Rink Review: East York Memorial Arena

Leisure skating hours at this indoor public rink on the northeast corner of Cosburn & Cedarvale Avenues in East York are rather anemic — just two hours a week, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm on Sundays. It’s a shame, because the facility provides a high-quality full-sized skating surface without a huge number of people crowding the ice.

The rink isn’t as crowded as many of the higher-profile sites in the city, and the ice was in very good condition for our visit there. Unfortunately, we discovered that the on-site pro shop and skate sharpening booth were closed during the public skating hours, so we had to make do with our semi-dull blades. The rink and facility are both very clean and well-maintained. Many indoor arenas are built with all the ambiance of a bunker, and the East York Memorial Arena was no excpetion. But a mid-90s renovation really opened up the entrance and added a lot of space and light to the public areas of the arena, making it feel very comfortable and inviting.

As at most public rinks, the leisure skates are supervised by barely-interested teenagers who don’t really pay too much attention to what anyone is doing. A couple of kids were roughhousing a bit on the ice, getting in the way of some of the other skaters, and none of the three skate supervisors did anything. I don’t even think they noticed.

East York Memorial Arena information:

  • Facility type: Indoor arena.
  • Public skating hours: Sundays, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm.
  • Public skating cost: Free
  • Accessibility: The facility is barrier-free, but there’s a small step down to the ice surface.
  • Public transit: 87 Cosburn (any branch) from Main Street or Broadview Stations to Cedarvale Ave; or 91 Woodbine (any branch) north from Woodbine Station to Cosburn, then walk one block east to the Arena.
  • Parking: A small on-site lot, local on-street, and another large lot one block north.
  • Lockers: No.
  • Change rooms: Yes.
  • Washrooms: Yes.
  • Skate rental: No.
  • On-site services: Snack bar, pro shop, skate sharpening (the pro shop and skate sharpening seem to be closed during the public skating hours).
  • Nearby services / after-skate meal / snacks: The East York Curling Club is kitty-corner from the Arena on the south side of Cosburn and has a quick-service restaurant and licensed bar. There are a handful of convenience stores and restaurants on Woodbine Ave. nearby, but you’ll probably want to go down to Danforth Ave. to get any real selection. There’s also a short restaurant strip about 1.5 km west of the Arena on Cosburn, just across from Dieppe Park.

On a scale of 1-10:

  • Crowding: 6
  • Ice surface: 7
  • Ambiance: 7
  • Cleanliness (washrooms, change rooms, etc.): 7
  • Ease of getting there: 7
  • Overall: 7

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