Winter Safety Message: Ice Safety Reminder

Safety is Toronto and Region Conservation Authority’s (TRCA) number one priority. For that reason, TRCA has issued multiple warnings about venturing out onto the ice at any TRCA rivers, streams, ponds, reservoirs, wetlands, and marshes.

The need for multiple warnings has been further supported by recent incidents at Bond Lake in Richmond Hill and Grenadier Pond in Toronto, with the understanding that ice formation across the Great Lakes was at its lowest in 50 years. Due to fluctuating weather temperatures across our jurisdiction, resulting in unsafe conditions, these consistent warnings were issued to our municipal and community partners and TRCA staff have focused their efforts on enforcement through educating residents of the risks of venturing out onto the ice on our properties.

TRCA understands that educational messaging is not always positively received by those looking to enjoy winter activities on our lands, and that negative feedback in the Palgrave community has been candid and swift.

“The enforcement warning by TRCA regarding the need for water safety was not specific to the Palgrave Mill Pond and the area has essentially been an unfortunate side effect of something that is intended to keep people and their pets safe across our nine watersheds,” said Jennifer Innis, Chair of TRCA’s Board of Directors and the Regional Councillor for the area.  “TRCA is committed to connecting people with nature and work with our dedicated network of supporters across our jurisdiction to achieve this goal. And during this difficult time, we understand that it is needed now, more than ever,” she said.

TRCA will continue to focus on ice safety education, rather than on enforcement, with a message consistent with the York Region Police, who recently noted: “Remember no ice is ever completely safe. Any individual enjoying recreational activities near a body of water must make a personal decision to do so, realizing that there is a degree of risk associated with this choice”.

The Chair of TRCA is committed to bring all municipal partners to the table including the volunteers, local service clubs, to promote residents’ safety and the protection of community volunteers. As a reminder – TRCA does not monitor ice safety and skating on TRCA properties remains a prohibited activity. Residents who choose to venture out onto ice despite warnings do so at their own risk.

As a safe alternative, we encourage residents to continue to use municipal approved skating rinks that are open to the public.  Further, we would ask that all users on Conservation properties, please abide by all public COVID-19 health guidelines including gathering limits, the wearing of masks and distancing measures.

For more information, please consult TRCA’s previously issued Winter safety message:

About Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA)

With more than 60 years of experience, TRCA is one of 36 Conservation Authorities in Ontario, created to safeguard and enhance the health and well-being of watershed communities through the protection and restoration of the natural environment and the ecological services the environment provides. More than five million people live within TRCA-managed watersheds, and many others work in and visit destinations across the jurisdiction. These nine watersheds, plus their collective Lake Ontario waterfront shorelines, span six upper-tier and 15 lower-tier municipalities. Some of Canada’s largest and fastest growing municipalities, including Toronto, Markham and Vaughan, are located entirely within TRCA’s jurisdiction.


Media Contact:

Michael Tolensky
Chief Financial and Operating Officer
Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA)
416-706-9093 |