Let’s face it – it’s cold outside. But rather than hibernate all winter long, it’s time to embrace it – so, lace up those skates and find the ice rinks in your area. And if space permits and you don’t want to go farther than your back door, you can even build a rink right in your own backyard.
Through our Community Renewal Fund (CRF), we’ve supported the development of some of Toronto’s local rinks that can be enjoyed by your family for free!
Here’s a look at some of the coolest rinks in the city:
The Bentway is a unique, innovative project that has transformed 1.75 km of unused urban space into a new gathering place for Torontonians and visitors to the city. Located under the Gardiner Expressway by the Fort York Visitor Centre, The Bentway Skate Trail is the perfect place for families to stay active this winter – not to mention a great place to warm up with some hot chocolate!
The Skate Trail is surrounded by recycled rubber matting made from recycled Ontario tires that helps to keep skate blades safe and protected when off the ice. The space also includes recycled rubber cubes for seating around the ice, which were designed by students as part of OTS’s Design Challenge. To put things into perspective, this project diverted 1,017 tires from landfills to create a vibrant, usable space.
Harbourfront Centre Natrel Rink
The Harbourfront Centre’s Natrel Rink received a green facelift of its own using recycled tires. Back in 2015, 8,600 square feet (yes, you read that right!) of rubber flooring made from recycled Ontario tires was installed in the areas surrounding the Natrel Rink. The rubber flooring extends beyond the rink’s perimeter to the change rooms and restaurant area.
The upgrade to the space created an eco-friendly hub where community members can experience the innovative recycled rubber products first-hand. Fun fact: The Centre’s Natrel Rink project diverted 715 tires from landfills!
A rink of your own
Whether it’s for a game of pick-up shinny or a casual skate, a backyard skating rink (or a frozen cottage lake) is a great way to spend time outdoors. If you have an outdoor rink at home, consider outfitting it with eco-friendly matting made from Ontario tires. Pro tip: lay matting down from the backdoor to the rink to help save your blades – especially when it’s time to hand down equipment and reduce waste!
Cool spaces like The Bentway and the Harbourfront Centre Natrel Rink are among the 85 community projects across the province that our CRF program has supported. With the help of our fellow industry partners, we have been able to rethink the lifecycle of Ontario tires by sustainably recycling them to create products like these.
To learn more about recycled rubber products, including products to outfit a rink of your own, visit our product guide for information.