One of the most Canadian winter experiences may very well be skating outside, perhaps as the snowflakes are softly falling, (cue the Vince Guaraldi Trio’s ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ music) and the City of Toronto is once again making that experience possible for 2.9 million Torontonians, as the City opens their 54 outdoor skating rinks.
On November 30th, Mayor John Tory was joined by Councillor Mike Layton (Ward 11 University-Rosedale) to launch the City of Toronto outdoor skating season at the newly upgraded Ramsden Park rink.
Most of the City’s 54 outdoor skating rinks are open as of November 30, 2019, including Nathan Phillips Square rink, in advance of the Cavalcade of Lights evening extravaganza of live music, tree lighting and fireworks. The rinks will be open daily into March 2020.
From December 2 to March 22, the Nathan Phillips Square rink will offer extensive weekly free programming, in addition to regular free leisure skating. New programs include:
• Guide your Glide – Learn to skate from a City instructor every Tuesday from 7 to 9 p.m.
• DJ Skate Weekends – A different DJ every Friday and Saturday night from 7 to 10 p.m.
• Sunday Fun Day – Family games and songs on and off the ice from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• Lunchtime Skate – Weekday lunch hour skate with music from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
The City will continue opening skating rinks on December 7, including the new Barbara Ann Scott Ice Trail at College Park, which offically opened at an afternoon event organised by the Downtown Yonge BIA (more information at downtownyonge.com/events/166). Both the Barbara Ann Scott Ice Trail and a new skating rink at Ethennonnhawahstihnen’ (Etta-nonna wasti-nuh) Park at 80 McMahon Dr. opened to the public on November 30.
Three revitalised outdoor rinks at North Toronto Memorial Community Centre (200 Eglinton Ave. W.), Ramsden Park (1020 Yonge St.) and Westgrove Park (15 Redgrave Dr.) will also be open for the season.
Each year, there are more than 750,000 visits to the City’s outdoor rinks. The City spends approximately $6.2 million to operate outdoor rinks across Toronto each year.