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Rink Diary

2021 -2022

Rink reports from earlier years:

2020 - 2021

COVID-RELATED RESTRICTIONS: To find out how to book a skating time, go to the city's outdoor rinks web page.
All shinny hockey has been removed except for Greenwood (and only children and youth are allowed there). The city's opening rules are described here and our rinks blog is here.

Nov.28, 2020

opening day


2019 - 2020

Feb.28, 2020

The rink is closed for unspecified "mechanical problems."

2018 - 2019

Jan.29, 2019

The rink has been marked as open until yesterday and then it was listed as "snow removal in progress" (with over 25 cm of snow). At 1 p.m. it was again listed as open.


2017 - 2018


Today the rink got off the "closed for a watermain break" list. Open again.

Open at last. Photo by Nathan Nicholas
Jan.23, 2018

Listed as closed due to a water main break. Again?

Jan.24, 2018, from Nathan Nicholas

Very skateable but could definitely use a few more nights to freeze, it's not as dense as it should be. Fun though

2 p.m., from Geri Dempsey: The temperature has dropped and the sun is out - a perfect winter day for skating finally. When I arrived at Summerlea rink, it was very confusing as to whether it was open or closed. I never quite figured that out. The ice looked thin and unused, like maybe the rink was just getting going. No sign of any staff but a City Truck was in the lot so I went over and asked them what the status of the rink was. He smiled. "Not from Parks and Rec", he said, "I'm water and sewage". He had no idea whether the rink was open for skating or not. The only indication it might be was a door in the fence was not padlocked and left ajar...No notices or signs indicating otherwise.

Jan.23, 2018

Listed as open.

Jan.20, 2018

A 311 tech services truck was just arriving at about 11.30. The compressors were on and steam was coming out of the condenser. The tech services guys said the power had been off and that's why the pipes burst, but now it's fixed and the rink should open before too long.

compressors are on

patchy ice forming
Jan.12, 2018, phone call from Councillor Michael Ford

He said that the rink has had a lot of issues, the most recent one being a burst water main during the cold spell. He said he had a meeting with the Parks manager yesterday and was told they would try to have the rink open in two weeks, despite the tricky problems, and that the crew are working on the rink now.

I asked about putting up a sign at the rink to let people know what's happening, and Councillor Ford said he'd ask for one.

Jan.5, 2018, response from Parks supervisor Graham Parsons

Summerlea AIR was scheduled to be opened for the season on December 2nd. During pre-opening inspections of the cooling systems, an issue with the headers that feed the pad was detected. Working with our capital staff and CIMCO, we initiated these major repairs that include replacing the entire header. Subsequently, issues with the compressor were also identified and we've added the replacement of the compressor to the scope of work being done currently. The equipment and systems at Summerlea are aged which has caused rink closures due to necessary repairs. The rink is scheduled for refurbishment in 2019 which will resolve these service issues. We anticipate the current work to be completed end of January, barring any other unforeseen equipment issues. As the timeline becomes clearer, and we have a more definitive date, we will update our website.

Jan.4, 2018, email to Parks supervisor Graham Parsons

Our site and our FB page have been getting some queries and complaints about Summerlea Rink being closed for much of the season again this year. As you can see on our Summerlea Rink page here, that neighbourhood lost many rink days due to closure in 2014 -- counting this year, that's a lot of down time.

We emailed the councillor's office in mid-December and she wrote that she would inquire -- but nothing has come back.

Do you know what the plans are?

Dec. 5, 2017

NO sign of any work being done, nor is there any information about what the problem is. There's only a crumpled sign attached to the fence says "Rink closed, thank you for a great season, see you next winter" -- not so far!

no ice, compressors not on, rubber mats still out from last year?

no sign of any repairs being done

the only sign, weather-beaten
Dec.2, 2017, email from H.Y.

I am writing to you in an attempt to gain understanding of the reasoning behind the closure. This is not the first time my home rink has been closed without any additional information from the City and would like this years attempts for maintenance be monitored and rectified in a timely manner. I have included Ward 2 Councillor Michael Ford into this email. There was slab and refrigeration work that was suppose to be renewed last year, and other complaints by city officials make this closure and length of closure questionable.

Note: The city's rink website says this rink is "Delayed opening due to mechanical issues, estimated to open mid - January 2018"


2016 - 2017

Dec.12, 2016, from Nathan Nicholas

Dec.13: good ice. Photo: Nathan Nicholas

So summerlea is definitely open and skateable. If it wasn't for the snow last night it would've been great.

Dec.9 2016

Summerlea is listed as "delayed for mechanical issues" but is now also listed as open.


2015 - 2016

Dec.27, 2015

Listed as closed, Dec.24 to Dec.27

2014 - 2015

Dec.2 2014

The rink opened Nov.22, closed Nov.30, reopened Dec.2.


Jan.21 2014

Phone call with Paul Saracino. He said that in the whole period of time Summerlea Rink was closed with no sign of explanation of it (26 days), not ONE person called the councillor's office to ask or to complain. Does anyone care about this rink?

Jan.16 2014 from Paul Saracino Constituency Assistant to Councillor Doug Ford in Ward 2

I was informed that the rink was reopened today. They told me the rink pad was leaking brine and there were other issues related to the chilling plant that delayed the reopening of the rink.

Jan.14 2014: Email from Jutta Mason to Paul Saracino Constituency Assistant to Councillor Doug Ford in Ward 2

The rink compressor is turned off. Summerlea is one of the city's 51 compressor-cooled ice rinks, so it ought to be running fine up to 10 celsius. If the water pipes froze up during the Dec.22 ice storm, when will they fix the pipes and let people skate again?

Jan.13 2014

This rink has been out of action since the ice storm on Dec.22. Today the compressor is not on. The rink is locked, but with NO signage stating that fact or giving any information. The ice surface is bumpy with ice in the same way that many park surfaces have bumpy ice at the moment.

rink locked, NO sign of any kind

no sign on the ice resurfacer door either

ice is bumpy like the iced-over grass nearby

ingenuity: bus shelters for changing skates


2011 - 2012

Dec.4 2011

December 4

Early evening: Great ice. There was a family of 4 skating and others just arriving. There were lots of signs of maintenance, and the driver had just left, having flooded with a machine. The bus shelter change room is kind of a nice touch to the rink. Some more staff time, with hot chocolate, could make this a pretty fun hangout spot. Lots of parking. No signs, however, were up about when the rink was officially opening.


2010 - 2011

Monday January 3 2011, e-mail from a skater named Eric, visiting from Kansas. Eric wrote:


Just returned from a little vacation to Toronto to play some shinny and just hang out around the city.

Where I live in Kansas, I can get about 45 minutes of ice time per week, so it is a fun break to head up there and get a few hours per day.

I figured I've found your website so helpful, that i would run through our week and report on the rinks we visited.

Summerlea 4:30pm: This rink had half a dozen shinny players when we arrived. The ice was in OK shape. The crew arrived to clean the ice, but spent the entire time removing a large pool of blood from an injury on the ice surface and said they didn't have time to clean the rest of the rink as a result. After 6pm, the crowd picked up and about 20 shinny players tried to split the ice into two games, each with several teams. A few pleasure skaters, including several fairly young kids, tried to stay out of the way.


2007 - 2008

Thursday February 8

4:30pm The rink is completed buried in snow. An hour later, the rink operator at Westway says that in Etobicoke the priority after a snowstorm are the larger rinks (the so-called 'majors'). Summerlea is a 'minor,' i.e. an ice pad without boards, nets or changerooms. The operator at Westway said a roving crew was out cleaning the minors. However, it's worth noting that 'minor' rinks are sometimes busier than the 'majors,' partly because there are no permits and the ice is always available and partly because there are fewer rules. Players at Rivercrest, another 'minor' rink, said they played there because they didn't have to wear a helmet.

Sunday February 3

4:30pm The sign posted by the City says PRIORITY USE: PLEASURE Sunday all day, but this is an unsupervised rink and there is no City staff to tell the shinny players to stay off the ice. |Eight boys are playing a vigorous game of hockey. A family is leaving the rink. Asked if there's always shinny here on Sunday, the father says you can pleasure skate if you want. One of the hockey players says he plays here almost every day and the rink is usually busy except during school hours. A Polish-speaking family arrives at the rink. They don't live in the area and this is their first time here. The children pleasure skate along the side while hockey dominates the rest of the ice.

Saturday January 12

1:30pm The rink is empty but the ice is good.

Saturday December 8

12:45pm Maintenance workers are flooding the ice. Some children come and ask if the rink is open. A man comes and asks the same thing. The foreman of the crew working on the ice calls someone on the radio and then says the rink will be open in a couple of hours. The man who asked about the rink says it does get busy at times.


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Content last modified on December 03, 2021, at 12:12 PM EST