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November 16, 2008
Extended season planned at 14 outdoor artificial ice rinks
The City of Toronto’s Community Development and Recreation Committee endorsed a staff report today outlining the City’s 2008/2009 outdoor artificial ice rink season. The report will now be considered by City Council at its meeting of December 1 and 2.

The City of Toronto provides outdoor skating opportunities, through its Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division, at 49 artificial ice rinks across the city. While a few of the City’s outdoor artificial ice rinks open early, most operate on a 12-week schedule, from December 6, 2008 to March 1, 2009. This season, weather permitting, 14 of the rinks will offer an extended program, until March 15, 2009.

“Our outdoor artificial rinks are well-loved by Torontonians of all ages,” said Councillor Joe Mihevc, Chair, Community Development and Recreation Committee. “From leisure and instructional programs to shinny hockey, the rinks provide a valuable winter recreation opportunity. This year, we are pleased to offer an extended season until March 15, 2009 at 14 of the City’s outdoor artificial ice rinks, weather permitting.”

Maintaining ice during the month of March can be difficult. The direction of the sun and the reflection off the rink dasher boards deteriorates ice conditions creating soft and/or wet ice. Partial closures of rink surfaces happen frequently throughout the day during the month of March. If the temperatures become warmer, in addition to the brighter sunlight, ice may not be sustained and can become unsafe. If this happens it may be necessary to close the rinks earlier than planned.

“Keeping the ice into March is unpredictable and can be very challenging,” said Brenda Patterson, General Manager of Parks, Forestry and Recreation. “We are very fortunate to have some excellent ice maintenance staff on our team. We are very hopeful, but we need the weather to cooperate if we are to keep the ice that late in the season.”

Skating opportunities for the 2009 March Break, which falls in the latter half of March this year, are available at indoor arenas across the city. For more information about March Break programming, and instructional skating programs offered by Parks, Forestry and Recreation, residents can pick-up a Toronto FUN Guide at their local community centre or visit

For outdoor artificial ice rink locations and operating dates, members of the public can call, 416-338-RINK (7465) or visit

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years, Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact:
Parks, Forestry and Recreation Media Hotline, 416-560- 8726,



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