Some of The Best Rinks in Toronto

December 19, 2013 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

It’s that time of the year – the days are getting shorter, the nights are getting colder. It’s winter time once again, which means the Holidays are just around the corner and spending time with the family is a must! Don’t go old school and visit the overly crowded Nathan Phillips Square, be creative and check out these other rinks that opened up in Toronto. So gather up the fam clan or a group of friends and visit the newly opened public skating rinks to create some great memories! Here are a list of a few great rinks that you’re bound to have lots of fun at.

Shelbourne Common – Located on Queens Quay E of Toronto, the rink offers a beautiful view of the city which you’re most likely to enjoy. Though official skating hours are 10 a.m to 10 p.m the rink is not fenced in, making the rink accessible at any hour. Washrooms are available, however skate rentals and change rooms are not.

Lake Devo – The sometimes functioning fountain and pond that’s located at Ryerson University has been turned into a  beautiful frozen outdoor rink! From time to time you’ll run into the spectacular Ryerson University Figure Skating team practicing their axles, however the rink is open to the public from 9 a.m to 10 p.m.

Colonel Sam Smith Park – Not the best rink for you shinny lovers, but a great rink as well as the ONLY rink to have an official skating trail! Washrooms and changing areas are available at this location.

Campbell Park – With $2 skate rentals, the Campbell Park rink is the best to hit up midday and practice those Ace Hockey Skills. By the afternoon, the local shinny crowd is out and about skating around Campbell Park rink. Enjoy a nice cool skate and warm up with some hot chocolate at the hot chocolate stand.

Christie Pits – Trade in those vintage swim trunks with some leather ice skates and watch as Christie Pits pool transforms in the Christie Pits outdoor rink! With a decent change area that has skate friendly rubber floors, the rink comes with designated free skate times as well as shinny schedules for kids, youths and adults.

Brick Works Ice Trail – It may not be an official City Skating Trail but this free ice trail is not one to ignore when it comes to having a good time. The Brick Works Ice Trail is right below some old industrial rafters and is open Thursdays from 5p.m to 9p.m and weekends from 11a.m to 4p.m. Skate rentals are $5 and you can help yourself to some great food at the nearby farmers’ market.

Kew Gardens – One of the longest-open city rinks and open until March 11th, the Kew Gardens outdoor rink is open and has designated times for free skates and shinny games. Though the rink itself is a small one, the change area has lockers open for public use so there’s no need to worry about boots sitting by the side of the rink.

Trinity Bellwoods – If you’re looking for the perfect rink that’s great for shinny, upbeat and lively lap competitions between friends, the Trinity Bellwoods rink offers plenty of room for excited skaters. This year on Monday evenings, designated shinny times for women’s hockey is available. There are no rentals at this rink, however changing areas can be accessed.

High Park – With two outdoor rinks pads and a zamboni for regular maintenance, the rink is open for 9a.m to 9:45p.m. Free skate and shinny times are available for the high park rosters and come with change rooms for lacing up. No rentals are available.


Dufferin Grove – Another spot for women’s shinny, the Dufferin Grove outdoor rink comes with two full sized pads. With a $2 Skate rental program, it also comes with a kitchen full of fresh snacks, lockers, changerooms, organic coffee and hot chocolate and best of all the occasional live music performances.


Harbourfront – An incredibly happy and jolly area during the holidays, the Harbourfront Rink is a place drenched with music and cheer. Free skate is open from 10 a.m to 10 p.m (with the exception of running until 11p.m on friday and saturday nights) with skate rentals available onsite.


Wallace Emerson –  A double pad-rink thats great for pleasure skating and shinny. While one rink is left unfenced, this leaves it open for skaters to take to the ice after the designated time slot of the 9p.m or 10p.m close. With a change area close by, skate and helmet rentals are available as well as snack bars, books and games.

College Park – Though there are no rentals for this beautiful outdoor rink, change rooms and lockers are available onsite. Right in the middle of all city action, the College Park rink is left unfenced which means that it’s a perfect location for all the midnight skaters.

Don Mills – A beautiful rink known right outside the Don Mills shopping mall. An artificial grassy turf is converted into a fantastic eye catching skating oval that’s fun for the entire family.

So the next time you think of dropping by Nathan Philipps Square with your family, try stopping by these other options first. Who knows? You may just find a new favourite skating rink hot spot that’ll keep your family coming back every year.

For more information on other skating rinks open in the Toronto area, try checking out this website.

8 Tips on Planning and Hosting Winter Events

February 1, 2012 by  
Filed under Ask Deb, Event Venues, Ontario

The days are shorter, the night are longer but don’t let old man winter stop you from hosting your most fabulous event yet! Follow these CityEvents tips to create a Winter Wonderland on any budget

1. Pick a Theme and Stick to it!

For a winter event let the season inspire you and all your décor, theme, activities, and food options. A fun festive tip to try is pick one winter item, anything from a crystal icicle, a snowy forest, or a roaring fire and from that item recreate the feel, smell, taste, touch and sound that object brings you in all your event’s details.

2. Stay Warm!

The temperature may be dropping but your parties are heating up!  Make sure your guests stay warm, and bundle up coming and leaving your event. It can be anything from having a heated area when lining up to enter the venue to as simple as offering extra mittens and scarves to your guests when they leave (bonus points for having your event logo on the accessories!). For smaller parties have your guests brave the cold with a cup of Goodnight Hot Chocolate!

3. Make Outside Inside

Why let the seven feet of snow outside your door limit your options. Make outside inside with different heating setups. Try installing a tent area to take advantage of a larger lawn. Small budgets are no problem, as decorating a yard with fairy lights and having folded blankets on chairs creates a winter wonderland while giving your guests a chance for a breath of frosty fresh air.

4. Safety First

Safety should be a concern for all savvy planners year round but winter presents its own unique challenges. As much as possible check the weather reports for the day of your event and shovel, salt, and snow-blow all walkways! Always do a run-through of your whole floor-plan to make sure there are no slipping and sliding risks. Have enough coat racks (or coat check) as well as mats for wet boots and shoes. As always, for any guests who were feeling the festive winter spirit and consumed have alcohol, insist on a taxi or have alternative transportation on standby. Two numbers for the Toronto area are: Beck 416-751-5555, and City Taxi 416-740-2222

5. Use the Season to Your Advantage

Winter is the best time to match your décor to the season. Ice sculptures, and ice luges (for beverages) are beautiful, reasonably priced, and an impressive visual for your guests. The lower light of the afternoon sets any candles and lighting aglow. Rich colours: crimson, snow white, pine greens pop against the drab background of the urban winter. The crisp air makes savoury smells more noticeable, and any warmth always draws people in off the street. Counterpoint the heat and energy of your party with the frosty outside and all your event choices will be that much more of a standout.

6. Try Something Different

As beautiful as the winter season is there is something to be said with doing the exact opposite! Vacation sales spike in the New Year for a reason – people want an escape! This is the perfect time to juxtapose a wacky or different theme to shake your guests out of their winter hibernation. Who wouldn’t want to try a January Hawaiian Luau or a Murder Mystery Dinner instead of a traditional February Valentine’s day party?  Get creative and try something no one else is doing! It’s sure to be noticed.

7. Timing is Everything

They’re called the “Winter Blahs” for a reason. Holiday season is very busy with Christmas, Chanukah, New Years and reunions. Guests may be worn out by January 1st, but there is a large empty period from Jan – March. This is the perfect time to plan your winter party and give your guests something to look forward to! Half the trick in creating a good buzz is standing out from the competition, and with little else going on even the smallest party will shine.

8. Make it Fun!

This is the most important thing to remember! As planners we can get caught up in the detail and forget to see the big picture. People come to events to have fun, so think critically. Is this something I would have fun at? Spontaneity is the key to fun; why not whip up a snowball fight at midnight? Drop snowflake confetti? Keep your guests guessing and keep it fun! Happy Planning!!