The City was able to undertake a unique opportunity to convert this decommissioned former Scarborough Works Yard into an active, multi-use recreational focal point in Toronto.

In 2004, the Master Plan was completed with a goal to transform the site into a district park in two multi-year phases. Completed in 2006, Phase 1 included the conversion to a community green space for active and passive use, and building a new playground, sports fields, recreational trails, and landscaping.

Phase 2 expands the number of recreation facilities and amenities within McCowan Park and will be home to the Scarborough’s second outdoor ice rink.

Unfortunately, the opening of the ice rink and skating trail was significantly delayed due to the failure of the refrigeration system. The failure of the piping became apparent when the contractor started up the system in preparation for the scheduled January 2017 opening.

The refrigeration piping embedded in the concrete slabs failed. The piping blistered, expanded, fractured and broke in some locations, however, the exact reason for the failure of the piping hasn’t been determined. The investigation into the causes and possible solutions is ongoing.

The damage is significant, and the City expects the complete rink and skating path will need to be rebuilt. It is the City’s expectation that the rink and skating path will be rebuilt at no additional cost to the City.

The City has arranged for a temporary refrigeration system to be installed on the rink. This will allow skating at McCowan District Park in early December 2017, weather permitting. The skating trail will not open this year.

A drawing of McCowen District Park from above
Artist Rendering of the park