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Mayor Tory thanks Toronto’s natural ice rink volunteers for helping residents stay active


As part of its Welcome T.O. Winter parks plan this season, the City of Toronto worked closely with community groups to facilitate 46 natural ice rinks in parks across the city. Every winter, residents build and maintain natural rinks on parkland, providing a family-friendly and safe recreation activity in parks across Toronto.

This winter, things needed to operate differently due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the City worked closely with Toronto Public Health to develop guidelines for natural ice rinks intended to slow the spread of COVID-19, including signage developed and installed at rinks to remind skaters of physical distancing and mask wearing.

Toronto outdoor rink safety

Toronto Mayor John Tory offers a sincere thank you to all of those who donated their time to make the rinks possible under the extenuating circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Thank you to all of the community volunteers who have donated their time to help make these natural ice rinks possible across our city this year,” said Mayor John Tory. “The City is proud to support this program each winter. This year, these spaces were even more important due to the ongoing pandemic and the need for safe outdoor recreation spaces for people. I’m glad we’re able to share Toronto-based director Kelsey Larkin’s video of the natural ice rink at Dovercourt Park to celebrate the work of volunteers and to show the important impact of these rinks.”

Toronto-based director Kelsey Larkin created this short video about the natural ice rink at Dovercourt Park, which documents the efforts of community volunteers and City employees. Larkin is a commercial director at production company Skin and Bones. The video is available for viewing at https://youtu.be/cZx4DoyCQ6E and will be shared through the City’s social media channels.

City staff have been supporting the volunteer community groups who build and maintain the rinks by providing access to water, shovels and lighting, as well as instructions on ice preparation and maintenance. Natural ice rink applications get approved based on criteria that includes winter water access, a storage facility onsite and adequate drainage.

Natural ice rinks are generally open each year between January and March, weather permitting.

More information about the City of Toronto’s natural ice rink program, including health guidelines, signage and locations is available at https://www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/recreation/skating-winter-sports/public-leisure-skating/natural-ice-rinks/.

The City’s Welcome T.O. Winter parks plan has provided Torontonians with safe opportunities for outdoor recreation this winter. More information is available at https://www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/festivals-events/welcome-to-winter/.

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