city of toronto skating

Toronto bans out-of-towners from using its skating rinks

No Toronto address? No skating for you, pal. Sorry — it's a safety thing.

Surely the people of Sauble Beach, Wasaga Beach, Prince Edward CountyCoburg, and every other small Ontario towns that told people in Toronto to stay away this past summer will understand.

You see, according to the city's department of Parks, Forestry and Recreation, "a number of complaints" have been filed in recent months regarding people who don't live in Toronto hogging up our (limited) time slots on local rinks.

As such, people who don't live in Toronto will no longer be able to make skating reservations online through the city's website, starting next week.

Despite strict lockdown orders and the urging of public health officials to avoid "region-hopping," The Star reports that non-Toronto residents have accounted for roughly 18,000 of all 735,000 reservations at outdoor rinks across the city since they first opened in November.

Of course, only half of those reservations ever proved fruitful — the rest either went to waste, or were forfeited to walk-in skaters when registrants failed to show.

Toronto currently has 54 outdoor skating rinks open for residents to enjoy in one-hour increments with up to 25 people per session.

Some critics have said that the rinks should be closed entirely in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, but (unlike Vaughan) Toronto has thus far remained firm in its resolve to let the people skate... at designated times.

Unauthorized, after-hours ice skating remains a problem, Toronto Fire Chief Matthew Pegg said during a news update earlier this week, calling the ongoing behaviour both illegal and dangerous. 

Perhaps a less-welcoming stance toward visitors from out of town will help?

Lead photo by

Jeremy Gilbert


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