For better use and better management. The UNOFFICIAL Website of Toronto's Outdoor Skating Rinks
posted December 2013
The friends of city rinks (formally through CELOS) want to do what we can to preserve and promote what we think is a precious resource - the many public outdoor rinks jointly owned by the citizens of Toronto. One way of doing this is by assembling and distributing a variety of reports to explain issues, and highlight challenges to the outdoor rinks community (including users, and staff at Parks, Forestry, and Recreation). Here are the reports that we have published.
To comment on any of these reports, or contribute material, send us an email at [email protected].
The Editor's take on current events. Read more >>>
This website's Monday Rinks reports, sent weekly to the Parks Director last season, list over 100 operational issues needing attention.
Zanetti reports are the occasional reports that were sent directly to Parks and Recreation management during the 2008/2009 rink season, addressing outdoor rink issues. We generated these as a public service, to provide assistance to the Parks Forestry and Recreation department.
The City of Toronto maintains a Rink Hotline - 416-338-RINK (7465) and a 311 line. In the Hotline/311 Monitor, we report on the reliability of the information there.
Go to the Hotline Monitor report >>
From time to time we open case files of ongoing maintenance and management issues to do with outdoor city rinks, and track and document their progress. These files provide interesting behind-the-scenes insight into the workings of public space administration.
Go to Problems and Followup files >>
Correspondence is a general folder we maintain for general communications with parties that have an interest in, or some influence or control over, our outdoor rinks. This includes correspondence with staff and management of Toronto's Parks, Forestry, and Recreation department.
See correspondence for 2012-2013 on publiccommons.ca.
Excerpt from Parks memo FYI
The outdoor skating season will soon be upon us, and we know that Torontonians are passionate about their outdoor rinks! Each year we strive to provide accurate information about the operation of 51 outdoor rinks through our Fun Guide, online at toronto.ca/parks, and through 311.
Our division is committed to providing residents with free drop-in skating opportunities and high quality instructional programs. Our 51 outdoor rinks offer a range of free pleasure skate and shinny hockey programs. Depending on the weather, our seasonal plan is to open 14 outdoor rinks early for an extended season, from November 19, 2011, to March 11, 2012. Our remaining rinks are scheduled to run for 12 weeks, and be open from Saturday, December 3, 2011, to Sunday, February 26, 2012.
However, every year the weather presents a challenge in operating for the extended season. In order make outdoor ice, we require three days of temperatures that are below five degrees Celsius. Without cold enough weather, the compressors can't keep the ice frozen throughout the day. This is a particular challenge in the early part of the extended season.
The weather forecast is predicting temperatures to be above normal averages this Saturday and Sunday, which may affect the opening dates of our outdoor artificial ice rinks. We will make every effort to ensure the ice can be made, but if the weather forces a delay in rink openings we will ensure that information is being communicated to your office and the public.
Go to Correspondence folder >> including other years.
An attempt to involve the City Ombudsman in some City Rinks issues: Read More >>
Rink Bulletins highlight timely outdoor skating news, opportunities, and issues.
This list is inspired by the "Harper's Index," a monthly list of surprising numbers published by Harper's Magazine. Our numbers show surprising, sometimes downright astonishing facts about Toronto's outdoor rinks. CELOS is the Centre for Local Research into Public Space.
Report Cards were done for two rink seasons (between 2006 and 2008), giving annual grades to each rink regarding Access, Communication, Ice Quality, and Skater Friendliness. In addition we add comments about Strengths, Areas for Improvement, and Next Steps.
The City of Toronto website (toronto.ca) posts a huge number of documents, many flowing from committee meetings. Here we collect a list of City reports that are relevant to the management of city rinks.
Go to City of Toronto Reports >>
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