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Custodians:
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.


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Content last modified on January 05, 2015, at 02:15 PM EST