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It's clear now that this rink will not open this season. The tarps and heating hoses are still covering the skating trail and the designer change room is obviously not done.
The heater hoses are still going (over a month now, something must be really wrong) and the rink house is not done.
The construction company's website emphasizes safety and the company's honorable behavior. From a City of Toronto engineer: "I have worked with Roman and Rob Jankowski on a number of projects over the last 10 years and they have always stuck by their word. Any verbal agreement has always been followed through on." The writer implies that this is unusual.
The rink heaters are still going, with tarps laid on top. The rink change house is half uncovered, but also with heaters still going. There are workers working on a high light standard, using scaffolding rather than a cherry picker.
The rink change building is very curvy, but it has no place for skate lending. Astonishing.
There are hoses running along the skating trail surface. They have hot brine in them to thaw out the water that turned to ice in the pipes when the system was being tested. Workers say the rink was going to open on Dec.21, but nobody knows, really. The change house is completely covered with tarps, to keep in the heat from the propane heaters that are being used to speed the concrete drying inside.
This morning this rink has reappeared as "College Park" on the city's website, listed for "delayed opening."
This rink has been closed for five years. It looks like the redesigned park is about ready to open, with grass still green and flowers still blooming despite the lateness of the season. A big tent is up: to hold the reopening celebration? But there's no listing on the city's website, nor on Councillor Wong-Tam's website. And the rink changeroom has no windows yet, and an unfinished roof.
earlier rink diaries
On the city's College Park website, an announcement says that construction will finish in 2018.
"PFR's Landscape Architecture Unit in Planning, Design and Development Section of PFR is supervising the revitalization, which includes planning and design work from the MBTW Group/Watchorn Architect and Project for Public Spaces."
There seem to be lots of problems with Aura, with a largely empty mall underneath, water leakage in the 70-story condo, and frequent elevator malfunction. Will this perhaps mean the developer won't be able to fulfil his commitments to building the new park? We asked Eric Stadnyk, the city's project coordinator. His answer: "College Park construction, including the skating trail, is planned to proceed in 2017. We expect it to be open for the '17/'18 skating season."
However, in December 2016 the project coordinator sent an update: "The park will begin construction as planned this spring; however, it will not be complete until spring/summer 2018. We expect it to be open for the '18/'19 skating season....Canderel is the developer who have hired landscape architect consultants (MBTW) to design and oversee the construction of the park, of which the rink and building are a part."
Meantime Canderel is being sued by the Aura condo corporation for $31 million for "negligent misrepresentation, breach of contract and construction deficiencies."
Excerpts from the April 6, 2016 budget committee minutes: The committee recommended that
City Council authorize deferral of cash flow from 2016 to 2017 within Parks, Forestry and Recreationís approved 2016 Capital Budget in the amount of $2.000 million for the College Park Artificial Ice Rink (AIR) sub-project in the Arena project, funded by $1.000 million in donations and $1.000 million from the Section 42 Alternate Rate (AR) Cash-in-lieu (CIL) for 460 Yonge Street (XR2213-4200658).
At its meeting on February 17, 2016, City Council approved the 2016 Capital Budget for Parks, Forestry and Recreation through item EX12.2 (28b and 29). The College Park Artificial Ice Rink (AIR) sub-project was approved with a total project cost of $2.5 million, funded from $1.000 million from the Section 42 Alternate Rate Cash-in-lieu for 460 Yonge Street (XR2213- 4200658), $1.000 million in donations, and $0.500 million from South District Local Parkland Development Cash-in-lieu reserve fund (XR2209).
A major revitalization of College Park and its entire open space is being undertaken by a Developer responsible for the Aura development at Gerrard and Yonge Streets. The Developer has entered into Section 37 and 45(9) agreements with the City of Toronto and has agreed to provide $3.0 million in improvements to College Park, including public consultation, design services and construction. The project will be implemented by the Developer on behalf of, and under the supervision of Parks, Forestry and Recreation (PFR) Division.
The $3.0 million budget for improvements to College Park, to be delivered by the Developer, does not include a new artificial ice rink/skating trail and rink house components. Through the 2016 PF&R Capital Budget, Council approved $2.5 million Staff report for action on Adjustments to PF&Rís 2016 Capital Budget 4 sub-project of the Arena project for the artificial ice rink/skating trail and rink house components. Of the $2.5 million, $1.0 million is to be funded from the Section 42 Alternate Rate (AR) Cash-in-lieu (CIL) for 460 Yonge Street (XR2213-4200658), $0.500 million is coming from PF&R reserve funds, and $1.0 million from donations. To date, only $0.250 million of the $1.0 million donation has been identified from the Downtown Yonge BIA.
Due to related agreements needed for: 1) the leasing of adjacent lands to be added to College Park and 2) the re-waterproofing of the garage roof membrane underlying the entire park by the tenant of the garage, the project has been delayed from initial timelines. Although the existing park will be demolished in early 2016, the rest of 2016 will be dedicated to allowing the tenant of the underground garage to do their waterproofing. The park will then be re-built in 2017.
This report seeks authority from Council to defer $2.0 million in cash flow from 2016 to 2017, including $1.0 million in donations and $1.0 million from Section 42 AR CIL.
CityRinks' editor Jutta Mason made a deputation to the City of Toronto Community Development and Recreation Committee. It included some photos of possible inexpensive improvements to existing rink buildings, and also a suggested way of including skate lending in the College Park renovation.
Sequel: Regarding the CELOS proposal for incorporating skate lending into the new version of this rink, the city was not interested.
After various local consultations and external design consultants, it has been announced that the current pond-shaped rink and rink house change room/warming room will be replaced with a skating trail and a "service building." From the city's information web page:
The rink is still not demolished, nor is the prize-winning-design rink house gone. Only abandoned, with cracked concrete and weeds growing on the roof. What a waste.
The Aura condo tower is enormous, still with a crane on top. It dwarfs the rink, but the rink has not yet been torn out. However the City website marks it as closed.
This rink was a little jewel with lots of potential for a social space (e.g. if there had been skate lending and coffee/hot chocolate). A partnership with the Delta Chelsea Hotel across the street would have brought more skaters. But this rink was treated as an orphan from the time of amalgamation onward. Too bad.
Somebody must have complained about the look of the equipment-and-materials storage area that the rink became last year. This year there's a very nicely planted fall garden, and no more rickety chain link and piles of construction rubble. Who planted that garden? Surely not the Parks staff, who seem to have been told to neglect this site for years
This rink is closed because there's a giant condo being built to the south. The building is under construction but the bottom two floors are already running as a bed&bath store. There is no construction near enough to the rink to hurt anyone, but there's a small supply depot on the north side of the rink house -- rented by the condo company for convenient storage spot?