Many of Toronto's outdoor rinks open this weekend

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Dufferin Grove Park in Ward 18 and Nathan Phillips Square at City Hall are among the 14 rinks opening on November 23rd, 2013

The City of Toronto's Parks, Forestry and Recreation division (PFR) is opening 14 rinks tomorrow, including at Nathan Phillips Square and the new, covered rink and skating path at Greenwood Park. Residents and visitors can lace up and enjoy one of Canada's great winter activities.

Toronto’s skating programs offered by PFR include:
- hockey skills/power skate
- learn-to-skate for adults and children
- scheduled public skates and shinny, including adult, all-ages, caregiver and child, child, women, and more.

PFR's outdoor rinks provide a great opportunity for residents to lace up for a skate at their own pace, or they can join in a game of shinny. Check out http://www.toronto.ca/parks/skating for a list of locations, opening times and skate times.

Please be safe. All children under the age of six must wear a CSA-approved hockey helmet on the ice. Helmets are also mandatory for people of all ages participating in supervised shinny hockey and learn-to-skate programs.

The City's outdoor rinks are compressor cooled, which makes it possible for them to operate in a range of weather conditions. Weather and resources are the two main factors that decide when and how long the outdoor rinks can stay open.

Generally, PFR needs three consecutive days of temperatures that are below five degrees Celsius to make and maintain the ice. Without weather that's cold enough, the compressors can't keep the ice frozen throughout the day creating dangerous conditions such as exposed concrete.

Closures during the skating season are sometimes necessary due to unseasonably warm temperatures or following a heavy snowfall. The rinks are cared for by staff teams that circulate through the city every day. To check on ice availability after a major weather event, please call 311.

The 14 rinks that open tomorrow will stay open until after the March Break. The City's other outdoor rinks will open on November 30 and remain open until February 23. Albert Campbell Square's rink will open later than the others this year because of mechanical work there.

Media contact: Parks, Forestry and Recreation media line, 416-560-8726, pfrmedialine@toronto.ca

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