam)


Rink-related injury claims against the City of Toronto, 2010 to 2014


A History of Toronto's outdoor ice rinks, by Jutta Mason


An excerpt from Jutta's rink history: the issue of turf struggles


TORONTO'S OUTDOOR RINKS AS WINTERTIME NEIGHBOURHOOD SOCIAL SPACES

Many of Toronto's 52 compressor-cooled municipal outdoor rinks are bare-bones sports facilities, but some are also important wintertime social spaces for their neighbourhoods. People expect to meet acquaintances there, to chat and catch up on news as well as skating together. Double-pad rinks are more likely to have this function, since pleasure-skating is anytime there, not only in restricted time slots. A few single-pad rinks have also become social spaces, either because of a particular location in a neighbourhood or because of programs (such as a weekly community supper) that maximize the friendship possibilities of the rink.

Double-pad rinks that are also neighbourhood social spaces (to widely varying degrees): Rennie, High Park, Dufferin, Wallace, Harry Gairey, Otter Creek, North Toronto Memorial, Hodgson, Ramsden, Dieppe, Greenwood.

Single-pad rinks that are also social spaces: Buttonwood, Colonel Sam Smith Skating Trail, Valleyfield, Wedgewood, Ledbury, Campbell, Cedarvale, Christie Pits, Kew Gardens, Withrow.

Harbourfront's Natrel Rink (not municipal) is both an entertainment venue and a social space where friends often arrange to meet.

The wintertime social meeting-up function of rinks needs to be better recognized, and fostered, than it is at present.


The City of Toronto is almost always behind Harbourfront in getting the rinks open. Here's why:

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. This list supplies the fundamentals of ice making.

Questions or Comments?

Contact cityrinks.ca at [email protected] to :
  • Ask General questions:
  • Share Rink stories or pictures
  • Report Problems at any of the rinks
  • Contact the editor
  • Discuss Technical website issues
  • Find detailed rink information including schedules at City Rink Details
Contact the City of Toronto
  • For individual rink schedules: dial 3-1-1
  • The City's rink hotline 416-338-RINK (7465) is no longer in service
  • A few rinks have a direct line. Go to the individual rink profile through the Quick Links.
  • For permit phone numbers see "Contacts to get Permits" in the Rules & Permits tab
  • City website for Skating & Rinks

Pond hockey as it's always been played: no helmets, no body armour, no checking, no slapshots - just the joy of the game


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