Outdoor Ice Symposium

Cimco  I  Intact Public Entities   Jet Ice   Marmak  I  Zamboni


The Ontario Recreation Facilities Association is hosting a two-day outdoor ice event that will focus on the opportunities and challenges of offering outdoor ice-skating experiences. The symposium will explore the expanding inventory of ice sheet creation, operation, and maintenance. From the traditional neighbourhood outdoor ice rink, natural ice-skating venues, and an expansion in skating pathways like our host facility, The Bentway, all offer exciting recreational experiences. However, changing weather patterns, regulatory responsibility for mechanical assisted outdoor ice sheets, liability associated with offering these types of recreational experiences and shrinking financial support for daily operations requires owners of these types of venues to balance risk and reward.

The symposium is a collection of information that highlights the issues and solutions being explored to provide this type of outdoor recreational service. It is an excellent opportunity to have an open conversation on what exactly is involved with designing, constructing, and operating these types of facilities.


Industry Growth   
Robert Knesaurek, Senior Vice-President, National Hockey League

How outdoor ice opportunities leads to industry growth. Anytime a person has blades on their feet a passion for ice sports gets ignited. Robert will share how the NHL is committed to making these opportunities come to life.

Impacts of Changing Winter Weather   
Frances Delaney, Policy Analyst, Canadian Centre for Climate Services

Environment Canada tracks the data that predicts trends and projected change. This session looks at what has occurred and what might be expected in the future.

RinkWatch Project   
Rob McLeman, Professor, Wilfrid Laurier University, RinkWatch Project

The importance of outdoor rinks during the COVID-19 pandemic and how these opportunities can continue to provide benefit. NHL Green and RinkWatch have been working together since 2016 with a common of goal of protecting our game and planet for future generations.

Changing Trends in Engineering Design Expectations 
Ian Storey, President, I.B. Storey Inc. 

There is increased demand for engineered systems to maintain outdoor ice sheets and skating pathways. The session will review new best-practices required for designing and implementing systems given the impact of climate conditions, and specifically highlight what owners can and should expect on ongoing implementations.

Equipment Options to Assist Mother Nature   
Jason Hill, Training/Development & Commissioning Team, CIMCO Refrigeration

CIMCO Refrigeration has been assisting Mother Nature with creating and maintaining safe and serviceable outdoor ice sheets in many different locations and conditions. This session will highlight what is available in the industry to construct an outdoor venue that will meet or exceed user expectation.

Outdoor Ice Refrigeration Regulatory Responsibilities   
Glen Lang, Chief Officer, Technical Standards and Safety Authority

Industrial refrigeration comes with regulatory responsibility that must be included in the business plan of any outdoor mechanically assisted ice surface. Chief Lang will outline what should be considered when installing a refrigeration system to support outdoor ice surfaces.

Outdoor Ice Maintenance Equipment   
Marty Elliot, Sales Account Representative, Zamboni Company Ltd.

This session will explore ice maintenance equipment options and auxiliary facilities required to house these tools.

The Bentway Skate Trail Tour

Bring your skates or rent a pair! Enjoy a tour of the skating path and Ontario’s first C02 refrigeration plant. Learn the challenges of constructing under one of Ontario’s busiest roadways and why C02 was selected as the best option to refrigerate the pathway.

Learn About The Bentway   
Michael Clarke, Facilities Manager, The Bentway Conservancy

An ambitious private construction near the Fort York National Historic Site under an elevated section of the Gardiner. A 722-foot-long trail that is converted into a hugely popular ice skating destination in the wintertime.

Don’t Forget About Accessibility   
Ulrich (Uli) Egger, Accessibility Certification Specialist, Rick Hansen Foundation (RHF)

Creating an outdoor skating sheet that is inviting to all Ontarian’s is an essential aspect of these spaces. Ulrich will share what needs to be considered and how the RHF is committed to a world of inclusion.

Designing and Constructing a Dual-Purpose Recreational Space   
Jamie Lopes, Senior Project Manager, Aquatic Design and Engineering

Combining a splash pad and outdoor skating surface creates a year-round recreational space. This session will explore these types of installations.

Reducing the Risk of Outdoor Ice   
Jessica Jaremchuk, Vice-President, Risk Management Services, Intact Public Entities

Jessica will explore some past litigation associated with these venues and what steps can be taken to reduce risk.

Making Outdoor Ice   
Dave Loverock, Vice-President, Jet Ice Ltd.

Dave will explain what influences natural ice creation, if outdoor ice can/should be painted and how to fix weather shifting ice issues.

Outdoor Boards and Glass   
Andrew McRae & Reid Hart, Athletica Sport Systems Inc.

This session will explore what needs should be considered regarding outdoor boards and shielding.

The Evolution of Synthetic Ice Surfaces

Steven J. Wong, Chief Operating Officer, Can-Ice International

This session will explore the advancements in synthetic ice technology while highlighting the benefits associated with this kind of installation and include an interactive live skating demonstration.

Renting an Outdoor Ice Venue

Bob Hanson, Senior Project Manager, Ice Rinks Events

As Canadian winters change and communities consider outdoor ice recreational options, could the future follow a US trend of renting an outdoor ice venue for a specific period rather than investing in a facility. This session will explore how Ice Rinks Events has been offering these venues in a variety of geographical areas.

Outdoor Ice Best Practices & Asset Management
Terry Piche, Director, Training, Research and Development, Ontario Recreation Facilities Association (ORFA) and Zack Tarantino, Marmak

The ORFA has developed a resource to assist members in their responsibility to create and maintain a safe and serviceable outdoor ice sheet. The ORFA is actively collecting information from members who offer ice skating venues using different approaches. This session will highlight some of what we have discovered.

The session will also incorporate the importance of recreation facility asset management and our partner-in-training with Marmak.