The City offers opportunities for refrigerated outdoor ice skating at 52
locations, with 62 outdoor artificial ice pads (referred to as AIRs) and 5 skating trails, most of which are supported by washrooms and change rooms. AIRs are used for recreational skating, ice hockey and City programming during the winter and other recreational purposes, such
as sport courts, during the summer.
Usage levels and an improving distribution of rinks suggest that the current provision level can be reduced into the future, while still allowing for new facilities to be established in strategic areas. Based on a growth-related target of one AIR per 100,000 persons, up to five new outdoor rinks will be required to ensure access for all residents
and to serve growing communities over the next twenty years.
Future development will focus on facilities that accommodate pleasure skating, including both rinks and trails.
Designs that encourage year-round (open-air) use of AIRs should also be encouraged, such as multi-use pads that allow for court sports in the warmer months.
In assessing gap areas, consideration will be given to the availability of indoor ice arenas that may offset needs through public skating and programming. Opportunities to increase usage of AIRs should be examined and tested. Some options include expanding the number of skating trails, offering enhanced comfort amenities and services to allow rinks to function as community hubs, improving online schedules [p. 41] and covering rinks. The latter option may help to mitigate the impact of unpredictable weather, which is a threat to AIRs and can cause wide fluctuations in participation.
Over time, additional funding will be required to address aging ice-
making equipment and a replacement fund for built outdoor recreation amenities is highly recommended.
Conditions for maintaining and reinvesting in AIRs should be identified.
Strategic Directions–Outdoor Artificial Ice Rinks
A. Access to outdoor skating rinks and trails is a priority and will influence their future provision.
B. Creative solutions are necessary to ensure that outdoor artificial ice rinks remain sustainable, ranging from facility design to service provision.
C. The viability of outdoor artificial ice rinks should be assessed when major investment is required. Dedicated funding is needed for the
replacement of built outdoor recreation amenities.
Recommendations – Outdoor Artificial Ice Rinks
- 22. Seek additional state of good repair funding to address aging ice-making equipment at outdoor artificial ice rinks.
- 23. Provide up to five (5) additional outdoor artificial ice rinks over the next twenty years, with potential locations in Wards 5, 8, 37, 39 and 43 to serve geographic gaps and future growth.
- 24. Continue to assess opportunities to add skating trails to existing outdoor artificial ice rinks. Provide a minimum of two (2) additional skating trails through expansions to existing outdoor artificial ice rinks at locations in North York and Scarborough.