TORONTO – When Molson Canadian built a hockey rink atop a skyscraper in downtown Toronto, it created the considerable buzz they were going for. So much buzz, in fact, that the rink is remaining open for an extra month and being opened to the public.
Initially part of Molson’s #AnythingForHockey campaign, that contest closed on Dec. 10. But after photos of the rink circulated and the public became interested, they decided to keep it open to let more people experience the rink with sprawling views of Toronto and the CN Tower.
At rooftoprink.ca there is another ongoing contest to let more fans on the rink. There’s also the option of simply buying ice time on the rink. But to do so, you better indeed be willing to do ‘anything for hockey’ – an hour of ice time for 20 people costs $2,000.
Maybe the experience is worth the hefty price tag. Here’s a look at the rink up close.
The rink is 100-feet by 45-feet, about half the size of a regulation NHL-sized rink. The at-times complicated construction on the site at 120 Adelaide St. West started on November 29. Due to the increased interest, the rink will remain open until February 7.
“There’s probably good reasons why there aren’t many rooftop rinks around the world,” said Duncan Fraser, a marketing manager with Molson Canadian. “We got pretty lucky with our partners at PCL next door, they were building a building so we used their cranes to lift up all of our equipment. It’s been a crazy couple of months.”
It’s the second year of the Molson marketing campaign. Last year they built a rink on a mountain in the Rockies. Just like building a rink on top of a mountain, building a rink on a rooftop in downtown Toronto had its own challenges.
“Obviously a lot of vendor groups and experts, technical or engineering or ice making, had to be hired. It was a big project, no question. It was one of the more severe projects I’ve worked on,” said Richard Kuypers, Senior Manager, Sponsorship and Events for Molson. “It was certainly a grind, but for all of us to see the rink in use and being able to experience it is pretty rewarding.”
The Toronto location was chosen after a coast-to-coast search of urban environments.
“We did a Canada-wide search. There was certain criteria we wanted to hit – an urban setting, a building with some height, the higher the better, but a building with a usable flat surface,” Kuypers said. “Obviously we were never going to get a full rink in anywhere, but this half and big enough for what we wanted to do.”