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article imageTwo new outdoor skating venues to open in Toronto Special

By Bryen Dunn     Dec 6, 2010 in Lifestyle
Toronto - This year the City of Toronto is adding two new outdoor skating venues to its database, raising the total number of ice surfaces to over 50. Both offer unique and innovative designs, not reflective of your typical hockey rink structures.
The newly opened Sherbourne Common is an innovative new public space in that it is both a park and the UV purification facility for the entire new East Bayfront community. On September 24 2010, hundreds of community members and stakeholders joined Waterfront Toronto and various government partners to officially open Sherbourne Common South.
Samantha Gileno, Manager, Project Communications for Waterfront Toronto, advised, “We held a number of public consultation sessions before and during the design of the park to understand the types of features the public was looking for. Most agreed that a water feature for summer use and winter amenities to animate the park year-round would be important to the success of the park. With that in mind we incorporated a 30-jet splash pad/skating rink on the south side of the park surrounded by a zinc-clad Pavilion structure with washrooms and a café.”
Located in the heart of the new East Bayfront community, Sherbourne is the first park in Canada to integrate a neighbourhood-wide storm water treatment facility into its design. The park’s UV facility will treat collected storm water and release it from one of three artistically designed elements into a 240-metre long water channel (urban river), where it will travel back out to Lake Ontario.
Gileno continues, “The splash pad doubles as a skating rink in the winter, so it is not a regulation sized hockey rink with boards. It’s a 920m2 oval-shaped concrete surface with raised sides at either end that act as benches where people can put on their skates. There will also be rubber pads placed along the side of the rink for people to walk on with their skates.”
Sherbourne Common is the third and largest new public space opened by Waterfront Toronto, and it stretches more than a hectare from Lake Ontario to Queens Quay. When fully completed, the 1.5 hectare park will cover two city blocks from the water’s edge to Lake Shore Boulevard. The park is located east of Lower Sherbourne Street from Lake Ontario to the south and Lake Shore Boulevard to the north, on both sides of Queens Quay.
Designed by renowned Canadian landscape architect Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg to be both a city-wide destination and neighbourhood amenity, Sherbourne Common features wide open green space on the south side of the park, providing ample space for festivals, concerts and other city-wide events overlooking Lake Ontario. Gileno also confirmed that, “The East Bayfront Stormwater Management System (much of which is integrated into Sherbourne Common) just received the 2010 Living City Award from Toronto Regional Conservation Authority.”
The other new development is on the other end of the city, along Toronto’s western waterfront area. The Colonel Samuel Smith Ice Trail will be located on the grounds of another former water processing facility situated alongside The Power House, which will now house the new refrigeration plant for the ice trail, the Zamboni ice cleaner, and the change facilities for skaters.
The site is linked inextricably to the lake via drainage and vegetation regime. The new ice trail extends from the Power House in a figure-eight style loop with an overall length of 250 linear metres. The trail itself winds through the site and in its construction created a number of planting and vegetation regimes, as well as providing immediate walkway connection to the greater trail network in the area. A lighting and sound system has been included in the design of the facility to extend its use and function, and the surface will be available for inline skating in the summer months.
Wynna Brown, Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation -General Manager's Office, confirmed, “The official opening date is set for Saturday Dec 11 at 4:30pm, and will include official remarks, a tree lighting and skate party.” Skating at Sherbourne Common is set to commence around mid-January. Both of these new skating areas offer fantastic views of the Toronto skyline, so lace up and enjoy!
For a list of all other indoor and outdoor skating rinks, visit the City of Toronto website.
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