A Toronto councillor is pushing the cash-strapped city to reopen ice rinks in time for March Break.

Coun. Case Ootes said the city should foot the bill to reopen the rinks, many of which have been closed since Sunday. The cost of operating the rinks during the break will be about $200,000.

"The budget committee found over $1 million they didn't know they had," he said. "Some of that money can be used for this."

Only eight of the city's 49 rinks are scheduled to stay open during the March Break. The councillor's plan will see more of them open across the city.

"I think we have to set priorities," he said. "And I think the public will feel this is a priority."

Operating outdoor skating rinks have been a financial struggle for the city all season. Councillors were debating closing the rinks through the winter to save some money until MasterCard offered to finance them until the new year.

Brenda Libreciz, manager of the city's parks and recreation department, said if the city wanted to keep the rinks open, they should have planned it better.

"Those 41 have already been closed. To restart them it will take four days and a significant amount of money," she told CTV Toronto. "Quite frankly, in the financial situation the city is in, I'm not sure if it's a wise decision."

With a report from CTV Toronto's Naomi Parness