outdoor skating rinks toronto

Toronto's free outdoor skating rinks are open for the season

Outdoor skating rinks in Toronto are officially a go. 

This Saturday marks the opening of many artificial ice rinks citywide, although the one at Nathan Phillips Square is not one of them. 

But don't expect to simply glide onto the ice: there are now a number of COVID-19 safety measures in place to keep skaters safe while on the rinks. 

Earlier this week, Mayor John Tory announced the City's Welcome T.O. Winter parks plan. 

The plan outlined new regulations for this free leisurely past-time, including a 25-person limit, as opposed to the crowded free-for-all public rinks that once were. 

Reserving a spot through the City's newly-introduced online registration system is now required for skating sessions, meaning you'll have to make an online booking through the City's website before heading over. 

Head to eFun, the recreation reservations site, to set up an account, which will require you to provide a phone number for your household.

eFun takes reservations on Thursday at 8 p.m for the following Monday through Sunday. 

Time slots for leisure skating are 45 minutes. You're asked to arrive 10 minutes early for your reservation. There will also be a limited number of time slots reserved for people who don't have Internet access, and are unable to make a reservation online. 

Physical distancing of 6 metres is required between people from different households. Masks and face coverings are strongly recommended to be worn by the City, even when on the ice, and are mandatory when waiting in line. 

Though large outdoor gatherings are banned under the provincially-mandated lockdown, the City says that public health officials "have encouraged people to get exercise outside on their own and with members of their household." 

Lead photo by

Michael Monastyrskyj

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