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There's nothing like outdoor skating
A project of CELOS (*)
Rink change area: there are many Muskoka chairs to change skates, and also chairs and tables indoors at the snack bar, with mats on the floor
Staff: on the rink, at the snack bar, at the skate lending, at the bonfire pit
Maintenance: This rink is made of large synthetic tiles so it doesn't need to be resurfaced to get the ice smooth.
Skate Rentals/Sharpening: Friday 6pm 11pm, Saturday & Holiday Weekdays 10am 11pm, Sunday 10am 8pm. Christmas Eve 10am 4pm, Christmas Day Closed. New Years Eve & New Years Day 10am 4pm. Family Day Monday 10am 4pm
Bonfire: Friday 6pm 11pm, Saturday & Holiday Weekdays 6pm 11pm Sunday 4pm 8pm, Christmas Eve 12pm 4pm. Christmas Day Closed. New Years Eve & New Years Day 12pm 4pm. Family Day Monday 12pm 4pm.
Comments about this rink: e-mail us at [email protected].
At 6 p.m. there were a few skaters, three people at the fire pit, and at least 6 courteous staff -- but not many visitors for them to help. The4 staff said there would most likely be more people later in the evening, and that weekends are busier, especially Saturday evenings. There are beautiful light displays to see, and snacks, and lots of places to sit. But some skaters were complaining that the synthetic ice is clunky and doesn't allow gliding.
We asked if an Ontario Place management staff person would meet us there, for a little walk-about, but she said that wouldn't work, and if we email her our questions, she could answer them that way. So we'll try that.
12 noon: there's not a soul at the winter village in Ontario Place. The main paths are cleared but because of the warmer temperatures there's a bit of melt-water coming off the big snow piles, freezing into black ice over the asphalt -- a bit treacherous.
All the buildings are locked up. Then three people pass by on one side. One works for Ontario Place. He says two wild-life workers have just released an injured -- now healed -- duck back into the water where they rescued it.
The staff person says that the rink doesn't really open until the afternoon. He agrees that the lack of public transport to Ontario Place is a problem. They haven't been lucky with the extreme-cold weather either, but he says that even during the cold weeks, people still came, and warmed themselves at the bonfire on the weekend.
News release about "Winter at Ontario Place" here.
Lots of activity because there's going to be an opening ceremony with the minister present. Vendors are getting $1000 for 5 hours serving at the event. It's impressive to see how a fantasy landscape is put together in a hurry.
Summertime, it was a roller rink.
The new plastic rink seems to be almost ready, at the Waterfall Stage. Some workers at the site said they think it will open on Dec.1 -- not sure about that. They said there will be skate lending and skate sharpening in the adjacent building. Maybe food too, and music? Could be fun.
It's a mystery: the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport sent out a press release on Nov.2, saying that their winter programming will include "skating on a synthetic ice rink and other activities."
But there's no evidence of any such rink on the grounds of Ontario Place, nor is there more information available through the Ontario Place media office. Where will it be? When will it open?
BlogTo ran a piece on the rink, but they seem to be mostly guessing too. The picture they got from the province is pretty, but so far it's only a picture -- can't skate on that.
Here's wikipedia on synthetic ice rinks.
See also: Editor's and rink users' blog