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After a rink season where no shinny hockey was allowed, only pleasure-skating with masks on, all rinks closed for the season on March 21, 2021.
RECENT (DAILY) ARCHIVE
To find out whether the rinks are open, and if so, how to book a skating time -- and what's still allowed under the covid rules -- go to the city's outdoor rinks web page
At 2 pm it's 6 celsius and cloudy. 9 rinks are marked as open, plus 7 more as half open (one of their two pads). The cloud cover is allowing the rinks to cling to life, but attendance is scant. At 1 pm, Dufferin Rink had two skaters, and two staff chatting in the garage.
3 p.m.: 8 celsius and sunny. 23 rinks are marked as closed for the season. The rest are mostly marked as closed, except for Jimmie Simpson, Regent Park, and Withrow. Greenwood is marked as open on the hckey side but "ice not safe for skating." Ramsden and Rennie are marked as open on one side the other side "closed for the season."
9 a.m.: zero celsius and cloudy. 20 rinks are marked as closed for the season. Better late than never. 7 are marked as just closed. 7 double pads are marked as open on one side only. 20 are marked as open.
6.30 pm: -3 celsius. 32 rinks closed (3 for the season), 11 rinks open on one side, 12 open.
3 pm: -1 celsius. 27 rinks closed, 9 rinks open only one one side, 18 open.
At noon, the temperature is -4 celsius, and sunny. This temperature would be perfect for the outdoor rinks in the low-sun months of October to February. But in mid-March, 23 rinks are marked as closed, 7 are closed on one pad or trail, open on the other one, 20 are marked as open.
This is why the outdoor rinks used to open earlier and close earlier than they have done since Toronto was restructured as a mega-city.
At 3 pm all of the city's outdoor rinks except city hall are marked as closed. It's 5 celsius and sunny, but with a cold wind. People are warmly dressed, but the cold doesn't hold back the high March sun from melting the ice anyway.
Remarkably, the city's outdoor rinks web page stil lists one rink as open: City Hall. The temperature is 19 celsius and the sun has been out all afternoon. Running all that cooling machinery at the other 50+ rinks can't be cheap....
The forecast today and tomorrow is above 15 celsius. Time for the city to close rinks for the season?
It's sunny and 10 celsius at 5 p.m. and all the outdoor rinks are closed for now. Tomorrow it will be even warmer. The weather will get colder again but even so, the sun is much higher in the sky and March is not (and has never been) a good time for rinks to be open. The ice holds well in days of 12 celsius in early winter, even in late fall, when the sun stays low. But in March the sun is bringing on the springtime. Time to put the skates back in the cupboard.
Shinny hockey has been illegal all season, even if it's people from the same family playing. This is the last few days of natural ice -- so people are sneaking in some shinny at community rinks, ready to hide their sticks if the police come.
From the cityrinks blog: By the middle of the season, most rinks have less than 25 people on them even at prime time and in good weather. Many of the city's registration links show registration as fully booked, but staff say that people often don't show up. read more.
Ontario Public Health data relating to actual serious illness, not just positive lab tests, shows that the second wave of covid still has less serious illness (including deaths) than the first. See the graphs here. So it's safe to let people play shinny, as they could play basketball in warmer weather, yes? (Its official name is "non-contact hockey.") Pass it on.
Nov.28, 2020: At 5 p.m., only 17 rinks are still listed as open, presumably because the others didn't have enough ice yet to manage today's weak sunshine.
Sept.23, 2020: CIMCO Refrigeration, part of Toromont Industries, has been awarded a new three year rink maintenance contract (they have always had this contract), for $3.99 million, to begin on Oct.1, 2020.