Toronto lifts outdoor hockey curfews

Add an afternoon hockey game to the list of winter activities that, for now, are permitted at Toronto’s major outdoor rinks, thanks to a city directive issued Wednesday afternoon. The evening hockey game had…

Toronto lifts outdoor hockey curfews

Add an afternoon hockey game to the list of winter activities that, for now, are permitted at Toronto’s major outdoor rinks, thanks to a city directive issued Wednesday afternoon.

The evening hockey game had been banned since April 30, 2017, as curfews fell on the three outdoor rinks that make up the Great Canadian Place ($17 per hour) public facilities at Exhibition Place in the downtown core. At the time, the city issued curfews of 8 p.m. during the summer and 6 p.m. between the hours of Christmas and New Year’s. The curfews had been criticized as unreasonable for making the outdoor sports options so expensive. After a series of motion last year, the city ordered a 6 p.m. curfew, but no further curfews were made until this week.

A recent memo signed by Toronto Mayor John Tory stated the city will not create curfews for evening hockey games in Winter Play Zone areas, but will “ensure that all patrons living and working within the Winter Play Zone area are held in compliance with the curfew and return home safely after evening events.”

The city did, however, ban scuba diving and motorized water skiing from the winter outdoor rinks through December. Drone flight and ice scooter flights are still not allowed. The rinks in Winter Play Zone areas are located in the Toronto waterfront along Roncesvalles Avenue, McCowan Bridge, Gladstone Street between Dec. 12 and Dec. 28, and Yonge Street between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

In the memo, the city said that it made this decision to “discourage ice skating the city doesn’t have the infrastructure to offer and unseasonably warm temperatures” in the coming months.

Virtually all summer sports activities are still prohibited at the outdoor rinks, including lacrosse, soccer, basketball, skiing, swimming, kayaking, wakeboarding, snowmobiling, zip lining, and moonlight fishing.

The street fair at the Great Canadian Place was also scrapped last year as a result of the curfews. The board who runs the street fair said last year that if the streets were closed at 9 p.m., attendance at the event would drop by at least 60 percent.

It’s not clear whether the restrictions apply to other outdoor rinks in the city. K1R:Kensington YMCA, a YMCA venture located near the one at Summerhill and Kenmore avenues in Kensington Market, has curfews of 8 p.m. Dec. 21, 22, 25, 27, 28, and 29, and 6 p.m. Dec. 22, 23, 25, 26, 28, and 29.

Leave a Comment