For better use and better management. The UNOFFICIAL Website of Toronto's Outdoor Skating Rinks


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A Manual for Running Compressor-Cooled Outdoor Rinks Really Well. Read more>>

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wood stove at Dufferin

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Some history of the outdoor rinks.


Rinks News Archives

Harbourfront's Natrel Rink (not a municipal rink) was scheduled to remain open throughout March break, until March 18, 2012, but it had to close for the season on March 11 (weather too warm, sun too high). Here is their webcam.

Parks director Richard Ubbens said on CityTV on March 5 2012 that the rinks are using "four or five-fold" as much electricity as formerly. While this calculation is highly unlikely to be accurate, the city could save money by directing the rinks to shut down for the season at the end of February. The low sun of next November will make the rinks easy to run again.

Most rinks are scheduled to close on Sunday February 26. Fourteen are scheduled to remain open until March 11, but they probably won't last that long. The sun is too strong by March. See the city's website for closing dates.

NO LOCKOUT OR STRIKE AFTER ALL: The City and the union have reached a settlement.You can find out more from these media excerpts and links.
NO LOCKOUT OR STRIKE AFTER ALL: The City and the union have reached a settlement, which still needs to be approved by CUPE Local 416 members and City Council. You can find out more from these media excerpts and links.

On Friday Feb.3 the City Manager sent over the city's "take-it-or-leave-it" terms to CUPE Local 416. Here is the Toronto Star story. Here are some comments by labour law professor David Doorey.


Click to enlarge.
LOCKOUT? On Sunday, February 5, the City can legally lock out all the CUPE Local 416 workers and shut down all outdoor rinks (and much else). Right now, nothing is clear and rumours continue to fly. At Dufferin Rink, there's a campfire/ideas swap on Sunday January 29 (click on the poster).
LOCKOUT? 17 days from Tuesday, January 17, all rinks can be shut down (February 3). Right now, nothing is clear and rumours continue to fly.

You can find out more from these media excerpts and links.

From the city website: "This afternoon, the City of Toronto requested a No Board Report from the Ontario Minister of Labour with regard to collective bargaining with the Toronto Civic Employees Union (CUPE) Local 416."

On January 4, the Toronto Maple Leafs came to Sunnydale Rink to practice, in honour of the MLSE hockey-boards gift. Here are the two MLSE "Team Up" Foundation's videos.

Media coverage, January 4 2012: Globe and Mail, National Post, Toronto Star, Toronto Sun.

January 2 2012: Some of the rink buildings are on reduced hours for the full-time workers' statutory holiday, but the city's website says that all ice surfaces are operational.

About half of the outdoor rink change rooms are closed on New Year's Day. The holiday schedule tells which ones are open. Of those, most are closing at 6 p.m.

Six outdoor rinks will be open until normal closing time this evening (9 or 10 p.m.): Mel Lastman Rink (North York), Albert Campbell Rink (Scarborough), Nathan Phillips Rink, Dufferin Rink, and Wallace Rink.

All outdoor city rink ice surfaces are OPEN on Boxing Day, and most change rooms/bathrooms are open until 6 pm. The ones that are open normal hours (until 9 or 10 pm) are: Nathan Phillips Square, Albert Campbell (at Scarborough Town Centre), Mel Lastman, Ramsden, Dufferin, Wallace, and Campbell Rinks. Also Harbourfront's Natrel Rink (non-municipal).

Note: on New Year's Day, most central Toronto and North Toronto neighbourhood-rink buildings are closed. The rinks are open, but no warmth, no washrooms!

Exceptions: Dufferin Rink is open on all holidays and until midnight on New Year's Eve; Wallace Rink and Campbell Rink are open on all holidays. The reason: a rink user donated the money to keep those rinks open (it only costs $179.36 for 8 hours of stat holiday staffing). More information: [email protected].

An OPEN LETTER to Jim Hart, new general manager of Parks, Forestry and Recreation, about what needs fixing at the city's outdoor rinks

Rink Openings for 2011-2012...

On Saturday, December 10, the last of the city's outdoor rinks opened for the 2011/2012 season. The city's "rink conditions" web page is updated at 10.30 and 3.30 every day.

Sunnydale Rink was the final one to open, after an MLSE makeover.

On Saturday, December 10, all but one of the city's 51 rinks are listed as OPERATIONAL on the city's website.

Sunnydale is scheduled to open Dec 10 after an MLSE makeover, but is not yet listed as open.

On Friday, December 9, most rinks are listed as OPERATIONAL on the city's website. Three outdoor rinks are not open due to construction or repair delays: North Toronto Memorial (now scheduled to open Dec 10, construction is not finished), Ramsden (now scheduled to open December 10, construction has finished but ice making still needs to happen), Sunnydale (scheduled to open Dec 10 for an MLSE makeover).

On Thursday, December 8, at 10 a.m., most rinks are listed as OPERATIONAL on the city's website. Four outdoor rinks are not open due to construction or repair delays: North Toronto Memorial (now scheduled to open Dec 10, construction is not finished), Queensway (delayed due to "mechanical issues," no opening date given), Ramsden (now scheduled to open December 10, construction has finished but ice making still needs to happen), Sunnydale (scheduled to open Dec 10 for an MLSE makeover). Barbara Ann Scott, (also called College Park) is scheduled to open Dec.9 (no reason given for delay - nearby construction shouldn't be an issue).

(:announce-block:) On Wednesday, December 7, at 5 p.m., most rinks are listed as OPERATIONAL on the city's website. Four outdoor rinks are not open due to construction or repair delays: North Toronto Memorial (now scheduled to open Dec 10, construction is not finished), Queensway (delayed due to "mechanical issues," no opening date given), Ramsden (now scheduled to open December 10, construction is not finished), Sunnydale (scheduled to open Dec 10 for an MLSE makeover). Barbara Ann Scott, (also called College Park) is scheduled to open Dec.9 (no reason given for delay). West Mall is open on the hockey side but not the pleasure-skating side. Pleasantview appears to be covered with snow.

(:announce-block:) On Tuesday, December 6, at 10.00 a.m., most rinks are listed as OPERATIONAL on the city's website. Five outdoor rinks are not open due to construction or repair delays: North Toronto Memorial (scheduled to open Dec 5, but construction is not finished), Queensway (delayed due to mechanical issues), Ramsden (scheduled to open December 5, but construction is not finished), Sunnydale (scheduled to open Dec 10), Van Horne/Pleasantview (delayed due to mechanical issues). Eight rinks are not open due to delayed start-up maintenance or rain damage: Barbara Ann Scott, (also called College Park), West Mall (pleasure-skating side), Scarborough Town Square, Trinity, Monarch, Sherbourne Common, Rosedale, and Regent Park North. Please send us rink condition reports at [email protected].

On Monday, December 5, at 10 a.m., most rinks are listed as OPERATIONAL on the city's website. Five outdoor rinks are not open due to construction or repair delays: North Toronto Memorial (scheduled to open Dec 5, but construction is not finished), Queensway (delayed due to mechanical issues), Ramsden (scheduled to open December 5, but construction is not finished), Sunnydale (scheduled to open Dec 10) Van Horne/Pleasantview (delayed due to mechanical issues). Seven rinks are not open due to delayed start-up maintenance: Barbara Ann Scott, (also called College Park), Ryerson, Trinity, Monarch, Sherbourne Common, Rosedale, and Regent Park North. Please send us rink condition reports at [email protected].

All of the city's 51 outdoor compressor-cooled ice rinks were scheduled to be open on Saturday Dec.3 except for Sunnydale Rink, which we've learned is now scheduled to open Dec. 10. But on Dec.2, the website added new postponements: Ramsden and North Toronto are postponed -- the website says to Dec.5, but both have construction still going on. College Park is postponed to Dec.6. Queensway is under construction (no fence up). Pleasantview seems to have ice but no maintenance.

...for City of Toronto outdoor artificial ice rinks: On November 19, only Dufferin Rink opened. Also scheduled to be open on Saturday Nov.19 were: Nathan Philips Square, Regent Park South, Kew Gardens, Mel Lastman Square, Glen Long, Irving Chapley, Broadlands, Colonel Sam Smith, Hodgson, Rennie, Scarborough Civic Centre, and West Mall. But they didn't open then.


For more news see News 2010-2011

Latest News

March 12, 2011: All municipal outdoor rinks are closed until next November.

Compressor-cooled outdoor rinks work well in low sun (November, December, January, the first part of February), but toward the end of February, they get mushy on sunny days even when it's well below zero. To find out more about why rinks should open mid-November and close near the end of February, see the cityrinks.ca information page.

(:announce-block:) The city's mandatory helmet policy for recreational skating is not gaining public acceptance even though the City put out expensive new bus shelter ads this year.

Please note: despite the recommendation in the "what to do with your kids during March break" article in the National Post, Dufferin Rink is NOT open. However, Harbourfront's Natrel Rink is scheduled to stay open until March 20, "weather permitting." On sunny days, their ice will be mushy in the afternoons. See their webcam.

Most of the city's outdoor rinks closed on February 27, and that's good -- the rinks work well in low sun (November, December, January, the first part of February), but toward the end of February, they get mushy on sunny days even when it's well below zero. Scheduled to stay open until March 13: Broadlands, Colonel Sam Smith skating trail, Dufferin, Hodgson, Irving Chapley, Kew, Mel Lastman, Nathan Phillips, Regent South, Rennie, Scarborough Town Centre, Sunnydale, West Mall.

Sunday March 13, 1 to 4 pm at Dufferin Rink: -- a winter-into-spring event: maple syrup demonstrations, storytelling, music, put on by Not Far From the Tree. Pancakes and sausages at the zamboni cafe. Skate rentals too - the ice is fine!

Harbourfront's Natrel Rink (not run by the City) has a live-stream Webcam. Fun to watch!

Please note: Dufferin Rink is closed all day Friday March 4, for a film shoot. It's standing in for Lasker Rink in New York City. The rink will be open as normal on Saturday March 5.

We've put together a picture gallery of some of the extra fun at outdoor rinks on Family Day. More pictures coming, with some notes as well.

Family Day, February 21st, 2011 Just posted on the city's website: family day schedules for all rinks click here There is an impressive lineup of performances and activities for Family day at four outdoor rinks, including a temporary synthetic rink at Fort York: more details.

There are also some local Family Day activities at a few neighbourhood rinks:


On February 15, 2011, Catherine Porter (Toronto Star) wrote an article about Sunnydale Rink: "City puts plans for skating party on ice". Bureaucratic blocks prevented a campfire and marshmallows there with youth and kids, on a school-free PA day (Friday Feb.18). Porter's article focused attention on these blocks, and the councillor for Sunnydale Rink (Doug Ford) helped to get them removed. However, the weather forecast is so warm for Friday, that the Sunnydale Rink skating party has been rescheduled for Family Day.



Click on poster to enlarge it.

On February 15, 2011, Catherine Porter (Toronto Star) wrote an article about Sunnydale Rink: "City puts plans for skating party on ice". Bureaucratic blocks prevented a campfire and marshmallows there with youth and kids, on a school-free PA day (Friday Feb.18). The result was letters offering help with fund-raising, skate lending, and ladling out hot chocolate. People are generous! But the fact is, the hot chocolate, the travelling skate collection and the funding are in place. What's missing is only permission.

February 12, 6 pm to 10 pm, at Dufferin Rink:

the annual bike couriers' ice race. Have supper at the races: the zamboni cafe will be serving shepherd's pie and Vegan ziti, and other good treats. Open skating on the pleasure-skating pad except for the final race.

The National Post (by Peter Kuitenbrouwer): I want to ride my Icycle, Feb. 12, 2011.

NEW YEAR'S DAY JANUARY 1, 2011

All rinks and many of the change rooms (except in North York and single-pad hockey rinks downtown) are open. Warm, showery weather makes good ice on compressor-cooled rinks -- wet on top, hard underneath.

From the City of Toronto website: Outdoor rink statutory-holiday schedules (i.e. days when rinks or washrooms/ rink buildings may be closed). See why rinks/change rooms/clubhouses should not be closed on public holidays: holiday rink diaries.

Older News

BOXING DAY Dec.26 2010 All municipal rink pads are unlocked, with most having daytime ice maintenance (except Albert Campbell Rink in Scarborough -- open but no ice maintenance). Washrooms and changerooms are listed as open from 10 a.m. until 6 pm at all of the Etobicoke and North Toronto double-pad and single-pad hockey-board rinks. (So says the city website but in some cases not on the local schedule, some are NOT open). In the downtown area, 11 single-pad hockey rinks have NO washroom/changeroom access (i.e. none have access other than Kew Gardens Rink), and one double pad has no access.

Normal program hours, skate lending, snacks, change room access are offered at Nathan Phillips Square, Dufferin, Wallace, and Campbell Rinks.

Finally opened: Trinity-Bellwoods Rink, opened by Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment on Dec.22, at 10.30 a.m. Still closed (under construction): Sherbourne Common (no opening date).

posted December 08, 2010

Colonel Sam Smith Skating Trail

opened Wednesday Dec 8. Ward Six Councillor Mark Grimes is hosting an opening celebration on Saturday Dec.11 at 4.30 pm.

posted December 07, 2010

So 49 of 51 outdoor municipal rinks are now open.

posted December 06, 2010

Monday (Dec 6) snow cleared by rink users at Campbell Rink

The city updated their website at 5 pm to say that all the snow covered rinks are now operational. To note - Campbell Rink was operational from 11am on after staff and community members hand shoveled the rinks.

posted December 06, 2010

By noon Monday (Dec 6) snow clearing taking time

....the city's website noted progress on snow clearing: only Harry Gairey, Campbell, Hodgson, Regent North & South, and Ryerson, were still snow covered. We called 311 to get an update on clearing at 2:30pm - but there was no info - and the rinks have no phone number listed to call....

posted December 05, 2010

On Sunday Dec.5, 46.5 of 51 municipal ice rinks had good ice.

Still closed: Trinity-Bellwoods (waiting until Dec.22 for an opening event with the Toronto Maple Leafs), Colonel Sam Smith (ribbon-cutting on Dec.11 with City Councillor Mark Grimes), Sherbourne Common (new rink, no opening date set yet), North Toronto Memorial (opening today??), and the pleasure pad at Ramsden.

posted December 04, 2010

On Saturday Dec.4, 44 of 51 city rinks had good ice.

Rinks that were NOT open: Ramsden, Riverdale (open but ice too thin), Sir Albert Campbell, Trinity-Bellwoods, Sherbourne Common, Colonel Sam Smith, North Toronto Memorial.

posted November 20, 2010

We made a request? for the City to turn on compressors and allow rink users to flood three outdoor rinks in preparation for opening as soon as possible, owing to the city's delay to November 27. The Parks Director's response makes it clear that the answer is no. Here is a chart responding to his reasonings. So no municipal rinks scheduled to open on Nov.20 opened on time: but Harbourfront did.

posted November 19, 2010

!Reality Check

Here's a reality check of the arguments City representatives have made for delaying rink openings to November 27 from the promised November 20 openings.


posted November 17, 2010

See The Rink Opening Saga 2010 that resulted from Toronto's Parks Forestry and Recreation deciding to postpone rink openings by a week until November 27. Also see related correspondence?.


posted November 16, 2010

Notes about people's response to Delay of Rink openings.


posted November 16, 2010

Interview with CIMCO

CIMCO supplies and maintains the city's outdoor rink compressors, and gave us some interesting information. See Interview with CIMCO.


For more news see News 2010-2011

Announcements

Scheduled rink opening dates (revised)

November 17, 2010; updated November 27

Saturday Nov 27, 12:45pm: 311 says City hall, Kew Gardens, Regent South, and Dufferin are all open and ready to use. Dufferin has been cleared of snow and the ice is looking good!
No info on Irving Chapley, Glenlong, Mel Lastman, Sunnydale, Rennie, or Westmall. Let us know if you go out to any of those rinks!

 
Scheduled rink opening dates (revised)

November 17, 2010

The following rinks are scheduled to open Saturday November 27, 2010 (originally scheduled for November 20): Nathan Philips Square, Dufferin Grove, Regent Park South, Kew Gardens, West Mall, Sir Adam Beck (postponed to Dec.4), Rennie Park, Sunnydale, Mel Lastman Square, Broadlands (postponed to Dec.4), Glen Long, Hodgson (postponed to Dec.4), Irving Chapley, Albert Campbell (postponed to Dec.4).

The remaining rinks will open on Saturday December 4.

September 15, 2010

Scheduled rink opening dates (as of May 2010)

Update: The following rinks are scheduled to open Saturday November 20, 2010 (pending any revisions): Nathan Philips Square, Dufferin Grove, Regent Park South, Kew Gardens, West Mall, Sir Adam Beck, Rennie Park, Sunnydale, Mel Lastman Square, Broadlands, Glen Long, Hodgson, Irving Chapley, Albert Campbell.

The remaining rinks will open on Saturday December 4.

November 17, 2010; updated November 27

The following rinks opened Saturday November 27, 2010 (originally scheduled for November 20): Nathan Philips Square, Dufferin Grove, Regent Park South, Kew Gardens, West Mall, Rennie Park, Sunnydale, Mel Lastman Square, Glen Long, and Irving Chapley.

Four rinks scheduled to open early have been postponed to Dec.4: Sir Adam Beck, Broadlands, Hodgson, and Albert Campbell.

Most of the remaining rinks will also open on Saturday December 4. (:announce-block:)


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