Expectments of melt-off were never realized. When temperatures shot into the 70s during the month of March, so much water fell in many of Canada’s cities – so much, in fact, that engineers had to issue new guidance for frozen landmasses.
So a new round of management relaxed the regulations, with Greater Toronto Area (GTA) residents greeting the news as a sign the city is ready to revive mild, and once again, party on ice.
Last week, Mel Lastman and Candice Zwicker issued the required D-19 advisory – code for rink owners to develop new projects based on incoming ice-water, Land (Devine) constructed on the iceless before – just a few months ago.
“We want more people and more fun. We need big, shallow plumbed rinks at all hours, especially in the evening, to give people the opportunity to play, whether it’s a hockey, bocce, curling, tennis or even walking around on the rink – tossing a soccer ball,” Zwicker told reporters at a news conference last Wednesday.
Toronto Public Works spokesperson Maria Augimeri said that sites requiring ice resurfacing can now resurface themselves with no return fee. No plans were to charge for the city-sanctioned rink.
Though, even then, Augimeri told Metro News, “We weren’t going to completely take away the options for resorption fees at many of the sites out there.”
Laura Martin, spokesperson for the City of Toronto, told Metro News that while the average winter snowfall for the city is between 20 and 24 inches, she said her department will continue with the aqua drawings for the 60,000-plus public ice surfaces in the city as summer gets closer, and that a free winter ice day is planned in one location in late June.
“This is the early season release of land in anticipation of cooler weather,” Martin said. “In fact, a lot of the sites have their conventional rinks that were originally fixed in the 60s and 70s.”
Though many were going to be lucky if their roof-top rink stayed on its mark for another month, others got the news as good as a treat.
Peter Walton, who owns the Splash Zone ice rink on Queen’s Park Mall in Scarborough, said he’s never lived in a more versatile world.
“People even used to go sledding,” Walton said. “If this is the only path we have left to play on the ice with my children, I’m all for it.”
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