With warmer spring weather on the way, the City of Toronto is encouraging people to enjoy the final days of the 2022/23 outdoor skating season will end this Sunday, March 19. Throughout winter, the City’s supervised outdoor ice rinks were visited more than 500,000 times during their nearly 62,000 hours of operation.
Sunday evening, the City will begin to close the 54 outdoor artificial ice rinks, skating trails and natural ice rinks in neighbourhoods and communities across Toronto. Part of this work is converting some outdoor ice rink locations into spaces that can host spring and summer sports like skateboarding, pickleball and tennis.
The City’s outdoor artificial ice rinks, which have been supported by more than 800 part-time recreation staff and more than 120 parks staff, provided hundreds of thousands of people with family favourites, including free public leisure skate, shinny, leisure figure skating, instructional learn to skate and beginner instructional hockey programs, as well as ringette and women’s shinny opportunities. Additionally, through a partnership with Desjardins Group, the City introduced a mobile skate lending library this season at select outdoor rinks, supporting more than 1,400 residents by providing access to skates, helmets and skate aids.
This winter, City staff worked with community groups and approved 50 applications for natural ice rinks so volunteers could open rinks in their neighbourhoods when temperatures allowed. Every winter, community volunteers build and maintain natural rinks on parkland with the help of staff who provide access to water and shovels and instructions on ice preparation and maintenance.
Toronto began opening outdoor ice rinks in late November and early December. Most rinks remained open seven days a week throughout the winter season and through March Break. Natural ice rinks are typically operational between January and March, weather permitting.
More information about the City’s Welcome T.O. Winter plan that provided Torontonians with opportunities to have fun and stay active in colder months is on the City’s Welcome T.O. Winter webpage: www.toronto.ca/WelcomeTOWinter.
The City continues to plan for spring and summer programs. Recruitment and hiring is underway for new staff to become instructors in fitness, arts, music, sport and learn-to-swim programs, pool and waterfront lifeguards, wading pool attendants, camp leaders and special needs program staff. Recreation jobs are available in after-school recreation and Toronto Island. More information about positions and upcoming information sessions is available on the City’s Recreation Jobs webpage: www.toronto.ca/RecJobs.
“With a few days left this March Break, I invite residents to enjoy a skate one last time before the season concludes after Sunday. Whether you’re an ice enthusiast or a first-timer, our free and drop-in skate programs provide opportunities for those of all ages and experience levels. This year, along with our regular skate programs, we successfully introduced a drop-in ringette pilot program at six locations and increased locations and time slots offering women’s shinny to help grow and encourage women’s participation in hockey. Thank you to the City staff who kept the rinks and programs running throughout the skating season.”
– Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie (Scarborough-Rouge Park), Chair of the Infrastructure and Environment Committee
“Our outdoor skating rinks provide a great opportunity for residents and visitors alike to embrace Toronto winters. This season, we welcomed over 500,000 visitors to rinks all across the city. A huge thanks to the Parks & Recreation staff and community groups who kept local rinks running throughout the season. Their hard work and dedication helped family, friends and neighbours get outside and enjoy our great city during our coldest months.”
– Councillor Shelley Carroll (Don Valley North), Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee
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