ice rinks toronto

Toronto is considering converting hockey arenas into indoor skateparks

If you're a hockey player in Toronto, you may find yourself with less indoor rink time — due to less indoor rink space — in the city within the next few years.

In the new Parks & Recreation Facilities Master Plan for 2019-2038, the city outlines a number of changes that it intends to make to community recreation centres, ice facilities, outdoor aquatics facilities, sports fields and other sports courts and zones.

The plan includes 17 new community recreation centres slated for neighbourhoods like Don Mills, Central Etobicoke and Portlands, as well as the renovation of 11 centres, including John Innes, Lawrence Heights and Scarborough Centennial.

It also states that though the city is due to receive one more indoor ice pad in the next 20 years, up to three existing ice arenas across Toronto may be adapted "to other uses, such as indoor skateparks." This change would still meet the target of one ice pad per 50,000 Toronto residents.

Demand for ice sports is “evolving” so much that City is considering converting some arenas into other uses, like indoor skate parks. Sorry hockey fans. pic.twitter.com/IlpKfLE3Dd

The affected facilities are Don Mills Citivan Arena, and one yet-to-be-determined site in Toronto/East York and North York, respectively.

Fortunately for those looking for somewhere to strap on their skates, the plan also proposes up to five new artificial outdoor rinks and two additional skating trails by the end of 2038, though these will only be open as weather permits during the winter months.

Other athletes will be happy to hear that 10 per cent of the city's soccer and multi-use fields, baseball diamonds and cricket pitches will be "upgraded", and a total of 45 new fields will be constructed during the tenure of the plan.

Also, five new cricket pitches, up to 20 new tennis courts, and 30 new basketball courts in the next 20 years.

And, Torontonians may see the development of up to 18 "high-quality" indoor pools (most as part of new community recreation centres) and the replacement of seven others, as well as the 20 additional waterplay facilities and the modernization of a number of the city's outdoor pools.

The details of plan in full are available on the City of Toronto website.

Lead photo by

City of Toronto's Centennial Park Arena


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