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Latest News Archive 2013

posted December 31, 2013

On Tuesday Dec.31 the city's outdoor rinks web page says that most rinks are "operational." Wedgewood and Sunnydale rinks were brought back into service yesterday, so now there are only two rinks still listed as closed: Humber Valley ("no power") and West Deane ("closed - no water"). Scarborough Civic is open but the building is closed (under renovation). The current snow, of course, will make it harder to play shinny hockey until it stops.

Rinks that are OPEN until midnight tonight: Harbourfront's Natrel Rink (until 1 a.m.) and Dufferin Rink (until 12.30 a.m.). Skate rentals, washrooms and change room will be open at both rinks, plus a campfire beside Dufferin Rink.

posted December 30, 2013

On Monday Dec.30 the city's outdoor rinks web page says that most rinks are "operational." Wedgewood and Sunnydale rinks have been brought back into service today, so now there are only two rinks still listed as closed: Humber Valley (no water) and West Deane (no water or heat). Scarborough Civic is open but the building is closed (under renovation).

posted December 29, 2013

On Sunday Dec.29 the city's outdoor rinks web page says that most rinks are "operational." Four rinks are still listed as closed: Humber Valley (no water), Sunnydale, Wedgewood, and West Deane (no water or heat). Scarborough Civic is open but the building is closed (under renovation).

posted December 28, 2013

On Saturday Dec.28 the city's outdoor rinks web page says that most rinks are "operational." Greenwood Rink is marked as "pleasure-skating only," but no reason is given for the closure of the roofed rink. Four rinks are still listed as closed: Humber Valley (no water), Sunnydale, Wedgewood, and West Deane (no water or heat). Scarborough Civic is open but the building is closed (under renovation).

posted December 27, 2013

On Friday Dec.27 the city's outdoor rinks web page says that most rinks are "operational." Four rinks are still listed as closed: Humber Valley (no water), Sunnydale, Wedgewood, and West Deane (no water or heat). Scarborough Civic is open but the building is closed (under renovation).

New Year's Day (Jan 1) holiday hours across the city's rinks are very inconsistent. The following rinks in central Toronto are listed as open for most or some hours of New Year's Day: City Hall (Nathan Phillips), Campbell, Harry Gairey (Scadding), Cedarvale, Dufferin, Ramsden, Greenwood, Wallace, and Kew Rink (three hours only). According to the city's web site, all Etobicoke rinks except for Giovanni Caboto are listed as CLOSED for New Year's Day. All North Toronto outdoor rinks except for Mel Lastman Rink are listed as CLOSED on Jan.1. Scarborough's Civic Rink is listed as OPEN.

posted December 26, 2013

On Thursday Dec.26 the city's outdoor rinks web page says that most rinks are "operational," (meaning the rink gates are unlocked, without washroom/change room access). A few rinks are listed as fully open today (see the "holiday hours" list below). But here's a warning: the city's website, and also 311, are not always reliable in the rink information they provide. The city has unlisted the rink phone numbers, so there's usually no way to check. However, there is ice maintenance with zambonis at many rinks today, and that will help.

posted December 25, 2013

On Wednesday Dec.25 the city's outdoor rinks web page says that most rinks are "operational," (meaning each rink gate is unlocked, without washroom/change room access). A few rinks are listed as fully open today (see the "holiday hours" list below). But here's a warning: the city's website, and also 311, are not reliable in the rink information they provide. For instance, rink users reported that both Harry Gairey (Alexandra) and Cedarvale were locked today, even though the city's website listed them as open. Please report any other errors in the schedule, and we'll post them.

posted December 24, 2013

On Tuesday Dec.24 the city's outdoor rinks web page says that most rinks are open, with the the following exceptions (due to no power because of the ice storm effects): Humber Valley, Sunnydale, Wedgewood, and West Deane. Scarborough Civic is open but the building is closed.

The other big news is that [[http:/

posted December 23, 2013

On Monday Dec.23 at 2 pm, the city's outdoor rinks web page has this announcement: "Power outages and the weather have impacted many outdoor rinks. It will take time to assess and do the work that is needed to reopen them."

Broadlands, Ledbury and Regent South rinks are listed as closed. All other rinks are listed as "operational," but the following change rooms/washrooms are listed as closed: High Park, Humber Valley, Scarborough Civic, Sunnydale, Wedgewood, West Deane, West Mall (Etobicoke Civic Rink), and Westway. All those rinks are closing at 5 pm. The city's website rarely gives a reason for closure. but presumably those rinks are in areas with no power.

The other big news is that Withrow Rink is finally listed as open! The repairs must be finished.

posted December 23, 2013

All other rinks are listed as "operational," but the following change rooms/washrooms are listed as closed: High Park, Humber Valley, Scarborough Civic, Sunnydale, Wedgewood, West Deane, West Mall (Etobicoke Civic Rink), and Westway.

On Monday Dec.23 at 9.30 a.m., the city's outdoor rinks web page has this announcement (still from yesterday at 4 pm): "Power outages and the weather have impacted many outdoor rinks. It will take time to assess and do the work that is needed to reopen them."

Nathan Phillips Rink is listed as closed, but all the other previously open rinks are still marked as "operational." Three rink changeroom/washroom buildings are closed: Cedarvale, Otter Creek, and Scarborough Civic.

posted December 22, 2013

On Sunday Dec.22 at 5 p.m., the city's outdoor rinks web page is back on line. It says that Nathan Phillips Rink is closed. All the other rinks are marked "operational" but three rink changeroom/washroom buildings are closed: Cedarvale, Otter Creek, and Scarborough Civic. The web site does not give any clues why City Hall Rink or these buildings are closed, but we can assume that it's related to the ice storm.

On Sunday Dec.22 at 4 p.m., the city's outdoor rinks web page is back up, but the last posted update was at 6 pm Saturday. That update said that all but 3 of the city's 53 outdoor rinks are open. Because of the heavy ice coating everywhere, most rinks are likely having a bit of difficulty. But apparently many are -- officially -- open.

On Sunday Dec.22 at 1 p.m., the city's outdoor rinks web page is still out of service. Yesterday it said that all but 3 of the city's 53 outdoor rinks are open. Because of the heavy ice coating everywhere, most rinks are unlikely to be in good order, but apparently many are -- officially -- open.

posted December 17, 2013

On Tuesday Dec.17, the city's outdoor rinks web page says that all but 4 of the city's 53 outdoor rinks are open. Because of the snow, it's fairly certain that not all the rinks will be cleared until mid-afternoon or even later. Those rinks that are open will have wonderful skating, as the cold backs off.

posted December 16, 2013

On Monday Dec.16, the city's outdoor rinks web page says that all but 3 of the city's 53 outdoor rinks are open. There could hardly be a more beautiful day for skating.

posted December 15, 2013

On Sunday Dec.15 at 1 p.m. the city's outdoor rinks web page was changed again. Rinks still listed as closed are Glen Long and Irving Chapley, same as before, but also (new) Rivercrest and Summerlea. Some other rinks have been plowed, but still haven't seen a zamboni. Since there were 10 mm of snow yesterday, it takes a while to get the rinks properly skateable again. (But the first-out-of-the-gate natural ice rink groups were thrilled to be able to put their base down last night).

posted December 15, 2013

On Sunday Dec.15 at 8 a.m. the city's outdoor rinks web page still says that despite yesterday's all-day snowfall, only one of the city's 50 previously open outdoor rinks is closed. The rest are listed as "operational." This is wrong. Many neighbourhood rinks had two or fewer visits from a zamboni yesterday. It will take a while to dig out and get the rinks properly skateable again. (But the first-out-of-the-gate natural ice rink groups were thrilled to be able to put their base down last night).

posted December 14, 2013

On Saturday Dec.14 at 6 pm the city's outdoor rinks web page still says that all but three of the city's 53 outdoor rinks are "operational." This is wrong. Because of the all-day snow, most rinks are no longer useable for shinny hockey, and only "open" for leisure skating if the skaters don't mind skating in four inches of snow. Even Harbourfront's Natrel Rink, which has hourly snow-clearing from its zamboni, shows about 10% of its usual Saturday evening numbers on its webcam. Most neighbourhood rinks had two or fewer visits from a zamboni all day. And the snow keeps falling. (But the natural ice rink groups are thrilled to be able to put their base down tonight).

Recent rink diary posts: Monarch Rink, Greenwood Rink, Withrow Rink. Recent blog: A happy surprise: Monarch Rink change room unlocked for students.

posted December 09, 2013

Latest rink diary posts: Don Mills Skating Oval, Scarborough Civic, Sherbourne Common, Dieppe.

On Monday Dec.9 the city's outdoor rinks web page says that all but four of the city's 53 outdoor rinks are open. That's unlikely, since it will take a while to clear the snow off the rinks -- not deep, but sticky because it's above 0. But most of the rinks should be cleared by this afternoon

posted December 07, 2013

On Saturday Dec.7 the city's outdoor rinks web page says that all but four of the city's 53 outdoor rinks are open.

posted December 07, 2013

On Saturday Dec.7 at 5 p.m. the city's outdoor rinks web page has not yet been updated from Friday 3.15. It says that Queensway is still closed, but hopefully that's not right. It's most likely that all but four of the city's 53 outdoor rinks are open.

posted December 07, 2013

On Saturday Dec.7 at 8 a.m. the city's website is down, including the outdoor rinks web page. However, it's most likely that all but four of the city's 53 outdoor rinks are open. posted December 06, 2013

On Friday Dec.6 at 4 pm the city's outdoor rinks web page says that only Queensway is still closed as a result of yesterday's warm weather/thin ice.

posted December 06, 2013

On Friday Dec.6 at 9 am the city's outdoor rinks web page says that the following rinks are still closed: Cedarvale, Irving Chapley, Glen Long, North Toronto, Ledbury, Giovanni Caboto, Prince of Wales, Sir Adam Beck and Queensway. These closures are more likely to be related to operational policies than to ice quality.

 

On Thursday Dec.5 at 8 pm the city's outdoor rinks web page says that in the Toronto/East York region Dieppe Rink remains open, but Cedarvale and North Toronto are closed. All but one (Otter Creek) of the North Toronto rinks are marked as closed: Irving Chapley, Glen Long, Pleasantview, Ledbury and Broadlands. Closing rinks when there is water on top of the ice is a common practice in North Toronto. Otter Creek is serviced by the Toronto/East York staff, and they have a different policy. In Etobicoke, Giovanni Caboto, Prince of Wales, and Sir Adam Beck and Queensway are marked as closed. Rinks with thinner ice, such as the ones in the list above, are more unstable and vulnerable to warm temperatures. Harbourfront's Natrel Rink (not municipal), which had careful ice from the beginning, is filled with skaters -- see their webcam. So is Dufferin Rink-- one of the few rinks that got the right standard of ice making at the outset.

posted December 05, 2013

On Thursday Dec.5 at 3.30 pm the city's outdoor rinks web page says that in the Toronto/East York region Dieppe Rink remains open, but Cedarvale is closed. All but one (Otter Creek) of the North Toronto rinks are marked as closed: Irving Chapley, Glen Long, Pleasantview and Ledbury. Closing rinks when there is water on top of the ice is a common practice in North Toronto. Otter Creek is serviced by the Toronto/East York staff, and they have a different policy. In Etobicoke, Giovanni Caboto, Prince of Wales, and Sir Adam Beck are marked as closed. Rinks with thinner ice, such as the ones in the list above, are more unstable and vulnerable to warm temperatures. Harbourfront's Natrel Rink (not municipal), which had careful ice from the beginning, is filled with skaters -- see their webcam.

Two rinks are still delayed in opening because of last-minute major repairs: Mel Lastman Rink (opening TBA) and Withrow Rink (opening Dec.14 or 20).

Hodgson Rink will stay closed this season, waiting for replacement. College Park (Barbara Ann Scott) Rink will stay closed again this season and will be removed. Harbourfront's Natrel Rink (not municipal) began making ice on Nov.10 and it opened on Nov.16. Check their webcam for lively skaters, Lake Ontario sunsets, planes landing at the island airport, and excellent ice making.

 

posted December 05, 2013

On Thursday Dec.5 at 12 noon the city's outdoor rinks web page says that Dieppe Rink is open again, but Irving Chapley and Glen Long are closed.

posted December 05, 2013

On Thursday Dec.5 the city's outdoor rinks web page still has a posting from yesterday. It says that most city outdoor rinks are now open apart from Dieppe.

posted December 04, 2013

On Wednesday Dec.4 the city's outdoor rinks web page says that most city outdoor rinks are now open. Two rinks are still marked as delayed in their opening: Mel Lastman Rink (opening TBA) and Withrow Rink (opening Dec.14 or 20).

Hodgson Rink will stay closed this season, waiting for replacement. College Park (Barbara Ann Scott) Rink will stay closed again this season and will be removed.

Harbourfront's Natrel Rink (not municipal) began making ice on Nov.10 and it opened on Nov.16. Check their webcam for lively skaters, Lake Ontario sunsets, planes landing at the island airport, and excellent ice making.

 

posted December 02, 2013

At 12 noon on Monday the city's outdoor rinks web page has only the 11 a.m. report from Sunday. The central information portal (311) is not reliable for keeping rink information up to date. Sadly, the individual rink phone numbers are all unlisted, so cityrinks.ca can't get the latest news by any other route (see the blog). Five rinks are marked as delayed: Mel Lastman Rink, Scarborough Civic Rink, Giovanni Caboto Rink, Joseph Bannon Rink, and Withrow Rink -- due to delayed work on their mechanical problems. However, one of these rinks, Giovanni Caboto, has actually been open since yesterday morning.

posted December 01, 2013

At 2 pm most of the city's outdoor rinks are marked as "operational" on the city outdoor rinks web page, but due to the generally poor quality of the ice-making (see the blog), quite a few have thin ice. Five rinks are marked as delayed (but one of them, Giovanni Caboto, is actually open): Mel Lastman Rink, Scarborough Civic Rink, Giovanni Caboto Rink, Joseph Bannon Rink, and Withrow Rink -- due to delayed work on their mechanical problems.

posted November 30, 2013

Today most of the city's outdoor rinks are marked as "operational" on the city outdoor rinks web page, but due to the generally poor quality of the ice-making (see the blog), most have thin ice with cement patches. Five rinks are marked as delayed: Mel Lastman Rink, Scarborough Civic Rink, Giovanni Caboto Rink, Joseph Bannon Rink, and Withrow Rink -- due to delayed work on their mechanical problems.

posted November 29, 2013

13 rinks are open today, with good ice: Cedarvale, Greenwood, Broadlands, Dufferin, Glen Long, Irving Chapley, Kew, Nathan Phillips Square, Regent South, Colonel Sam Smith, Sunnydale, West Mall, Rennie

Mel Lastman Rink, Scarborough's Albert Campbell Rink, Giovanni Caboto Rink, Monarch Park Rink, Summerlea Rink, Joseph Bannon Rink, and Withrow Rink are opening late due to delayed work on their mechanical problems.

Hodgson Rink will stay closed this season, waiting for replacement. College Park (Barbara Ann Scott) Rink will stay closed again this season and will be removed.

Harbourfront's Natrel Rink (not municipal) began making ice on Nov.10 and it opened on Nov.16. Check their webcam.

City of Toronto outdoor rinks web page

posted November 24, 2013

13 rinks are open today, most with good ice: Cedarvale, Greenwood, Broadlands, Dufferin, Glen Long, Irving Chapley, Kew, Nathan Phillips Square, Regent South, Colonel Sam Smith, Sunnydale, West Mall, Rennie

Etobicoke is still behind because of their late startups, but Colonel Sam Smith is open now. West Mall is not making ice on their pleasure-skating side but the hockey side is open.

posted November 23, 2013

Nine rinks are open with good ice: Cedarvale, Greenwood, Broadlands, Dufferin, Glen Long, Irving Chapley, Kew, Nathan Phillips Square, Regent South,

Four rinks in Etobicoke that were supposed to open today have poor to fair ice quality, since they started ice-making too late. Colonel Sam Smith was closed to skaters during the day. Rennie Rink cancelled kids' hockey and only allowed pleasure-skating. Sunnydale was thin but open, but had no skaters. West Mall shut down the compressors to their pleasure skating side because they said it was too warm (minus 6?!) to make ice on both sides.

Mel Lastman and Scarborough's Albert Campbell will not be opening today due to mechanical troubles.

Hodgson Rink will stay closed this season, waiting for replacement. College Park (Barbara Ann Scott) Rink will stay closed again this season and will be removed.

Harbourfront's Natrel Rink (not municipal) began making ice on Nov.10 and it opened on Nov.16. Check their webcam.

posted November 22, 2013

Fourteen rinks are scheduled to be open on Saturday Nov.23: Cedarvale, Greenwood, Broadlands, Colonel Sam Smith, Dufferin, Glen Long, Irving Chapley, Kew, Mel Lastman, Nathan Phillips Square, Regent South, Rennie, Sunnydale, and West Mall.

Harbourfront's Natrel Rink (not municipal) began making ice on Nov.10 and it opened on Nov.16. Check their webcam.

Hodgson Rink will stay closed this season, waiting for replacement. College Park (Barbara Ann Scott) Rink will stay closed again this season and will be removed.

October 29, 2013: For more than a week now, there's been a mystifying notice on the city's outdoor rinks web page:

"The extended season for 14 Outdoor Rinks was scheduled to begin on Saturday, November 19. The City has made every effort to open these rinks as scheduled. However, the unusually warm weather will delay the opening of almost all of the Outdoor Rinks."

All of the city's 56 compressor-cooled outdoor ice rinks are still closed, of course, and no one is trying to open them yet. The message appears to be from some past year. 311 has been notified and said they would look into the message, but nothing has changed yet.

October 2013

We emailed the city's information line, 311, to find out the schedule for the rink openings. Astonishingly, this was their utterly uninformed response:

....keep in mind that the city outdoor rinks are operational only if weather permitted. Unless the temperature dipped below zero, the ice is going to melt and become slushy. Thus, not safe for public skating.

Please keep checking the website. The city will update that page once the outdoor rinks are opened officially.

(:/announce:)

Why keeping outdoor rinks open into March is NOT a good idea: angle of the sun.

These are the rinks scheduled to stay open until March 15: Broadlands, Colonel Sam Smith, Dufferin, Glen Long, Irving Chapley, Kew, Prince of Wales, Mel Lastman, Nathan Phillips Square, Regent South, Rennie, Scarborough Civic, Sunnydale, and West Mall.

Why keeping outdoor rinks open into March is NOT a good idea: angle of the sun. The easiest time to make good outdoor ice is two months from winter solstice in either direction, when the sun is lowest in the sky and has the least power. After February, on sunny days, outdoor ice gets mushy and rutted, even if it's below zero and the compressors are running all the time. Warm but overcast, or rain, are no problem -- only the sun.

Friday March 15, 2013

At 7 p.m., the city's outdoor rinks web page says that 12 outdoor rinks are open (Glen Long is marked as closed). The sun has finally gone down,so the mushy, choppy ice is hardening up pretty fast. After the zamboni has been by, the ice should be okay for the rest of the evening. It's the last day for most rinks.

Friday March 15, 2013

At 5 p.m., the city's outdoor rinks web page says that 12 outdoor rinks are open (Glen Long is marked as closed). The sun has now been out for a while, so if there is no shade from the surrounding buildings the ice is pretty choppy and hard to skate on. Many of the rink compressors were turned off early in the morning, so in effect the rinks were natural ice rinks on their last official open day.

Friday March 15, 2013

At 10 a.m., the city's outdoor rinks web page says that 12 outdoor rinks are open (Glen Long is marked as closed, still from yesterday's posting). Because the sky is overcast, the ice will be very skateable all day. Even so, few skaters are coming -- about 1/8 the number of skaters one would expect during winter school holidays.

Thursday March 14, 2013

At 12 noon, the city's outdoor rinks web page says that 13 outdoor rinks are open. Broadlands Rink closes at 6. Because of the unusual cold, the all-day sun has only begun mushing the ice by the boards by noon -- but the ice is still very skateable. There is about 1/8 the number of skaters one would expect during winter school holidays.

At 10 a.m., the city's outdoor rinks web page (announcement from yesterday 11 a.m.) says that 13 outdoor rinks are open. Broadlands Rink closes at 6.

See the webcam at Harbourfront's Natrel Rink to monitor ice conditions. At 10 a.m. Harbourfront has 3 skaters and one rink guard.

Wednesday March 13, 2013

At 8.30 a.m., the city's outdoor rinks web page says that 13 outdoor rinks are open and only Hodgson Rink is closed. Since there is no sun, the ice is excellent.

Tuesday March 12, 2013

At 3 pm, the city's outdoor rinks web page says that 13 outdoor rinks are open and only Hodgson Rink is closed. The ice is excellent but there are few skaters.

See the webcam at Harbourfront's Natrel Rink to monitor ice conditions. At 8.30 pm there is only a handful of skaters.

Tuesday March 12, 2013

At 11 am, the city's outdoor rinks web page says that 11 outdoor rinks are open and 4 are closed.

Tuesday March 12, 2013

At 9 am, the city's outdoor rinks web page is still from yesterday morning. It says that 7 outdoor rinks are open and 7 are closed due to poor ice conditions. In actual fact, the rain on top of the ice yesterday will have restored the ice from mushy to smooth and hard.

Monday March 11, 2013

At 1.30 pm, the city's outdoor rinks web page says that 7 outdoor rinks are open, the rest closed due to poor ice conditions.In actual fact, rain on top of ice is fine, and the rinks are no longer mushy, they're smooth and hard. But who wants to skate in the rain?

See the webcam at Harbourfront's Natrel Rink to monitor ice conditions. At 9.45 pm, there is one person on the ice.

Monday March 11, 2013

At 10.30 am, the city's outdoor rinks web page says that 5 outdoor rinks are open, the rest closed due to poor ice conditions.

Monday March 11, 2013

At 10 am, the city's outdoor rinks web page is still from last night at 7 pm. It says that 7 of city's 14 late-season outdoor rinks are open.

See the webcam at Harbourfront's Natrel Rink to monitor ice conditions.

Sunday March 10, 2013

At 8.30 pm, the city's outdoor rinks web page says that 7 of city's 14 late-season outdoor rinks are open. This may not be accurate, although very likely Nathan Phillips Rink is open and skateable.

See the webcam at Harbourfront's Natrel Rink to monitor ice conditions. At 8.30 pm, their rink has re-opened and has lots of skaters.

Sunday March 10, 2013

At 7.30 pm, the city's outdoor rinks web page says that 7 of city's 14 late-season outdoor rinks are open. But in fact, all those rinks except possibly Nathan Phillips are unskateable with slush, although their compressors are laboring hard.

See the webcam at Harbourfront's Natrel Rink to monitor ice conditions. At 7.30 pm, they are still trying to get water off their ice, and they're now hoping to re-open by 8.30 p m.

Sunday March 10, 2013

At 6 pm, the city's outdoor rinks web page says that all but 6 of city's 14 outdoor rinks are open. But in fact, all rinks say they were told to close at 2, and they are unskateable with slush, although the compressors are laboring hard.

See the webcam at Harbourfront's Natrel Rink to monitor ice conditions. At 6 pm, their zamboni is going over the ice,with what appear to be waves of water behind it. The message says they are closed and hoping to reopen between 6 and 7 pm.

Sunday March 10, 2013

At two pm, it's sunny and 10 celsius. The city's outdoor rinks web page says that all but two of the 14 rinks are open. An order has been given centrally to keep the rinks open. But the few people who are coming to skate don't stay long -- the ice surface is mostly slush, although the compressors are laboring hard.

See the webcam at Harbourfront's Natrel Rink to monitor ice conditions. At 2 pm, the message says they are closed and hoping to reopen between 6 and 7 pm.

Sunday March 10, 2013

At noon, the city's outdoor rinks web page, says that all 14 rinks are open. As long as the sun mostly stays away, the rinks will continue to be skateable (albeit slushy).

See the webcam at Harbourfront's Natrel Rink to monitor ice conditions.

Sunday March 10, 2013

At 10.30 am, the city's outdoor rinks web page, still from last night, says that six rinks are closed and the other eight are open (City Hall is listed as OPEN). This is probably not accurate, since more of the rinks recovered later last night. Dufferin Grove, for example, opened last night at 7.30 pm. Regent Park, on the other hand, marked at 6 pm last night as "open," was locked, with deep ruts in the ice.

Saturday March 9, 2013

At 7 pm, the city's outdoor rinks web page says that six rinks are closed and the other eight are open (City Hall is listed as OPEN). Now that the sun is gone, the rinks will return to being skateable for a few hours. But in the daytime, since the March sun was shining all day, the rinks were mostly mush.

See the webcam at Harbourfront's Natrel Rink to monitor ice conditions. At 7 pm, after being closed for the afternoon, Harbourfront is open and filled with skaters.

Saturday March 9, 2013

At 4 pm, the city's outdoor rinks web page says that five rinks are closed and the rest are open. It seems unlikely that any of the rinks are skateable, since the March sun has been shining all day.

See the webcam at Harbourfront's Natrel Rink to monitor ice conditions. At 4 pm, their webcam showed they were closed. At 5.15, their zamboni was cleaning the ice. No ice cleaning was done all day at the city's neighbourhood rinks, for fear of damaging the ice.

See the webcam at Harbourfront's Natrel Rink to monitor ice conditions. At 4 pm, their webcam showed they were closed. At 5.15, their zamboni was cleaning the ice. No ice cleaning was done all day at the city's neighbourhood rinks, for fear of damaging the ice. At 8.30 am, the city's outdoor rinks web page still has its message from 3 pm yesterday. It says that 10 rinks are open and four are closed.

At 9 am, the city's outdoor rinks web page says that all rinks are open except for Broadlands (TBA) and Scarborough (no hockey). The last one is surprise, since Scarborough generally never has hockey! And also its protected by the sun. Most rinks will have to close by early afternoon and might be in bad shape even though the evening unless the clouds move in again like they did yesterday. March sun, even if it stays below zero, is too strong for the ice to stay skateable.

Friday March 8, 2013

At 4.30pm, the city's outdoor rinks web page says that 10 rinks are open. Four are closed: Glen Long and Hodgson (expected to reopen by 6pm), Broadlands and Scarborough Civic. The last one is a surprise, since most of Scarborough Civic is protected from the sun.

Friday March 8, 2013

At 2:30pm, the city's outdoor rinks web page says that 12 rinks are open - 2 closed: Glenlong and Hodgson (expected to reopen by 6pm). Since the sun went away around noon - rinks are probably ok for skating today.

At 10 a.m. the city's outdoor rinks web page, its posting still from Thursday, says all 14 rinks are operational. But the sky is clear and the temperature is rising. By mid-afternoon, most of the outdoor rinks will be slush and will have to close. City Hall may last a little longer because of the shade of the Sheraton Hotel to the southwest.

To get the most current information about how ice conditions are with optimal outdoor ice maintenance, see the webcam at Harbourfront's Natrel Rink.

Thursday March 7, 2013

The city's outdoor rinks web page says all 14 rinks are operational. Although the temperature is above zero, as long as the sun stays behind the clouds, the ice will stay solid.

Wednesday March 6, 2013

At 10 am the city's outdoor rinks web page says all 14 rinks are operational. Although the temperature is above zero, as long as the sun stays behind the clouds, the ice will be fine.

Tuesday March 5, 2013

At 4 pm the city's outdoor rinks web page says 13 rinks are operational. Glen Long is the only one marked as closed, but by 3 pm all the rinks must have been mushy. The temperature never got above -1, but the sun shone all day. Hockey nets sank into the ice.

Tuesday March 5, 2013

The city's outdoor rinks web page says 14 rinks are operational.

Monday March 4, 2013

The city's outdoor rinks web page says 14 rinks are operational. These are the rinks scheduled to stay open until March 15: Broadlands, Colonel Sam Smith, Dufferin, Glen Long, Hodgson, Irving Chapley, Kew, Prince of Wales, Mel Lastman, Nathan Phillips Square, Regent South, Rennie, Scarborough Civic, Sunnydale, and West Mall.

Sunday March 2 [ed.note|: sic!! -- wrong] , 2013

The 10am posting of the city's outdoor rinks web page says all remaining 15 rinks (see below) are open except for Prince of Wales, which is listed as TBA. To get the most current information about how ice conditions are with optimal outdoor ice maintenance, see the webcam at Harbourfront's Natrel Rink.

Saturday March 2, 2013

The city's outdoor rinks web page says all remaining 15 rinks (see below) are open except for Prince of Wales, which is being readied for a Toronto Maple Leafs event later today. To get the most current information about how ice conditions are with optimal outdoor ice maintenance, see the webcam at Harbourfront's Natrel Rink.

Note: All except 15 rinks closed for the season on February 24. Prince of Wales is scheduled to stay open until March 3, the other fourteen until March 10. The rinks staying open are: Broadlands, Colonel Sam Smith, Dufferin, Glen Long, Hodgson, Irving Chapley, Kew, Prince of Wales, Mel Lastman, Nathan Phillips Square, Regent South, Rennie, Scarborough Civic, Sunnydale, and West Mall.

Why keeping outdoor rinks open into March is NOT a good idea: angle of the sun. The easiest time to make good ice is one month from winter solstice in either direction, when the sun is lowest in the sky and has the least power. Later than February, the ice will get mushy and rutted on sunny days, even if it's still below zero Celsius. Warm but overcast, or rain, are no problem -- only the sun.

Friday March 1, 2013

At 4pm the city's outdoor rinks web page says all remaining 15 rinks (see below) are open except for Prince of Wales, which is being readied for a Toronto Maple Leafs event tomorrow. To get the most current information about how ice conditions are with optimal outdoor ice maintenance, see the webcam at Harbourfront's Natrel Rink.

Friday March 1, 2013

At 9 am the city's outdoor rinks web page is still on yesterday's date, It says that only two of the remaining 15 rinks (see below) are still closed: Prince of Wales and Broadlands. To get the most current information about how ice conditions are with optimal outdoor ice maintenance, see the webcam at Harbourfront's Natrel Rink.

Thursday February 28, 2013

At 3 pm the city's outdoor rinks web page says that only two of the remaining 15 rinks (see below) are still closed: Prince of Wales and Broadlands. To get the most current information about how ice conditions are with optimal outdoor ice maintenance, see the webcam at Harbourfront's Natrel Rink.

Thursday February 28, 2013

At 12 noon the city's outdoor rinks web page says that nine of the remaining 15 rinks are still closed. The following are listed as open: Colonel Sam Smith, Dufferin, Kew, Mel Lastman, City Hall (Nathan Phillips), and Hodgson. To get the most current information about how ice conditions are with optimal outdoor ice maintenance, see the webcam at Harbourfront's Natrel Rink.

Thursday February 28, 2013

At 8 am the city's outdoor rinks web page still has yesterday's 3.30 pm message, saying that some rinks have reopened: Colonel Sam Smith, Dufferin, Kew, Mel Lastman and Regent South. The rest are still marked as closed. However, by now most of the heavy wet slush will have been cleaned off, and most of the 15 rinks are probably open.

Wednesday February 27, 2013

At 3.30 pm the city's outdoor rinks web page says that some rinks have reopened: Colonel Sam Smith, Dufferin, Kew, Mel Lastman and Regent South. The rest are still marked as closed. Cleaning off the heavy wet slush will be a challenge!

Wednesday February 27, 2013

At 8.30 am the city's outdoor rinks web page says that all the rinks are closed. Cleaning off the heavy wet slush will be a challenge!

Tuesday February 26, 2013

Note: All except 15 rinks closed for the season on February 24. Prince of Wales is scheduled to stay open until March 3, the other fourteen until March 10. (:/announce:)

The city's outdoor rinks web page says that the following outdoor rinks are operational: Broadlands, Colonel Sam Smith, Dufferin, Glen Long, Hodgson, Irving Chapley, Kew, Prince of Wales, Mel Lastman, Nathan Phillips Square, Regent South, Rennie, Scarborough Civic, Sunnydale, and West Mall.

Why keeping outdoor rinks open into March is NOT a good idea: angle of the sun. The easiest time to make good ice is one month from winter solstice in either direction, when the sun is lowest in the sky and has the least power. Later than February, the ice will get mushy and rutted on sunny days, even if it's still below zero Celsius. Warm but overcast, or rain, are no problem -- only the sun.

To get the most current information about how ice conditions are with optimal outdoor ice maintenance, see the webcam at Harbourfront's Natrel Rink.

Sunday February 24, 2013

The city's outdoor rinks web page says that most outdoor rinks are operational, except for Greenwood (being rebuilt), College Park (construction nearby), and Pleasantview (no reason given). Note: All except 14 rinks will close for the season today at 6 pm. Read on to find out why keeping outdoor rinks open later is NOT a good idea.

Angle of the sun: the easiest time to make good ice is one month from winter solstice in either direction, when the sun is lowest in the sky and has the least power. Now two months have passed since Dec.21. That means the ice will get mushy and rutted on sunny days, even if it's still below zero Celsius. Warm but overcast, or rain, are no problem -- only the sun.

Thursday February 21, 2013

The city's outdoor rinks web page says that most outdoor rinks are operational, except for Greenwood (being rebuilt) and College Park (construction nearby). Note: Most rinks will close for the season on Sunday evening.

Wednesday February 20, 2013

At noon the city's outdoor rinks web page says that most outdoor rinks are operational, except for Greenwood (being rebuilt), College Park (construction nearby), and Pleasantview, marked TBA.

Tuesday February 19, 2013

At 8.30 am the city's outdoor rinks web page says that most outdoor rinks are operational, except for Greenwood (being rebuilt) and College Park (construction nearby). Two north Toronto rinks (both serviced by adjacent arena staff) are marked as closed, Pleasantview and North Toronto Memorial. Most other rinks have been sponged off by the zambonis and are fine

Tuesday February 19, 2013

At 8.30 am the city's outdoor rinks web page says that most outdoor rinks are operational, except for Greenwood (being rebuilt) and College Park (construction nearby). The rain today will make all the rinks wet and nasty, but the ice will be firm underneath.

Monday February 18, 2013

At 8.30 am the city's outdoor rinks web page says that most outdoor rinks are operational, except for Greenwood (being rebuilt) and College Park (construction nearby). A sunny, beautiful Family Day holiday with perfect skating weather, at least until later afternoon, when the ice might start to get mushy.

Sunday February 17, 2013

At 10am pm the city's outdoor rinks web page says that most outdoor rinks are operational, except for Greenwood (being rebuilt) and College Park (construction nearby). More accurately, the snowfall from last night (almost 10cm) means that many rinks would still have been snow covered on Sunday morning. Fine by the afternoon, though -- and plenty of skaters are out there, in the cold sunshine.

Saturday February 16, 2013

At 4.30 pm the city's outdoor rinks web page says that most outdoor rinks are operational, except for Greenwood (being rebuilt) and College Park (construction nearby), and Rennie Rink (listed as "hockey side only," but no reason given why the pleasure-skating side is closed).

To get the most current information about how ice conditions are with optimal outdoor ice maintenance, see the webcam at Harbourfront's Natrel Rink.

Angle of the sun: the lowest-sun time (one month from winter solstice in either direction) has passed. That means the ice will start to rut on all-sun days, when it gets near zero celsius. Warm but overcast, or rain, are no problem -- only the sun.

Friday February 15, 2013

At 11 am the city's outdoor rinks web page says that most outdoor rinks are operational, except for Greenwood (being rebuilt) and College Park (construction nearby). The city's posting is still from yesterday,. but since there was no significant snow yesterday, the posting is probably still true.

Monday February 11, 2013

At 6.30 pm the city's outdoor rinks web page says that most outdoor rinks are operational, except for Cedarvale, three north Toronto rinks: Broadlands, North Toronto Memorial, and Pleasantview; and Scarborough Civic. The weather is pretty well the same all over the city, but those rinks are shut down more often, perhaps because of staffing issues.

Monday February 11, 2013

At 8 am the city's outdoor rinks web page says that most outdoor rinks are operational, except for Broadlands (no hockey nets) and Regent North (no reason given). Two are closed for the season, Greenwood (being rebuilt) and College Park (construction nearby).

Angle of the sun: the lowest-sun time (one month from winter solstice in either direction) has passed. That means the ice will start to rut on all-sun days, when it gets near zero celsius. Warm but overcast, or rain, are no problem -- only the sun.

Sunday February 10 2013

The last update from the city at 2pm today. At 8pm Regent North is listed as closed (no reason given) and Broadlands remains open but with no hockey.

At 1pm - the city's website lists all rinks fully operational (11am update) except for Broadlands (no hockey nets) - Two are closed for the season, Greenwood (being rebuilt) and College Park (construction nearby).

To get the most current information about how ice conditions are with optimal outdoor ice maintenance, see the webcam at Harbourfront's Natrel Rink.

Angle of the sun: the lowest-sun time (one month from winter solstice in either direction) has now passed. That means the ice will start to rut on all-sun days, when it gets near zero celsius.

Sunday February 10 2013

At 10 am the city's outdoor rinks website says that most outdoor rinks are operational, except for Broadlands, listed as closed, Dieppe and North Toronto Memorial, listed as "pleasure-skating side only," and Scarborough Civic, listed as "TBA."

Two are closed for the season, Greenwood (being rebuilt) and College Park (construction nearby).

(:announce-block:) To get the most current information about how ice conditions are with optimal outdoor ice maintenance, see the webcam at Harbourfront's Natrel Rink.

Angle of the sun: the lowest-sun time (one month from winter solstice in either direction) has now passed. That means the ice will start to rut on all-sun days, when it gets near zero celsius.

Saturday February 9 2013

At 6 pm. the city's outdoor rinks website still says that 36 rinks are open -- but not Nathan Phillips Square, which was listed as open at 2.30!

North Toronto rinks are all still listed as closed, as is the Scarborough Civic Rink. That information may not be accurate.

To get the most current information about how ice conditions are with optimal outdoor ice maintenance, see the webcam at Harbourfront's Natrel Rink. The rink has been lively with skaters since 9 am.

Saturday February 9 2013

At 2.30 pm. the city's outdoor rinks website lists 19 rinks as open, the rest closed. But some listed as closed have been open for many hours: Dufferin Rink, Campbell Rink, and the pleasure-skating side of Wallace Rink (the zamboni broke down). Perhaps some of the rinks listed as open are actually closed. Since the city hides outdoor-rink phone numbers from the public, it's best to go and take a look yourself or ask your skating friends to look and text you. North Toronto rinks are all still listed as closed -- they do snow clearance with small zambonis only (no snowplows or tractors), which are not designed for heavy snow clearance.

By one pm - the city listed 19 rinks open. At 11 am, the city's outdoor rinks website says that all rinks are closed. But in fact Dufferin Rink is open, probably Nathan Phillips Square and a number of Etobicoke rinks too. The others will still have snow clearance. Rink phone numbers are hidden from the public so it's best to go and take a look yourself. North Toronto rinks may be slower to reopen since they do all snow clearance with small zambonis only (no snowplows or tractors), which are not designed for that.

Saturday February 9 2013

At 8.30 am, the city's outdoor rinks website says that all rinks are closed. But some will be ready to open soon, now that the snow is over and the rinks are dug out. North Toronto rinks may be slower to reopen since they do all snow clearance with small zambonis only (no snowplows or tractors), which are not designed for that.

Friday February 8 2013

At 8 pm, The city's outdoor rinks website says that all rinks are closed. And no wonder! Rinks will reopen when the heavy snow subsides and the rinks can be dug out (tomorrow). North Toronto rinks will be slower to reopen since they do all snow clearance with small zambonis, which are not designed for that.

Friday February 8 2013

At 8 am the city's outdoor rinks website was down, and at 9 am it said all rinks are operational. However that was still yesterday's message. It's obvious that all rinks are closed until the heavy snow subsides and the rinks can be dug out (tomorrow). North Toronto rinks will be slower to reopen since they do all snow clearance with small zambonis, which are not designed for that.

Thursday February 7 2013

All rinks are listed as operational on the city's website, except Greenwood (being rebuilt) and College Park (construction nearby). But that message is from 3 pm, and by now there is snow on all the rinks.

To get the most current information about how ice conditions are with optimal outdoor ice maintenance, see the webcam at Harbourfront's Natrel Rink.

Angle of the sun: the lowest-sun time (one month from winter solstice in either direction) has now passed. That means the ice will start to rut on all-sun days, when it gets near zero celsius.

Wednesday February 6 2013

All rinks are listed as operational on the city's website, except Greenwood (being rebuilt) and College Park (construction nearby).

To get the most current information about how ice conditions are with optimal outdoor ice maintenance, see the webcam at Harbourfront's Natrel Rink.

Angle of the sun: the lowest-sun time (one month from winter solstice in either direction) has now passed. That means the ice will start to rut on all-sun days, when it gets near zero celsius.

Friday February 1 2013

At 3 pm all rinks are listed as operational on the city's website, except Greenwood (being rebuilt) and College Park (construction nearby).

To get the most current information about how ice conditions are with optimal outdoor ice maintenance, see the webcam at Harbourfront's Natrel Rink.

Angle of the sun: the lowest-sun time (one month from winter solstice in either direction) has now passed. That means the ice will start to rut on all-sun days, when it gets near zero celsius.

Thursday January 2013

At 12 noon almost all rinks are listed as operational on the city's website. The exceptions are Otter Creek (no reason given), Greenwood (being rebuilt) and College Park (construction nearby).

Wednesday January 30, 2013

At 9 pm, the city's website has 30 rinks as operational and the rest closed, presumably due to water on the ice or because the staff left early. Two are closed for another reason: Greenwood (being rebuilt) and College Park (construction nearby). Nathan Phillips Square has been marked as closed all day but it was not closed.

Underneath the thin layer of water, the ice is hard, not mushy.

Wednesday January 30, 2013

AT 7pm, the city's website listed two additional rinks as closed: Otter Creek and Trinity. Now there are 30/51 city run rinks open.

At 3pm, the city closed 2 more rinks. At 10 am, the city's website had 34 rinks as operational and the rest closed, presumably due to water on the ice. Two are closed for another reason: Greenwood (being rebuilt) and College Park (construction nearby). Rinks that are in a basin (like Nathan Phillips Square), Albert Campbell, and Ryerson, without good run-off, will have a harder time reopening because of very slow drainage.

Underneath the water, the ice is hard, not mushy.

To get the most current information about how ice conditions are with optimal outdoor ice maintenance, see the webcam at Harbourfront's Natrel Rink.

Angle of the sun: the lowest-sun time (one month from winter solstice in either direction) has now passed. That means the ice will start to rut on all-sun days, when it gets near zero celsius.

Tuesday January 29, 2013

Its 7:30pm and the 3pm update is still up on the city's website. It lists Glenlong, Irving Chapley, Scarborugh, West Deane as closed (no reason given). Everything (not college park or greenwood) is operational - but definitely under water!

At 9am - rinks are listed as operational on the city's website except Greenwood (being rebuilt) and College Park (construction nearby).

Monday January 28, 2013

At 5pm, the update says that only 3 rinks are snow covered: Joseph Bannon, Royalcrest, and Sherbourne. In addition, two are closed for the season: Greenwood (being rebuilt) and College Park (construction nearby).

Wet snow is harder to remove from ice rinks. At 11 a.m., the city's website lists some rinks as operational, some (in Etobicoke) as "closed - snow covered," and some (in central Toronto) as "under snow removal maintenance." In addition, two are closed for the season: Greenwood (being rebuilt) and College Park (construction nearby). Interestingly, north Toronto rinks are all listed as "operational," in contrast to their usual pattern, which is to list all of them as closed in any unusual weather. Were all the north Toronto rinks really open at 11 a.m.? And some of the central Toronto rinks were not actually under snow removal maintenance even by noon -- their turn will come later.

Sunday January 27, 2013

All rinks are listed as operational on the city's website except Greenwood (being rebuilt) and College Park (construction nearby).

To get the most current information about how ice conditions are with optimal outdoor ice maintenance, see the webcam at Harbourfront's Natrel Rink.

Angle of the sun: the lowest-sun time (one month from winter solstice in either direction) has now passed. That means the ice will start to rut on all-sun days, when it gets near zero celsius.

Saturday January 26, 2013

All rinks are listed as operational on the city's website except Greenwood (being rebuilt) and College Park (construction nearby).

To get the most current information about how ice conditions are with optimal outdoor ice maintenance, see the webcam at Harbourfront's Natrel Rink.

Angle of the sun: the lowest-sun time (one month from winter solstice in either direction) has now passed. That means the ice will start to rut on all-sun days, when it gets near zero celsius.

Saturday January 26, 2013

All rinks are listed as operational on the city's website except Greenwood (being rebuilt) and College Park (construction nearby). But the last official update was yesterday at 11 am, before the snow had begun. In reality, some rinks may still need more clearing.

Friday January 25, 2013

At 5 pm, all rink are listed as operational on the city's website except Greenwood (being rebuilt) and College Park (construction nearby). However, because of the snow, most rinks will have trouble with hockey unless they have a sturdy crew of skaters with shovels.

Tuesday January 22, 2013

All rink are listed as operational at 3 pm on the city's website except Greenwood (being rebuilt) and College Park (construction nearby). In truth, many of them are still snow-covered, and some have had no snow-clearance all day until now. The temperature is still minus 13. Not many people will want to skate, and at any rate, hockey is not possible in uncleared rinks.

To get the most current information about how ice conditions are with optimal outdoor ice maintenance, see the webcam at Harbourfront's Natrel Rink. At 3 pm, their ice is cleared but there's only one skater.

Tuesday January 22, 2013

All rink listed as operational at 10am on the city's website except Greenwood (being rebuilt) and College Park (construction nearby). While it snows, they'll actually be snow-covered -- no hockey. No problem, though -- at 10 am the temperature is minus 14. Not many people will want to skate -- and the cold is hard on the zamboni operators, too.

To get the most current information about how ice conditions are with optimal outdoor ice maintenance, see the webcam at Harbourfront's Natrel Rink. At 10 am, their zamboni operator is out clearing snow off the ice.

Monday January 21, 2013

All rink listed as operational at 10am on the city's website except Greenwood (being rebuilt) and College Park (construction nearby)

Saturday January 18, 2013

All rink listed as operational at 10am on the city's website except Greenwood (being rebuilt) and College Park (construction nearby)

The weather is forecasting lots of rain, but from Sunday on, the forecast is going down into a deep freeze. Most of the natural ice rinks will start rebuilding tomorrow and throughout the week -- if you want to learn how it's done (and help), here's an invitation: Pearen Park Rink.

To get the most current information about how ice conditions are with optimal outdoor ice maintenance, see the webcam at Harbourfront's Natrel Rink.

Friday January 18, 2013

At 9.30 a.m. the city's website says that all rinks are "operational" except Greenwood (being rebuilt) and College Park (construction nearby). In reality, because of last night's snow, some rinks are still being cleared, but the snow was not huge so all rinks should be cleared off by noontime.

To get the most current information about how ice conditions are with optimal outdoor ice maintenance, see the webcam at Harbourfront's Natrel Rink.

The natural ice rinks will start rebuilding this Saturday night -- if you want to learn how it's done (and help), here's an invitation: Pearen Park Rink.

On Wednesday, Google had a zamboni animation on its home page. We have one too. It's called "Good Rinks."

Thursday January 17, 2013

At 10 a.m. the city's website says that all rinks are "operational" except Greenwood (being rebuilt) and College Park (construction nearby).

Tuesday January 15, 2013

Joseph Bannon is now listed as open, Monarch Closed (compressor troubles). Everything else is operational (except for Greenwood - under construction and College Park - nearby construction).

Monday January 14, 2013

The annual January thaw is over. It was not good for natural ice rinks, but not bad for Toronto's 56 compressor-cooled rinks, since it's still the low-sun time of the winter.

Harbourfront's Natrel Rink (see their webcam).

Some technical information about compressor-cooled rinks and temperatures: here and here.

Sunday January 13, 2013

The annual January thaw is here. Not good for natural ice rinks, but not bad for Toronto's 56 compressor-cooled rinks, since it's still the low-sun time of the winter. The 2 pm update of the city's outdoor rink website says that most of the west and central region (36) of the Toronto rinks are operational. All north rinks are marked TBA -- hard to know if this is a step above "closed," but maybe. City Hall (Nathan Phillips) is marked as closed, as are Withrow, Monarch, Rosedale, Ryerson, and Albert Campbell. Some of these rinks are enclosed by low walls, and so have problematic drainage in a situation like today when heavy rains are accompanied by surface melt.

This was the situation at Harbourfront's Natrel Rink (see their webcam). The rink stayed closed until later afternoon, trying to get rid of water. At our 7.30 check-in (through their webcam) they were open with their coloured lights and a good number of skaters.

Sunday January 13, 2013

The annual January thaw is here. Not good for natural ice rinks, but not bad for Toronto's 56 compressor-cooled rinks, since it's still the low-sun time of the winter. The 2 pm update of the city's outdoor rink website says that most of the west and central region (36) of the Toronto rinks are operational. All north rinks are marked TBA -- hard to know if this is a step above "closed," but maybe. City Hall (Nathan Phillips) is marked as closed, as are Withrow, Monarch, Rosedale, Ryerson, and Albert Campbell. Some of these rinks are enclosed by low walls, and so have problematic drainage in a situation like today when heavy rains are accompanied by surface melt.

This is the situation of Harbourfront's Natrel Rink (see their webcam). The rink is still closed because they are trying to get rid of water. At 4.30 their phone message says they hope to open later today.

Sunday January 13, 2013

The annual January thaw is here. Not good for natural ice rinks, but not bad for Toronto's 56 compressor-cooled rinks, since it's still the low-sun time of the winter. The 12 noon update of the city's outdoor rink website says that most (15) of the central Toronto rinks are "open - covered with water," while the other 37 are listed as closed.

Sunday January 13, 2013

The annual January thaw is here. Not good for natural ice rinks, but not bad for Toronto's 56 compressor-cooled rinks, since it's still the low-sun time of the winter. Since it's raining, all rinks are marked "closed" at 8 a.m. on the city's outdoor rink website.

Meanwhile, the webcam at Harbourfront's Natrel Rink shows the zamboni taking water off the ice, which is what has to happen during rain, to make sure the ice doesn't get too thick. That's probably happening at Nathan Phillips Rink too -- but are the staff at the other rinks removing water, or are they sitting in their offices?

Saturday January 12, 2013, 9.30 pm

The annual January thaw is here. Not good for natural ice rinks, but not bad for Toronto's 56 compressor-cooled rinks, since it's still the low-sun time of the winter. The 6 pm update (fourth update of the day -- doing much better!) on the city's outdoor rink website says that most rinks are operational, except for Greenwood (being rebuilt), College Park (construction nearby), plus three north Toronto and eight central Toronto rinks listed as closed without any reason given. Mel Lastman Rink is still listed as "TBA." Most of these rinks are probably open.

Meanwhile, at 9.30 pm, the webcam at Harbourfront's Natrel Rink shows a rink absolutely packed with skaters, no water on the ice, still 11 celsius.

Saturday January 12, 2013

The annual January thaw is here. Not good for natural ice rinks, but not bad for Toronto's 56 compressor-cooled rinks. At 2 pm, the city's website says that most rinks are operational, except for Greenwood (being rebuilt), College Park (construction nearby), plus three north Toronto and three central Toronto rinks* listed as closed without any reason given. Mel Lastman Rink and Albert Campbell Rink are listed as "TBA."

Meanwhile, the webcam at Harbourfront's Natrel Rink shows many happy skaters, still no water on the ice, in hazy sunlight at 12 celsius.

* Interestingly, Giovanni Caboto Rink, now marked as "closed, projected opening at 7 or 8 pm," is one of the higher-horsepower rinks in Toronto.

Saturday January 12, 2013

The annual January thaw is here. Not good for natural ice rinks, but not bad for Toronto's 56 compressor-cooled rinks. At 12.15, the city's website says that most rinks are operational, except for Greenwood (being rebuilt), College Park (construction nearby), plus three North Toronto and two central Toronto rinks listed as closed without any reason given. Mel Lastman Rink and Albert Campbell Rink are listed as "TBA."

Saturday January 12, 2013

The annual January thaw is here. Not good for natural ice rinks, but not bad for Toronto's 56 compressor-cooled rinks. At 10.45, the city's website still has yesterdays' 5 pm report on it, saying that most rinks are operational, except for Greenwood (being rebuilt), College Park (construction nearby), plus four North Toronto rinks listed as closed without any reason given.

Meanwhile, the webcam at Harbourfront's Natrel Rink shows many happy skaters. This webcam is a good way to check how skateable outdoor ice is, during warm, rainy, or snowy weather, when ice maintenance is ideal.

Friday January 11, 2013

At 5pm - a new update shows that Broadlands, Glenlong, Hodgson, Ledbury and North Toronto remain CLOSED.

Up until 3 p.m., the city's website reported all North York rinks closed, all Etobicoke and east Central rinks plus Albert Campbell Rink in Scarborough as operational, and all west Central rinks as "water covered, no hockey nets." Since Toronto is not so big that it has three different climates, what this means is that the city's website is unreliable whenever the weather gives us any amount of rain or snow.

In actual fact, the rinks were skateable all day until 3pm, see the 1 pm photo of Dufferin Rink below. Those rinks that had ice maintenance were in good shape. After 3 pm, the website was finally updated to show only four North York rinks closed, the rest all "operational." The North York rinks could also be open -- they just prefer to stay closed.

At 12, noon, there is a new status term : "Water covered surface/no hockey nets" this applies to Harry Gairey, Campbell, Christie, Dufferin, Ramsden, Rosedale, Trinity, Wallace. Again another example of one supervisor in charge of the south district, west region rinks - that feels like its ok to stop folks from playing shinny on perfectly good ice. The only thing needed would be to remove the water, which zambonis can do.

At 10:30 am the city's website website lists more rinks as closed: Broadlands, Glenlong, Irving, Mel Lastman, Ledbury, North Toronto, Otter Creek and Pleasantview... basically all the north district rink. Its hard to imagine that isn't simply one supervisor not knowing that compressor cooled rinks can remain open when the temperature is 8 degrees. You only have to look the webcam of Harbourfront's Natrel Rink to compare. If staff weren't flooding properly to establish good ice in the days leading up to this weekend - its possible that the ice is actually too thin. If you go by any of these north rinks - please let us know what it looks like.

At 8 a.m. the city's website says that all rinks are "operational" except Greenwood (being rebuilt), College Park (construction nearby), and Glen Long Rink.

There are now so many natural ice rinks that we've begun to make pages for those rinks too, here. Please let us know if we left yours out. These rinks will need to be rebuilt after the January thaw is over, but even before the thaw, most of the ones we visited (on Tuesday) were already rough.

A good way to find out how skateable compressor-cooled outdoor rinks are in warmer weather is by checking the webcam of Harbourfront's Natrel Rink.

 
Thursday January 10, 2013

At 8 a.m. the city's website says that all rinks are "operational" except Greenwood (being rebuilt) and College Park (construction nearby).

Tuesday January 8, 2013

At 8.30 a.m. the city's website says that all rinks are "operational" except Greenwood (being rebuilt) and College Park (construction nearby) -- and Albert Campbell Rink in Scarborough, which has more "closed" notices than most other rinks -- why?

There are now so many natural ice rinks either ready of being made ready, that we've begun to make pages for those rinks too, here. Please let us know if we left yours out. The weather forecast looks very dicey for natural ice rinks later in the week -- we'll be watching how they make out.

A good way to find out whether outdoor rinks can be made skateable on snow or rain days is by checking the webcam of Harbourfront's Natrel Rink.

 
Monday January 7, 2013

The city's website says that all rinks are "operational" except Greenwood (being rebuilt) and College Park (construction nearby).

There are now so many natural ice rinks either ready of being made ready, that we've begun to make pages for those rinks too, here. Please let us know if we left yours out. The weather forecast looks very dicey for natural ice rinks later in the week -- we'll be watching how they make out.

If it snows/rains later today, a good way to find out whether outdoor rinks can be made skateable on snow or rain days is by checking the webcam of Harbourfront's Natrel Rink.

Friday January 4, 2013

All rinks open today as of 11am

Thursday January 3, 2013

4 p.m.: The city's website says that all rinks are "operational" except Scarborough Civic (Albert Campbell). Clearing off all the snow was a big job. And today the website information was updated more often than usual (better!). Individual outdoor rink phone numbers are not shared with the public by the City, and those listed on cityrinks.ca are not all current -- but worth trying after a snowfall. Failing that, a good way to find out whether outdoor rinks can be made skateable on snowy days is by checking the webcam of Harbourfront's Natrel Rink. At 4 pm it looks very busy, as are many of the other rinks, in this Winter Wonderland city today.

Here's an important note to all midnight shinny players, from a zamboni operator.

Thursday January 3, 2013

1 p.m.: The city's website says that most rinks are "operational," meaning they've had the snow cleared off. A big job! Since the website information is not always current on snowy days (for example, Wallace Rink is open but still marked as "closed"), it would be nice to be able to call the individual rinks. However, outdoor rink phone numbers are not shared with the public (nor, these days, with cityrinks.ca). A good way to find out whether outdoor rinks can be made skateable on snowy days is by checking the webcam of Harbourfront's Natrel Rink. At 1 pm it looks very busy, as are many of the other rinks, in this Winter Wonderland city today.

Here's an important note to all midnight shinny players, from a zamboni operator.

Thursday January 3, 2013

9 a.m.: Today there is enough snow that most rinks will be closed awaiting snow removal. A big job everywhere. The city's website says that rinks are "operational," but the website information is not usually current on snowy days. Individual outdoor rink phone numbers are not shared with the public (nor with cityrinks.ca), and so some of the phone numbers listed on our rink pages are not up to date (but worth trying). A good way to find out whether some rinks are able to open is by checking the webcam of Harbourfront's Natrel Rink. But at 9 am there is a clump of snow or ice on the lens that makes the rink hard to see.

posted January 1, 2013, 9:52am

The city's website says that rinks are "operational - no maintenance" on New Year's Day. But in fact there is excellent ice maintenance today at many rinks. The rinks which have change rooms and washrooms open today are Nathan Phillips Square, Hodgson, JJP, Wallace, Harry Gairey, Otter Creek Dufferin, Campbell Rink and Cedarvale.

Many other rinks have the gates unlocked and good ice, but no access to the change rooms.

Of course Harbourfront's Natrel Rink is open regular hours every day including New Year's Day. (See their webcam.)

posted January 1, 2013, 9:52am

The city's website says that rinks are "operational - no maintenance" on New Year's Day. That probably means no staff, and locked buildings. Let us know what you find. As of 3 p.m. Dec.25, the rinks listed to be open at select times on New Year's Day (including change rooms and washrooms) were Nathan Phillips Square, Hodgson, JJP, Wallace, Harry Gairey, Otter Creek Dufferin (also open until midnight New Year's Eve), and Cedarvale. We also know that there is staffing for Campbell Rink that day. Of course Harbourfront's Natrel Rink is open regular hours every day including New Year's Day. (See their webcam.)

Sherbourne Common is listed to be open but its change room is permanently closed, and the wind is very bitter there, so very few people use the rink.

 

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