News / Toronto

City to explore affordable skate rentals and lending at outdoor rinks

More people could enjoy Toronto's skating rinks if cheap or free skates were available, councillors say.

A father and son enjoy skating at Dufferin Grove Park, where there are already cheap skate rentals.

Torstar News Service

A father and son enjoy skating at Dufferin Grove Park, where there are already cheap skate rentals.

In time for next winter, Toronto city staff will report back on ways to make it easier to skate at city rinks.

A motion to examine affordable skate rentals and free skate lending passed unanimously at Wednesday's Community Development and Recreation Committee meeting.

The idea was triggered by a donation of skates — offered up by The Centre for Local Research into Public Space — that's not yet being used. The non-profit, which helped start up $2 skate rentals at three rinks in and around Dufferin Grove Park, has long championed similar programs at other city rinks.

Coun. Paula Fletcher praised the idea of free or cheap skates at rinks, put forward by Coun. Mike Layton, and told staff she’d also like to see skate exchanges, at which people could drop off skates that no longer fit for ones that do.

“This has been one of the goals, is to have accessible skating at rinks," Fletcher said at the meeting. "On pinched budgets with a number of kids, those families aren't going to skate.”

Etobicoke North councillor Michael Ford said the model has plenty of potential across the city and he’s seen interest from a donor in his ward.

“People are there and willing to donate skates," Ford said.

Staff will report back to the committee in July, if the motion is approved by council.

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