Toronto’s George Bell Arena Buys REALice

George Bell

Toronto’s George Bell Arena Buys REALice

VANCOUVER – The 55-year old George Bell Arena in Toronto’s west end, with one of the most loved ice surfaces in the city, has ordered a 3-D printed REALice System and will be installing it within the next week or two. With its REALice installation, the ice arena, owned by the City of Toronto but operated by a non-profit board, is expected to save over 110,000 kWh in hydro charges, and over 15,000 m3 of natural gas — annually — by no longer needing to use extremely hot water to resurface its ice.

In making the order, the George Bell Arena will be taking advantage of a time-limited incentive that covers 50% of the capital costs of the system, from its natural gas provider, Enbridge Gas. Additional incentives have also been applied for through the arena’s electric utility, Toronto Hydro, as part of a SaveONEnergy custom application which could cover up to another 50% of the remaining capital costs. In order to prove the electricity savings, sub-meters will be installed at the arena next week to provide a baseline for measurement and verification purposes.

“Nobody questions the amount of energy we’re going to save — they all want to know what the ice is going to be like,” says Larry Woodley, the arena manager at the George Bell Arena. “I expect that REALice will give us a clearer, harder surface than what we have now, and our natural gas savings will be even higher than anticipated. We will see.”

REALice takes the place of needing to use extremely hot water in ice resurfacing and maintenance by removing the micro air bubbles that are inherent in water, the same way hot water does but without the hot water expense. The George Bell, a year-round facility averaging 12 resurfaces per day, is expected to save energy in two ways. First, they’ll save in not needing to heat their water up to 70 degrees Celsius anymore and secondly, their ice will freeze faster, allowing them to increase the temperature of the brine under the ice surface by 2-3 degrees C – which will be a tremendous savings in unspent energy and ice plant wear and tear.

Florian Gabriel, Managing Director of SWiCH Services Ltd., the Canadian importer of REALice, says he’s thrilled with this sale, which will make it the second arena in Ontario using REALice.

“REALice has been in use on a pair of twin pads at the 4-pad Invista Centre in Kingston for nearly two years now,” says Gabriel. “With REALice being installed at the George Bell Arena, it will easy for neighbouring arenas in the greater Toronto area to stop in and see for themselves how it works and the quality of the ice. They will all be impressed, I’m certain of it.”

For more information, contact:

Florian Gabriel, Managing Director
SWICH Services Inc.
Canadian Technology Transfer Partner
Phone: +1-604-710-5479