Ice rental in Toronto
Ice rental in Toronto can be a competitive game. Despite the city's large number of arenas, the appetite for ice time in the winter is astoundingly high, which can make booking a game of shinny a frustrating exercise. There are, however, plenty of online services designed to make the process of finding available ice much easier.
Here's what you need to know about ice rental in Toronto.
City of Toronto ice availability
City-run rinks account for the majority of available ice time in Toronto. While various permit-holders and organizations are responsible for booking up slots over the course of the season, those in search of a one-hour window who aren't so picky about location will find that ice can relatively easily be reserved via the city's online search system.
Also useful in terms of city ice is the "Additional Ice Time for Sale" chart, which is updated through the week and provides a comprehensive list of time-slots that are available seasonally or through cancellation. You can also contact permit offices for outdoor rinks directly, though these tend to be booked solidly on account of recreational skating, shinny, and minor league hockey uses. Check here for the rate card for both indoor and outdoor rinks.
Private Ice Availability Services
This service tracks previously secured ice that's become available in a simple list that tracks available slots up to around six months in advance. It's GTA listings are extensive. Most slots are priced as best offer, so you it is possible to snag a deal or two.
Hockey Toronto provides basic listings for available ice time in the Toronto area. It's less comprehensive than TradeIceTime, but worth a quick look as part of a wider search. Added value comes from repeat weekly listings.
A three-pronged service that allows users to locate, sell, and trade ice time, this website features a straightforward interface that will help you to run a quick search. The Toronto-based arenas covered by the service are relatively limited, though.
Failing these websites, you can always contact arenas directly. Multi-rink complexes like CanLan Ice Sports at York University tend to have decent availability, though you can also occasionally find slots at more historically significant arenas like Ryerson's rink at the Mattamy Athletic Centre and Varsity Arena. The former is rather expensive at $335 during prime time, but damn is that roof nice. For a full list of Ontario arenas, check here.
Photo by Jackman Chiu in the blogTO Flickr pool.
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