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You are in the Riverdale Rink folder

Welcome to The Unofficial Website of Toronto's Outdoor Skating Rinks

There's nothing like outdoor skating

A project of CELOS (*)

Riverdale Rink Profile

Opening: Nov.24, 2018
Closing: TBA

Rink change area: Spacious and clean changing area close to rink, built new in 2017.

Staff: mostly friendly and helpful

Maintenance: Flooded twice daily.


Comments about this rink: e-mail us at [email protected].


not many pleasure-skaters on this holiday

Archives photo of Riverdale rinks 1934: thanks to Chris Short
 

Rink Diary

2018 - 2019

 


Diaries from earlier years

2017 - 2018

Jan.1, 2018

The temperature was minus 10, still too cold to attract many skaters. But the ones who were there, mostly on the skate path, looked happy. There were four staff sitting in the new change room, and about 15 people on both rinks. In behind the new change room, there is an older section that is also available for the overflow, but it's very dark.

There's a sink with a tap in the new change room, but when asked if that would allow hot chocolate to be made, the rink guards said that the rink was not set up for anything like that. They said: "there's not even an office." They seemed to feel uncomfortable sitting just right out in the open. And no wonder -- if rink staff are now just supposed to be security guards, they should have their own enclosed space, away from the skaters. Separation is a psychological necessity.


a small number of parkingspaces

the new changeroom entrance

the change room redone with big windows

the coat-hook part of the change room

the skating trail

the hockey pad
 
Dec.30, 2017, report from Dale Howey

connection to the hockey pad

coffee across the street afterwards

lots of pylons set out

The pleasure-skating rink is small but is perfect for younger kids and will be nice when the trees are unwrapped and grow a bit. There were a half dozen families there. I was there around 11am, just in time for a few loops before the Zamboni cleaned the ice. Lots of nooks and crannies for it to navigate. The regular rink was occupied by some shinny players.

I would recommend the cappuccino and date squares at the Coffeehouse across from the park!

Dec.14, 2017

The councillor sent out a notice saying that the official re-opening ceremony of Riverdale Rink is Saturday Dec.16, between 11 a.m. and noon, with free hot chocolate.

Dec.11, 2017

The website still says the rink will open in January, but the compressors are on, good ice is in, and the councillor's office says the rink is opening on Dec.16 and there will be an opening celebration between 11 a.m and 12.


December 11, 11.30 a.m.: ice looks good
 
Nov.27, 2017

The rinks website says this rink will open January 2018, but the schedule on the same site begins on Dec.11 -- a mystery.


3.15 p.m. and nary a worker

excuses
 
Oct.30, 2017

The park website has the following announcement:

Due to the unforeseen wet weather in spring and summer 2017, the project has currently an anticipated completion of Spring 2018.

That's surprising, since a mid-October visit seemed to show many of the elements almost done and the finishing landscaping going in. Another example of the civic culture of excuses?


from the east side

from the northeast stairway
 

 

2016 - 2017

October 2016

The city's outdoor rinks page lists this rink as closed for the whole 2016/2017 season. Construction on the park has begun. The city has posted the plan here. It shows an ice pad in approximately the same location, along with a skating trail and a section of the current swimming pool change building marked as "winter lounge."

On the city's website, explaining why Riverdale Rink won't be opening this season at all:

This significant project includes a new skating rink and ice trail, winter lounge, Zamboni station, new playground, new barrier-free accessible ramp, access pathways, and site furniture and lighting improvements.

Check back to this webpage periodically for construction progress and updates.

From Parks (April 2016):

"currently under renovation, scheduled to open next year"

Oct.25, 2016

big area under construction

concrete is gone, piles remain
 

Rink diaries from earlier years

2015 - 2016

January 30, 2016

flooding stopped because of the weather

City staff have obviously stopped flooding, although the rink web page gives no alert for it. Presumably the way to make natural ice is to flood as often as possible until there are a good three inches. So it's the exact opposite of compressor-cooled ice, which is best when it's thin enough not to insulate the ice surface from the embedded cooling pipes.

 
January 23, 2016

The rink has a very rough flood on it, it doesn't look like any effort has been put into it. And no signage anywhere, about what the plan is. Amazingly poor rink management.


rough, unmaintained ice, locked up

no signage about what's happening
 
Dec.18 2015, email from a rink user:

I was born and raised on the Danforth and remember learning to skate at Riverdale when I was 8 – my dad bought me my first pair of skates (used !) Then I taught my friends to skate too. Still play shinny hockey 40 yrs later, usually at Greenwood, but also at Riverdale (when it’s actually operating… IS it operating this year?).

Dec.7 2015

The city's website now says that Riverdale Rink will only operate as a natural ice rink this season, since the whole park is awaiting re-construction. That means it will likely open in mid-to-late January.

Nov.1, 2015

Nov.1 2015: no change at all since last year

Last year in early January the rink developed an ammonia leak, which was not fixed because there was a plan to rebuild that end of the park from scratch before the beginning of the next rink season. Now the rink is due to open in a month, but no work has been done. Maybe they changed their minds?

 

See Diaries tab

Views of the rink

Riverdale Rink

photo caption

From The City of Toronto Website 2014-15

For the skating schedule, go to Riverdale, then click on Skating.

shinny hockey only

Notes

  • Helmets: Helmet policy strictly followed.
  • Rink users are not permitted to shovel ice surface, only city staff may remove snow.
  • No permits or skating classes.
  • No parking available near rink building.

Rink Diary

2018 - 2019

 


Diaries from earlier years

2017 - 2018

Jan.1, 2018

The temperature was minus 10, still too cold to attract many skaters. But the ones who were there, mostly on the skate path, looked happy. There were four staff sitting in the new change room, and about 15 people on both rinks. In behind the new change room, there is an older section that is also available for the overflow, but it's very dark.

There's a sink with a tap in the new change room, but when asked if that would allow hot chocolate to be made, the rink guards said that the rink was not set up for anything like that. They said: "there's not even an office." They seemed to feel uncomfortable sitting just right out in the open. And no wonder -- if rink staff are now just supposed to be security guards, they should have their own enclosed space, away from the skaters. Separation is a psychological necessity.


a small number of parkingspaces

the new changeroom entrance

the change room redone with big windows

the coat-hook part of the change room

the skating trail

the hockey pad
 
Dec.30, 2017, report from Dale Howey

connection to the hockey pad

coffee across the street afterwards

lots of pylons set out

The pleasure-skating rink is small but is perfect for younger kids and will be nice when the trees are unwrapped and grow a bit. There were a half dozen families there. I was there around 11am, just in time for a few loops before the Zamboni cleaned the ice. Lots of nooks and crannies for it to navigate. The regular rink was occupied by some shinny players.

I would recommend the cappuccino and date squares at the Coffeehouse across from the park!

Dec.14, 2017

The councillor sent out a notice saying that the official re-opening ceremony of Riverdale Rink is Saturday Dec.16, between 11 a.m. and noon, with free hot chocolate.

Dec.11, 2017

The website still says the rink will open in January, but the compressors are on, good ice is in, and the councillor's office says the rink is opening on Dec.16 and there will be an opening celebration between 11 a.m and 12.


December 11, 11.30 a.m.: ice looks good
 
Nov.27, 2017

The rinks website says this rink will open January 2018, but the schedule on the same site begins on Dec.11 -- a mystery.


3.15 p.m. and nary a worker

excuses
 
Oct.30, 2017

The park website has the following announcement:

Due to the unforeseen wet weather in spring and summer 2017, the project has currently an anticipated completion of Spring 2018.

That's surprising, since a mid-October visit seemed to show many of the elements almost done and the finishing landscaping going in. Another example of the civic culture of excuses?


from the east side

from the northeast stairway
 

 

2016 - 2017

October 2016

The city's outdoor rinks page lists this rink as closed for the whole 2016/2017 season. Construction on the park has begun. The city has posted the plan here. It shows an ice pad in approximately the same location, along with a skating trail and a section of the current swimming pool change building marked as "winter lounge."

On the city's website, explaining why Riverdale Rink won't be opening this season at all:

This significant project includes a new skating rink and ice trail, winter lounge, Zamboni station, new playground, new barrier-free accessible ramp, access pathways, and site furniture and lighting improvements.

Check back to this webpage periodically for construction progress and updates.

From Parks (April 2016):

"currently under renovation, scheduled to open next year"

Oct.25, 2016

big area under construction

concrete is gone, piles remain
 

Rink diaries from earlier years

2015 - 2016

January 30, 2016

flooding stopped because of the weather

City staff have obviously stopped flooding, although the rink web page gives no alert for it. Presumably the way to make natural ice is to flood as often as possible until there are a good three inches. So it's the exact opposite of compressor-cooled ice, which is best when it's thin enough not to insulate the ice surface from the embedded cooling pipes.

 
January 23, 2016

The rink has a very rough flood on it, it doesn't look like any effort has been put into it. And no signage anywhere, about what the plan is. Amazingly poor rink management.


rough, unmaintained ice, locked up

no signage about what's happening
 
Dec.18 2015, email from a rink user:

I was born and raised on the Danforth and remember learning to skate at Riverdale when I was 8 – my dad bought me my first pair of skates (used !) Then I taught my friends to skate too. Still play shinny hockey 40 yrs later, usually at Greenwood, but also at Riverdale (when it’s actually operating… IS it operating this year?).

Dec.7 2015

The city's website now says that Riverdale Rink will only operate as a natural ice rink this season, since the whole park is awaiting re-construction. That means it will likely open in mid-to-late January.

Nov.1, 2015

Nov.1 2015: no change at all since last year

Last year in early January the rink developed an ammonia leak, which was not fixed because there was a plan to rebuild that end of the park from scratch before the beginning of the next rink season. Now the rink is due to open in a month, but no work has been done. Maybe they changed their minds?

 
 

To see the 2007-2008 report card, click here

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Content last modified on November 09, 2018, at 09:03 PM EST