Toronto, outdoor ice rinks and a bunch of kids playing shinny

  • As of this Sunday, February 27, thirty-six of Toronto’s fifty-one outdoor ice rinks will be closing for the season. That’s just over 70%.
  • Starting March 14, every kid in Toronto begins their March Break holiday. That’s right around 100%

Now, I’m no genius, but it seems to me that leaving Toronto’s very popular outdoor ice rinks open during March Break might be a good idea.

If you take a look at the city’s webpage on outdoor rink availability, you will see the notice that:

*Seasonal open and close dates are weather permitting.

But that’s not exactly true is it?
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When I took a look at the long term weather forecast for Toronto, I saw a string of projected daily high temperatures hovering around -2° celsius.
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That’s cold enough for ice to stay frozen and for a bunch of kids to have fun playing outdoor hockey during their March Break.
  • And yet, 70% of Toronto’s outdoor rinks will close this Sunday…even if the weather is permitting.
  • And yes, I know that the city is broke and can’t afford to keep ice rinks open all year long.
  • And I also know that council has created a task force to explore private-public partnerships to build new rinks for the city.
But, what about this year?
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Leave the rinks open until it gets too warm.
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I will gladly pay my portion of the 0.003% increase in property taxes incurred by keeping the outdoor rinks open until after March Break.
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Just how much can it cost to run a Zamboni?
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  • We already own the darn things.
  • And the city employees who look after the rinks will get paid whether or not the rinks are open.
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So, here’s what I think we should do.
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Contact the Mayor – Facebook – Email – and tell him that you want the rinks kept open.
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Maybe the Maple Leafs would be willing to kick in a few thousand to help keep the rinks open, so shoot them a message too. – Facebook
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And if you haven’t been down to the new Figure 8 outdoor rink at Colonel Sam Smith Park in Etobicoke…you have to go, the figure 8 is a hoot.
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4 comments

  1. I can only think this is about year 2011. At this very moment (10 am Friday Feb 25), it’s going up to 5’C, then 12’C Sunday/Monday. Yes that’s pretty silly for this time of year, but that’s the nature of it.

    We seem to think that outdoor rinks close early in Southern Ontario. Fact of the matter is, it gets harder to keep frozen this time of year. There is a study somewhere in the City of Toronto website. Might want to look that up.

    I miss the natural rinks that used to be around when I was a kid. Moore Park was one place that had one with wooden boards.

  2. Hey Rico,

    Not sure what weather report you’re looking at, but the one I am looking at ranges between -3 and +2 for the next 2 weeks

    My point is that we should keep the rinks open as long as weather permits – not an arbitrary date.

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