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Warm weather prompts Toronto to close outdoor skating rinks earlier

Love it or hate it, this winter’s warm weather is causing Toronto’s ice rinks to close slightly earlier than previous years.

By next week, all of the city’s outdoor ice rinks and trails will be closed to the public “as a result of warmer temperatures.”

“Warmer weather means even more activities,” a news release from the city reads. “The City continues to plan for spring and summer programs. With the closure of outdoor rinks, City staff are beginning to convert some outdoor ice rink locations into spaces that can host spring and summer sports like pickle ball and tennis.”

This year, Toronto has experienced unseasonably warm weather that one climatologist called ‘tropical.’

The city usually sees 34 days of -10 C within December, January and February, but Toronto only recorded nine cold days throughout that period of time.

In addition, several high, record-breaking temperatures were reached in February, with some days reaching or above 13 C.

On March 13, the temperature climbed up to 20 C.

However, that didn’t stop over 500,000 people from visiting Toronto’s outdoor ice rinks and trails throughout the winter season.

The City of Toronto says that in previous years, the rinks have closed on March 19 and 20. They usually open in two-parts, with most opening in November and some opening in December.

In a statement sent to CTV News Toronto, the city said, “Outdoor ice rinks are closed when warm weather conditions continue over a period of time which does not allow for their artificial ice surfaces to be sustained.”

Of the 54 rinks in the city, 14 opened in November and closed Feb. 25. The remaining 40 will close on, or before, March 17.

With files from CP24’s Bryann Aguilar