Loop trail features energy-efficient refrigeration system, heated changing facility
With a new heated change house, the trail is part of the newly revitalized College Park nestled near Yonge and College streets, which opened in the spring of 2019 and serves as a downtown outdoor community and recreation space.
The ice for the Barbara Ann Scott Ice Trail is currently being laid down, and Peter White, operations manager of College Park, says they hope to open on Saturday.
Named after the two-time world and 1948 Olympic champion Canadian figure skater, the trail replaces the former oval Barbara Ann Scott Ice Rink that closed in 2012.
“The rink was closed for quite a few years and we’re happy to have it return as a trail and I think it’s going to be very popular, just like the new park is,” White said.
“It’s more scenic … to get on a trail. It’ll discourage conflicts with people playing hockey too, because often there’s competing desire for the rink.”
It is the first outdoor ice trail in Ontario to use a type of modern CO2 technology in its refrigeration system, which is more energy efficient.
College Park reopened to the public in the spring of 2019, and has an “urban frog pond” theme with frog sculptures and a bug-themed playground, along with greenery in the summertime.
“The College Park revitalization is an excellent example of the well-designed public spaces we can create when we work together with a focus on community and what we know our residents want,” Mayor John Tory said in a press release.
The park was originally slated for completion in 2018. Construction started in June 2017, following repairs and waterproofing to the roof of a private parking garage underneath in 2016, with an initial completion intended for 2018.
“Working on top of the existing parking garage was more challenging than anticipated,” reads an email statement from the Parks, Recreation and Forestry division to the Ryersonian.
“Along with significant weight restrictions, much of the roof deck conditions did not align with site records from when the park was originally built back in the 1980s, and changes needed to be made during the park construction — which caused delays to the overall construction schedule.”
There is an official opening of the ice trail on Dec. 7 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., with the main event at 3 p.m.
Onsite will be interactive ice sculptures, performances from Brant Matthews, a.k.a. Fireguy, and skating performance group Glisse on Ice. The Toronto Public Library’s skate lending program will be present.