posted November 17, 2010
Campbell staff are often asked questions about how the ice is made and maintained. The City of Toronto calls Campbell an AIR or Artificial Ice Rink. This is the city's way of saying that the ice at Campbell and Toronto's other outdoor rinks is made with a machine called a compressor, which works in a way similar to a household fridge. Cold liquid called a coolant is pumped into pipes under the ice. This makes the concrete surface cold. When water is laid on that surface it freezes.
Once the ice is made and rink season starts, the ice is maintained by a flying squad of two park workers who bring a Zamboni on a trailer twice a day to the rink. Unlike some city rinks, Campbell doesn't have its own Zamboni.
The City of Toronto operates 50 outdoor compressor-cooled rinks - more than any other in the world. For information about all of Toronto's outdoor rinks, go to the cityrinks.ca website.
Because the concrete floor is kept cold from pipes underneath, compressor-cooled rinks can have good ice in relatively warm temperatures. Before the old City of Toronto amalgamated with five neighbouring municipalities in 1998, the rink season lasted fifteen weeks from mid-November to the end of February. After amalgamation the season was cut down to ten weeks as a cost-saving measure.