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posted November 20, 2010
Harbourfront's Natrel Rink (not operated by the City) on Saturday morning, November 20, open on schedule. Go have fun!
Unfortunately, the 14 rinks the city had scheduled to open November 20 now won't be open until November 27 at the earliest.
In mid-November, 2010, Brenda Patterson, General Manager of Parks Forestry and Recreation, released a memo announcing that the opening of 14 rinks on November 20 would be delayed by a week to November 27. She gave a long list of reasons for this, chiefly the weather.
We've been fact checking the statements made in this memo and other sources, and collate our findings here.
September 15, 2010
Update: The following rinks are scheduled to open Saturday November 20, 2010 (pending any revisions): Nathan Philips Square, Dufferin Grove, Regent Park South, Kew Gardens, West Mall, Sir Adam Beck, Rennie Park, Sunnydale, Mel Lastman Square, Broadlands, Glen Long, Hodgson, Irving Chapley, Albert Campbell.
The remaining rinks will open on Saturday December 4.
posted November 12, 2010
Update - on November 12, city management decided to postpone all November 20 openings to November 27, citing weather as the deciding factor. But Harbourfront's Natrel Rink (which is independent of the City) will open on Nov. 20th. Also (Central Park) and the (Rockefeller Center) outdoor rinks in New York City are already open.
So cityrinks.ca asked city management to let Dufferin Rink open on Nov. 20th, to prove, yet again, that good ice can be made at Toronto rinks at these temperatures in the low-sun month of November.
There's been no response to our "test Dufferin Rink"? request to Brenda Patterson. However, the new Ward 18 city councillor, Ana Bailao, called Ms.Patterson. Ana sent this: "She said Council and Mayor had been informed of this decision and that it was reached with the City Manager and she was not in a position to change it. She also said that some compressors broke last year - do you know of anything?"
No we don't know of any compressors breaking down because of starting up in November. We monitored all the rinks. Maybe Ana can find out which ones broke down, so we can follow up. It's always good to get the facts.
Nov.24 2011, Summary of CIMCO ice-making responses:
1. With ideal environmental conditions and the correct equipment, ice can be made in the latter half of November
2. To avoid the radiant heat gain, making ice at night is ideal
3. There is nothing to my knowledge that says the sensible [ambient] temperature canít be greater than 10 degC. This is the average temperature in an insulated indoor arena
posted November 16, 2010
There's a lot of confusion about the factors that go into deciding on opening and closing dates for outdoor rinks, so we thought we'd ask an expert.
CIMCO (an acronym for Canadian Ice Machine Company, formed in 1913) has a support contract for 18 of Toronto's outdoor rinks in the west end of the city. They visit each of these rinks twice a day when they operate, and built many of them. So they know their business.
I spoke to David Sinclair of CIMCO (He's the Toronto Branch Manager) about factors effecting the outdoor rink season, and he had a lot of interesting information and insights.
He confirmed that the main factor for deciding outdoor ice viability was "radiation load" (direct or indirect sunlight). The lowest effect of this was in the 12 weeks from the start of December to the end (third week) of February. He noted however that on a sunny day even during this winter period, direct sunlight reflecting from white boards around the ice could cause ice near the boards to become soft.