Toronto

Toronto ice rinks to stay open until March in city plan

The ice skating season just got longer, as the city approved a longer season for 36 of its ice rinks.

Council set to vote on idea, which would cost $556,200, at upcoming meeting

The ice skating season may be getting longer.

Toronto's outdoor artificial ice rink season has been extended to 16 weeks of operation, including March Break. A total of 36 rinks will be open into March, weather permitting.

For the last two years, the city has only kept 17 of its 52 outdoor rinks running after February. There was uproar from skaters, particularly last winter, since it was cold enough to skate for most of March.

Mayor John Tory responded to the anger about the rinks closing by finding corporate sponsors to fund the extended rink times.

That money — the city estimates $278,100 per two weeks — will now be established in the operating budget. An additional two weeks' worth of funding will be held in an Outdoor Ice Contingency Reserve Fund.

The total budgetary impact will be an estimated $556,200 for keeping more rinks open for two to four weeks longer than previous years.

The decision still needs council approval.

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