News Release
November 24, 2023

Starting tomorrow, the City of Toronto is bringing back its popular Welcome TO Winter program by opening 40 outdoor ice rinks.

Over the next two weeks, the City will open more than 50 outdoor ice rinks and skating trails, offering family favourite activities including free public leisure and figure skating, shinny, ringette, instructional programs and permits for a fee.

The artificial ice rinks are expected to operate until March 17, 2024. Remaining rinks are expected to open on December 2 and operate until February 25, 2024. As weather fluctuates, skaters are encouraged to check the status of their local rink before heading out on the City’s website. Outdoor rinks operate from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days per week.

The Skate Lending Library is back

The City is once again partnering with Desjardins Group to make it easy and fun for more residents and families to learn how to skate by providing access to skates, helmets and skate aids.

Together, the City and Desjardins Group offer a mobile Skate Lending Library at a select number of outdoor ice rinks, which supports residents and families who are learning to skate by providing access to skates, helmets and skate aids. It includes:

  • 150 skate aids that support the user and helps them maintain their balance as they skate
  • 85 pairs of skates and helmets
  • A dedicated, customized truck that will travel to different locations across the City.

The program is free and no reservations are required. More information about the program and skate lending locations is available on the Skate Lending Library webpage.

Accessibility at City-operated rinks

The City is continually improving accessibility at its facilities including during the winter season. Sledges – an adaptive device that provides opportunities for people with disabilities to participate – can be made available to the public for use during leisure skate programs at indoor arenas and outdoor rinks.

Sledges can be booked 10 days in advance by contacting the Adapted and Inclusive Recreation Services Hotline at 416-395-6128 or by emailing Additionally, individuals using manual or powered wheelchairs are welcome on the ice during leisure skate times. Check in with on-site staff to learn how to safely access the ice.

Welcome TO Winter activities

Welcome TO Winter is a season-long activation of outdoor fun and amenities that invites residents to embrace the cold by staying active and enjoying parks throughout the winter. Activities include:

  • More than 1,500 parks, with 270 km of paths and roads cleared of snow
  • 28 toboggan hills in neighbourhoods across Toronto
  • More than 50 artificial outdoor ice rinks and skate trail
  • Seven snow loops for walking, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing at four of the City’s golf courses
  • Skiing and snowboarding at Earl Bales Ski and Snowboard Centre, 4169 Bathurst St., from January to March (weather and snowfall permitting)
  • Public washrooms at more than 100 park locations available through the winter months including 61 park washrooms, 45 outdoor rink washrooms and 44 locations with portable toilets. Residents are encouraged to check the Park & Recreation Washrooms & Drinking Water webpage to find the closest available park washroom.
  • Designated outdoor fire pits and bake ovens that can be booked in advance
  • Outdoor sports courts including 50 tennis courts with nets in place for winter tennis (please note snow is not cleared from courts)
  • Seven disc golf locations
  • Centennial Park and Allan Gardens Conservatories will remain open every day for residents to enjoy a floral paradise during winter.

Residents can learn more at the City’s Welcome TO Winter webpage.


“Welcome to winter, everyone! I encourage all Toronto residents to stay active this winter and enjoy all of the wonderful Welcome TO Winter activities that are available to them. Along with the usual winter activities including skate trails and rinks, ski and snowboard runs and toboggan hills, residents can also participate in year-round activities such as disc golf, pickleball and outdoor fitness. I welcome everyone to explore and experience Toronto’s beautiful parks and recreational activities all winter long.”
– Mayor Olivia Chow

“I’m pleased to announce that Desjardins is continuing its Skate Lending Library partnership with the City this year. In having access to skates, helmets and skate aids, residents of all ages and proficiencies can experience the joy of skating.”
– Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie (Scarborough-Rouge Park), Chair of the Infrastructure and Environment Committee

“There are so many ways that Toronto residents can enjoy outdoor fun this winter. The City has more than 1,500 parks and many great winter activities that people of all ages can take part in. I invite Torontonians to discover all the Welcome TO Winter activities on offer. Toronto is a winter city — let’s get outdoors and enjoy it.”
– Councillor Alejandra Bravo (Davenport), Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee

“We’re proud to support the Skate Lending Library, an initiative that brings people together across the City of Toronto. This is Desjardins’ second year sponsoring the program and we couldn’t be more proud to be a part of it. Toronto always has a lot going on and winter is so much fun with initiatives like this — things that anyone can enjoy with their friends and family.”
– Valérie Lavoie, President and Chief Operating Officer at Desjardins General Insurance Group

Toronto is home to more than three million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation and climate action, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Media Relations