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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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See the editor's blog to see what happened at various rinks on Boxing Day. (:/announce:)

Rink Hours for 2012-2013...

posted December 26, 2012, 12 pm - BOXING DAY

There are more rinks open today, on Boxing day, than on Christmas Day. All but Broadlands, Christie, Glen long, Irving Chapley, KEW, Ledbury, North Toronto, Otter Creek, Regent N and S, Scarborough have their gates unlocked. But only a few have change room or washroom access (see below).

posted December 23, 2012, 3 pm

Holiday hours for the city's outdoor rinks are a puzzle this year. The city's website says that many rinks will be closed on all the statutory holidays (although that may still change). Some rinks have contradictory information, so what follows is our best guess. As of 3 p.m. Dec.25, the rinks listed to be open on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Year's Day are Nathan Phillips Square, Wallace, Campbell, Harry Gairey, Sherbourne Common and Dufferin. Rinks that are open some of the time are Cedarvale (not open Christmas Day); and Riverdale, Monarch Park, Rosedale and Withrow and Ramsden(open on Boxing Day only). And -- of course -- Harbourfront's Natrel Rink is open all the regular hours except that its skate rental closes at 5 pm on Christmas Day. Many Etobicoke rinks are listed as open but unsupervised, mainly because they are never staffed and their washrooms/changerooms are kept locked for the whole rink season. But the ice surface is unlocked, during holidays too.

See the editor's blog for some lively holiday pictures of the rinks in other years.

posted December 24, 2012, 11am

Holiday hours for the city's outdoor rinks are a puzzle this year. The city's website says that many rinks will be closed on all the statutory holidays (although that may still change). Some rinks have contradictory information, so what follows is our best guess. As of 11 a.m. Dec.24, the rinks listed to be open on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Year's Day are Nathan Phillips Square, Wallace, Campbell, Harry Gairey, Hodgson, Sherbourne Common and Dufferin. Rinks that are open some of the time are Cedarvale (not open Christmas Day); and Riverdale, Monarch Park, Rosedale and Withrow and Ramsden(open on Boxing Day only). And -- of course -- Harbourfront's Natrel Rink is open all the regular hours except that its skate rental closes at 5 pm on Christmas Day. Many Etobicoke rinks are listed as open but unsupervised, mainly because they are never staffed and their washrooms/changerooms are kept locked for the whole rink season. But the ice surface is unlocked, during holidays too.

See the editor's blog for some lively holiday pictures of the rinks in other years.

A short animation about how good rinks are run:

Rink Hours for 2012-2013...

posted December 22, 2012

The last update from the the City's Rink Update page was at 6pm yesterday. Ledbury had reopened - Scarborough remained closed. The other 50 rinks rinks (not including from Greenwood -construction and College Park - condo construction nearby) should be open. Holiday hours are still confusing this year. You have to go to each rink individually, and still, some list no 'holiday schedule' some list 'blanks' on holiday days, and some have the wrong schedules online. So its hard to tell what's open & when - and what's not.

Rink Openings for 2012-2013...

posted December 21, 2012

At 4pm, Ledbury and Scarborough rinks are listed as closed. At 11am All rinks apart from Greenwood (construction)and College Park (condo construction nearby) are listed on the City's Rink Update page as OPEN today at 11am. NEW News - Giovani Caboto has finally opened.

(:/announce:)

Rink Openings for 2012-2013...

posted December 20, 2012

All rinks apart from Greenwood (construction)and College Park (condo construction nearby) are listed on the City's Rink Update page as OPEN today at 11am. NEW News - Giovani Caboto has finally opened.

Rink Openings for 2012-2013...

posted December 19, 2012

All rinks apart from Greenwood (construction)and College Park (condo construction nearby) are listed on the City's Rink Update page as OPEN today at 11am. The low angle of the sun won't be a problem for our compressor cooled rinks between november to feb. NEW News - Giovani Caboto has finally opened.

Rink Openings for 2012-2013...

posted December 18, 2012

All rinks apart from Greenwood (construction)and College Park (condo construction nearby) are listed on the City's Rink Update page as OPEN today at 11am. The warm weather won't be a problem for our compressor cooled rinks. NEW News - Giovani Caboto has finally opened.

Rink Openings for 2012-2013...

posted December 17, 2012

All rinks apart from Greenwood (construction), College Park (condo construction nearby), JJP (repairs) are still listed as OPEN today at 10am on the City's Rink Update Page. The warm weather won't be a problem for our compressor cooled rinks.

Rink Openings for 2012-2013...

posted December 16, 2012

All rinks apart from Greenwood (construction), College Park (condo construction nearby), JJP (repairs) are still listed as OPEN from yesterday's posting on the city website. The warm weather won't be a problem for our compressor cooled rinks but those rinks that don't get ice maintenance - may be pebbly or wet until maintenance is done.

Rink Openings for 2012-2013...

posted December 15, 2012

All rinks apart from Greenwood (construction), College Park (condo construction nearby), JJP (repairs) are OPEN.

Rink Openings for 2012-2013...

posted December 14, 2012

high 7, low -1, mostly sunny, cloud later in the day At 11am today - the City rink update lists 50 of 53 Toronto's Artificial Ice Rinks open. Excluded from this list are Greenwood (construction), College Park (construction), JJP (repairs)

Rink Openings for 2012-2013...

posted December 13, 2012

high 6, low 1, mostly sunny

At 10am today - the City lists 50 of 53 Toronto's Artificial Ice Rinks open. Excluded from this list are Greenwood (construction), College Park (construction), JJP (repairs)

Rink Openings for 2012-2013...

posted December 12, 2012

high 3, low -1, mostly cloudy but clearing

By 6pm - the update page said Joseph Bannon, Ryerson and Withrow had reopened. Since you can't call most rinks, the online update page should really give reasons and ETA's for rink closures. There is a 10am update from the city. Most rinks are open. Monarch reopened... but Withrow is once again closed today. Other closed rinks are Joseph Bannon (from Dec 9), Riverdale, and Ryerson. JJP still can't seem to get fixed from storm damage. (of course no Greenwood or College Park)

Why does Harbourfront's Natrel Rink always open earlier than City of Toronto rinks? Find out from our six-minute cityrinks video.

posted December 11, 2012

high 0, low -3, mostly clear, some afternoon snow

The 3pm update says the same as the 10am update. 10am update from the city. Most other rinks are open. This includes North Toronto finally! Monarch is now listed as closed again after only opening on the 9th and Joseph Bannon still from 2 days ago. JJP still can't seem to get fixed from storm damage. (of course no Greenwood or College Park)

Why does Harbourfront's Natrel Rink always open earlier than City of Toronto rinks? Find out from our six-minute cityrinks video.

posted December 10, 2012

high 7, low 3, showers later this afternoon

11am update from the city. Most other rinks are open except for North Toronto still, Joseph Bannon from yesterday. New closures today are: Rivercrest and Westgrove. JJP still can't seem to get fixed from storm damage. (of course no Greenwood or College Park)

Why does Harbourfront's Natrel Rink always open earlier than City of Toronto rinks? Find out from our six-minute cityrinks video.

Rink Openings for 2012-2013...

posted December 09, 2012

high 0, freezing rain warning in effect late this afternoon

11am update from the city. Good news! Withrow, Monarch, and Otter Creek have opened. Most other rinks are open except for North Toronto still, Joseph Bannon closed today, and JJP still can't seem to fix its compressors from storm damage. (of course no Greenwood or College Park)

Rink Openings for 2012-2013...

posted December 08, 2012

high 7, low -4, rain till early this evening

11:30am- No update from the city yet. We know that most rinks that had a full week of establishing close to a 3/4 inches thick ice base, will be just fine for skating by this evening. Some might even be alright during the day, if maintenance staff take pooling water right off every couple of hours. The big-important thing tonight will be to take excess water off before temperatures drop - otherwise we end up with shale, very bad for skating ice tomorrow!

Rink Openings for 2012-2013...

posted December 7, 2012

high 8, low 0

10am update from the city - This morning Rivercrest has closed and so had Westgrove. In good news - this update sees Scarborough's only rink now operational. Still, Withrow, Otter Creek, North Toronto, and Monarch are not able to open up (that's 6 out of 50 rinks that are closed...)

Rink Openings for 2012-2013...

posted December 6, 2012

high 4, low -4, mainly sunny

All but 5 rinks are now open (as of the 2pm update) ! Recently reopened rinks are Joseph Bannon, Prince of Wales and High Park. Exceptions are Greenwood & College Park(construction) and JJP (storm damage)

10:30am: The city's updated from 10am says that Dieppe, Humber Valley, Queensway, Rivercrest, Royalcrest, Summerlea, Sunnydale, Valleyfield, Westdeane, Westgrove, Westway are all now OPEN! Still closed are Withrow, Joseph B, Scarborough, Prince of Wales, North To, Otter Creek, Monarch and High Park are still CLOSED - but now that's 8...better! If anyone goes by those rinks - send us pictures so we can see why. (of course greenwood college park and jjp are still closed too)

At 9am The status from yesterday says that 31 rinks are open. The rinks that are closed are: Dieppe, High Park, Humber, Joseph B, Monarch, North T.O., Otter Creek, Prince of Wales, Queensway, Rivercrest, Royalcrest, Scarborough, Summerlea, Sunnydale, Valleyfield, Westdeane, Westgrove, Westway, and Withrow. That's 19, plus Greenwood & College Park(construction) and JJP (storm damage)

Why does Harbourfront's Natrel Rink always open earlier than City of Toronto rinks? Find out from our six-minute cityrinks video.

Rink Openings for 2012-2013...

posted December 05, 2012

high 6, low -4

The latest update from 2pm shows 16 out of 50 rinks closed *not counting JJP (storm damage), Greenwood or College Park (construction)

The city has an 11am update.

(10am Note: Colonel Sam Smith just opened)

9am - eek. The city rink page has an update that was done sometime after 10:30 pm last night - only problem is that it still says Tuesday, and 5pm. Colonel Sam Smith is now open. We bet that many of the 38 'closed' rinks (not including JJP, Greenwood and College Park - closed for construction or water damage) with good drainage are actually just fine to skate on. And hopefully rink crews are already out this morning clearing shell ice and morning snow. Might want to take a look ...

Why does Harbourfront's Natrel Rink always open earlier than City of Toronto rinks? Find out from our six-minute cityrinks video.

Rink Openings for 2012-2013...

posted December 04, 2012

high 17, low 4

10:30pm. So nothing has changed since 2pm today - at least not in the world of online postings. The 'operational' rinks with good drainage have probably dried up completely by now or those with on site zamboni's might have pushed off some of the excess water.

I bet that many of the 39 'closed' rinks are actually just fine to skate on. (not counting JJP, Greenwood or College Park) Might want to take a look - and go for some midnight hockey - it is still a warm 7 degrees! Harbourfront is actually laying down water just now (10:30pm), with a zamboni, to make up for anything that got washed away in the melt and rain. That's how it's done.

3:30pm The city's 2pm update had 39 rinks closed (not counting College park, JJP or Greenwood) out of 50 that were operational at some point (that's 78%). The only ones listed as operational are (11) Harry Gairey, Campbell, Cedervale, Christie, Dufferin, KEW, Ledbury, Mel, Ramsden, Ryerson and Wallace. We know, however, that all these rinks will be under a whole lot of water, until some of that water is taken off. Its probably a good thing, for those rinks that have no zamboni to remain shut. No sense in staffing a rink that's too wet to skate on.

There was a 12:30pm update on the city's page. Trinity and Valleyfield just closed, now 30 (not including College Park, Greenwood, JJP) of 50 rinks are listed as closed - no reason given (that's 60%). Yes, we know its raining.

There was a 10am update - 28 rinks (not including College Park, Greenwood, JJP) of Toronto's 50 rinks that were opened this year, are now listed as closed - no reason given. Yes, we know its raining.

8am - There's an update on the city's page from 3pm yesterday. Three more rinks were listed as closed - Glenlong, Ledbury, Scarborough - and still the pleasure sides of Rennie and Westmall, Hockey side of HighPark. In good news - Cedervale opened! - which should be just fine for rinks with established ice. Weather Note: Today the temperature is supposed to go up to 13 (or 16) degrees and rain... but neither rain nor warmer temperatures are a problem during the short daylight hours of November, December, and January. The science is there - take a look.

Rink Openings for 2012-2013...

posted December 03, 2012 - 5pm

high 9, low 2

A 1pm update on the city's website. 9 rinks are closed, plus two pleasure pads at Rennie and Westmall and the hockey side at high park. The 9 are: Cedarvale, Irving Chapley, Joseph Bannon, North Toronto, Otter Creek, Prince of Wales, Royalcrest, Ryerson and Westway. Greenwood, JJP and College park are also closed but because of construction or damages.

At 11am the city's outdoor rink status page is still from yesterday 5pm. 17.5 rinks are listed as closed (due to various ice conditions?), including Rennie... which was actually open last night. The hockey pad at High PGroup.Pageark was closed last night - but might have reopened today if water was laid all night and this morning. Greenwood is still under construction. Giovani Caboto (JJP) has storm damage and is being fixed. The unfortunate thing still is that very few rinks give out their number for folks to call and check actual rink status. I tried the high park number just now - there was a message about pool hours... its an outdoor pool, closed in winter.

Why does Harbourfront's Natrel Rink always open earlier than City of Toronto rinks? Find out from our six-minute cityrinks video.

Rink Openings for 2012-2013...

posted December 2st, 2012

high 12, low 4

Rain Day over Rinks with established ice should be open despite the warm weather. A 5pm up-date of the city's website has the "wet" designation removed. This doesn't mean that the rinks have had maintenance, but just that it not as wet as before. In some cases, rinks without boards, where the water has flowed off the sides, will be skateable (and you won't risk a good soaking if you fall). But those with boards, or blocked drains, or no drains, will still be wet to varying degrees. Be aware - the city's listing may not be accurate especially if the designation is "closed". Rennie, for example, is open. Harbourfront has said that they continually took water off the ice while it was raining - so now, they are open, with flashing lights, and skaters having fun.

Why does Harbourfront's Natrel Rink always open earlier than City of Toronto rinks? Find out from our six-minute cityrinks video.

2pm. The last update from the city's website lists 18 rinks closed! Amazingly, this list includes some rinks that have had ice a Nov. 24th opening date (namely: Colonel Sam, Broadlands, Glenlong, Irving Chapley, Mel Lastman, Rennie!!, Sunnydale and Westmall are all listed as closed. A rainy, cloudy, day in November should not mean a closed rink. The compressors can freeze ice in temperatures up to 12 degrees. Harbourfront has been regularly removing water from the ice in conditions like this, in comparison, most city rinks have not seen or heard from maintenance operators all day. As a result 17/51 rinks are closed. 32/51 are operational but 'wet', no kidding. Most of those rinks will have parks staff/equipment assigned to them to push the water of the ice. See these lists here: *Outdoor ice resurfacing equipment citywide West, North & East, and South

8am. Its a rain day which is a good thing for the rinks that still need to have ice build up. Rink listed as CLOSED are: High Park, JJP, Joseph Bannon, North Toronto, Otter Creek, Prince of Wales, Queensway, Royalcrest, (Greenwood and College Park due to construction) The opening date for JJP seems to be in question - why? The other rinks that opened yesterday will benefit from some natural flooding too. Still - by this evening when temperatures fall, if the excess water isn't spread around the ice will start to freeze in unevenly that will make for unpleasant skating. This is especially the case for rinks that opened Nov. 24th. The best ice is kept at 3/4 of an inch so that the compressors can freeze the ice slab all the way to the top layer. See here: Ice Thickness

Rink Openings for 2012-2013...

posted December 1st, 2012 8pm

high 11, low 4

The city outdoor rink page says it was updated at 6pm

CLOSED rinks are : High Park, JJP, Joseph Bannon, North Toronto, Otter Creek, Prince of Wales, Queensway, and Royalcrest, Westmall Pleasure side all without a reason given. Greenwood and College Park have construction. The opening date for JJP seems to be in question - why?

Why does Harbourfront's Natrel Rink always open earlier than City of Toronto rinks? Find out from our six-minute cityrinks video.

Rink Openings for 2012-2013...

posted December 1st, 2012 2pm.

high 4, low -4

The city outdoor rink page says it was updated at 10:30am Of the rinks scheduled to open TODAY - Alexandra, Buttonwood, Campbell, Cedervale, Christie, Dieppe, Hight park, Humber, Jimmie Simpson, Lambton-Kingsway, Ledbury, Monarch, City Hall, Prince of Wales, Ramsden, Regent North, Rivercrest, Riverdale, Rosedale, Ryerson, Scarborough Civic, Sherbourne Commons, Sir Adam Beck, Summerlea, Trinity Valleyfield, Pleasentview, Wallace, Wedgewood, West Deane, Westgrove, Westaway Withrow are open!

CLOSED rinks are : Westmall pleasure skating, Royalcrest, Queensway, Ottercreek, North Toronto, Joseph Banon, Greenwood (cosntruction), JJP (TBA opening date?), and College Park (construction).

Why does Harbourfront's Natrel Rink always open earlier than City of Toronto rinks? Find out from our six-minute cityrinks video.

Opening Day for the rest of Toronto's rinks!(Low -4, High +4)

posted December 1, 2012

Not Greenwood or College Park because of construction. If you saw staff flooding the rinks last night - we need to know what time they were out and when they started or how late they were around. It seems like, at least in the south, staff have been asked to do over night shifts. Which is exactly what we had hoped for. What about the east? Email [email protected]

Why does Harbourfront's Natrel Rink always open earlier than City of Toronto rinks? Find out from our six-minute cityrinks video.

posted November 30, 2012

Dufferin rink reopens at 8 ! But there's only one staff - so limited programming tonight At 6pm - Dufferin Rink was shut down for the night because of a possible amonia leak. Re-opening TBA

The official city outdoor skating web page shows that 11 Toronto compressor-cooled outdoor ice rinks scheduled for a Nov. 24th start date are now all fully operational. Six days later, West Mall still hasn't opened their leisure skating pad. (NOTE - the rink at City Hall was rescheduled to Dec 1 this year) Scarborough Civic (Albert Campbell) rink was rescheduled to a Dec. 1 start date. The rest of the rinks are scheduled to open tomorrow! Not Greenwood or College Park because of construction.

Why does Harbourfront's Natrel Rink always open earlier than City of Toronto rinks? Find out from our six-minute cityrinks video.

Rink Openings for 2012-2013...

posted November 29 , 2012

The official city outdoor skating web page now shows that only 11 Toronto compressor-cooled outdoor ice rinks were scheduled for a Nov. 24th start date (but NOT the rink at City Hall). Glen Long, Irving Chapley, Mel Lastman, Broadlands, Kew, Hodgson, Regent South, Dufferin, Colonel Sam Smith Skating Trail, Sunnydale and Rennie. West Mall is open only on the hockey side. And there is an update explaining that the pleasure side is being flooded as of yesterday. Scarborough Civic (Albert Campbell) rink has been rescheduled not to open until Dec.1. (Those should have started flooding the rinks Tuesday night). We hope city staff take a look at the fundamentals of ice making page: here

Why does Harbourfront's Natrel Rink always open earlier than City of Toronto rinks? Find out from our six-minute cityrinks video.

Rink Openings for 2012-2013...

The official city outdoor skating web page shows that 13 of the city of Toronto's 52 compressor-cooled outdoor ice rinks were scheduled to open Nov. 24th (but NOT the rink at City Hall). Eleven of the 13 are open now: Glen Long, Irving Chapley, Mel Lastman, Broadlands, Kew, Hodgson, Regent South, Dufferin, Colonel Sam Smith Skating Trail, Sunnydale and Rennie. West Mall is open only on the hockey side. Scarborough Civic (Albert Campbell) rink has been rescheduled not to open until Dec.1, along with all the remaining city rinks. (Those have all started up their compressors by now, but not begun flooding with water.)

Why does Harbourfront's Natrel Rink always open earlier than City of Toronto rinks? Find out from our six-minute cityrinks video.


At 7pm Sunday November 25, 2012, the city website has only four rinks marked as "operational" -- Hodgson, Colonel Sam Smith Skating Trail, Regent South, and Dufferin rinks. Five others are non-committal (just marked with a dash): Broadlands, Glen Long, Irving Chapley, Mel Lastman, and Scarborough Civic (Albert Campbell) rinks. Four are marked as "closed": Rennie, West Mall, Sunnydale, and Kew rinks.

Rink Openings for 2012-2013...

There are 52 city run compressor-cooled rinks, plus Harbourfront and the Brickworks! Natrel Rink at Harbourfront has been open since Nov. 17.

The official city outdoor skating web page shows that 13 rinks are scheduled to open Nov. 24th (but NOT the rink at City Hall). The rest: Dec. 1. At 10 am Sunday November 25, 2012, the city website lists only three rinks as "operational" -- Mel Lastman, Hodgson, and Dufferin rinks. Eight others were down as "ice too thin" and one (Scarborough) had no information.

Why does Harbourfront's Natrel Rink always open earlier than City of Toronto rinks? Find out from our six-minute cityrinks video.

Sat Nov 24: 13 city outdoor rinks could be open by now, but most are still trying to make ice. At 10.30 on Saturday Nov.24, the city's website and 311 list all rinks as still "closed for the season," but in fact Dufferin Rink opened at 9 am.

Harbourfront rink was open on November 17. Why not City of Toronto rinks?

Here's Harbour Front Rink on Sunday 18th November, 2012 at 12.30pm:

Basically, it's mostly about heat from the sun, and the sun is lowest in the sky around December 21. Five weeks earlier, it's the middle of November. Five weeks later it's the end of January. So mid-November is like the end of January for ice making. OK, the air can be a little warmer in November, but it's really not a big deal. Work at night.

-the science is there
-the history is there (pre-amalgamation)
-professionals say it can be done
-even volunteers have done it

Yet Toronto's Parks, Forestry and Recreation refuses to make this public asset available to the public in a timely way. Why?


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Content last modified on January 23, 2013, at 09:25 PM EST