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There's a deep construction pit to the south of the rink. The ad billboards say it's going to be Canada's tallest condominium building, called Aura, by the Canderel Stoneridge Company. Three bedroom apartments start at $1 million, a parking spot starts at $45,000.
The website advertises the park as one of the buildings important amenities, "a three-acre oasis to call your own," and says the company will collaborate with the City of Toronto to undertake "a total rejuvenation of the park." Both the pit and the rink show up on their "live image" from their webcam.
It will be interesting to see what they come up with, and whether the City can negotiate an ongoing maintenance fund. Right now, the stucco is peeling, the strange plastic windows are yellowing, and the "rink opening sign" from five years ago still has not been replaced.
This rink has consistently experienced problems with the cooling plant, which is always said to be on its last legs and then reviving. For sure the rink is an orphan, and if the condo company want to take it over, it has to be an improvement. At the moment, homeless people come there on warm days, to sit on the benches. The owners of million dollar apartments and homeless people -- that would make in interesting interface.
Weather: high minus 1, low minus 6 , cloudy
College Park rink doesn't look like it's seen a zamboni yet, but the ice is thick and it looks like it's ready to go. However the rink house was locked. There was no sign on the rink house doors, but an old sign from four years ago, never removed from the railing, says the rink will open Dec.98, "weather permitting."
Just south of the rink is the huge condo building site.
1:24 PM, letter from Rink manager James Dann to: 52 Division/David Belluomini Intercon security
Please see the following letter in reference to Barbara Ann Scott after hour shinny hockey playing.
We are hoping that you'll be able to assist us in eliminating this disruption to residents.
Please don't hesitate to contact me should you require any further detail.
A "no hockey" sign is up, near the out-of-date rink opening sign. At 12 noon there were only two people skating, a dad and his son, who was still wobbly, just learning. The building attendant was talking on his cell phone, and it took a while for me to catch his eye. There was a barrier across the washrooms, with an "out of service" sign on it. I asked him what was wrong. He said that the plumbing is fine but the lights are not bright, and the barrier has been up since opening day.
I asked him about the hockey complaints and he said no one is allowed to play hockey. I clarified that the hockey complaints are for after-hours hockey, and we talked about that for a few moments. The conversation was interrupted twice when the attendant opened the door and gave a shrill whistle at two people who tried to go on the ice with their shoes. He said he had to stop them because of liability.
So the number of users stayed at only two, and those two seemed to be getting ready to leave.
As a new year is upon us, I am disappointed to report that the situation has not changed at the Barbara Ann Scott rink. Groups of hockey players have been playing after 10 pm on a nightly basis. I do not know if it is the same group of people but they have very little incentive to stop playing. Firstly, city security (Bruce's) team has been the one bright spot in this situation as they have dispatched security to the rink and have been exceptionally courteous whenever I call the office. Secondly, I went outside to check this weekend and there is no signage with the operating hours. The two small signs that say 'no hockey' have been there since I moved into College Park about 2.5 years ago but its not followed. There are lights from the building (where Skaters lace up) that directly shine into the rink that makes playing hockey actually quite ideal because its very bright, coupled with the street lamps all along the rink. Honestly, I can see why people would want to play hockey there. While I would love to not send out these emails and call security every night, frankly it is just frustrating not being able to sleep after 12:30 am when construction begins promptly at 7 am the next day. Can we think of some options to fix the problem? There has to be a way to ensure that people follow the city rules of not playing hockey past 10 pm at Barbara Ann Scott. I have also tried calling the police a few times. As a potential option, could we work out an agreement between the city and Vertica security where they can directly kindly ask people to stop playing? I think it would save a lot of time, from say 1 hr down to 5 minutes. P.S. Currently, there are 4 people playing outside at around 12:30 am.
Can you please provide us with an update on how this complaint is being addressed? What steps have been taken over the last month? Unfortunately, the situation has not improved and hockey players are visiting the rink on a nightly basis, even though there are clear signs against ice hockey and of the operating hours. The residents at College Park have been making phone complaints to the city rink staff and the Toronto police each evening after 10 pm.
Your feedback would be greatly appreciated.
I apologize for the delay in responding to you. I saw that James Dann has suggested setting up a meeting. Kindly let me know if you have had a chance to discuss this Mr. Dann. If you have set up a meeting, please let me know if you would also like someone from the Councillor's office to attend.
Thanks for the attached letter, however, it is very similar to the one that was provided to our security department back on the 8th of December.
As mentioned before by Intercon Security they will not be able to assist you in this matter unless the City decides to enter into a contract with Intercon Security. Our security department will not be held responsible or take full liability for incidents that may occur on city property. Their main focus is to secure the College Park premises only.
An email was sent my Intercon Security back on the 17th of December and an email was sent by me back on the 29th of December addressed to James indicating the same thing.
Residents of College Park Suites should not be disturbed after 10:00pm by patrons using a city skating rink that clearly states hours of operation, rules and regulations should be better enforced. We our now approaching Spring and quite honestly it seems like this issue will not be resolved before then as many people have been in communication for the past three months and no significant improvement has been noted. My main concern now is our we going to be having this same issue come next winter.
Please email us your thoughts.
Thanks Monica for the clarification. From a parks operation side we have done what we can do. I'll continue to assist our security and police to provide increased enforcement.
I will continue to support our corporate security in enforcement issues and have raised this to higher levels with our colleagues in recreation as well. We will obviously need to have the police on board to assist us in this endeavor as well. I recognize that you are frustrated and hope that we will be able to improve upon this situation as we move forward. I will cc you on any future correspondence with regards to the rink.
Thanks James. The real concern is that we're into late February and its very possible that we've let a real opportunity slip for the second year where we are being reactive (and not proactive) to the situation. I tried to be proactive on December 4th when I first sent Mr. Koropeski a note about the upcoming rink season. If you read Mr. Korepeski's email below, he was very clear with his message: "I undertake to gather the various City staff who have a role in this and develop a solution well prior to next season."
Unfortunately we are now well into the season and at the latest count, there have been another 70 emails exchanged to attempt to address the issue. On top of this, I have made daily calls to the police and security staff and this accounts to a lot of time spent!
I completely appreciate your team's support but it would be tremendous to understand where the accountability lies and what are the concrete actions that the City is taking to ensure that the problem is resolved. For instance:
I am by no means trying to pinpoint the blame on any one person or party. However, I feel that we could approach the problem a little different compared to what we have done as of late.
The bottom line is that there is no deterrence or penalty for breaking the rules. Attached is a picture of the rink after 10 pm when its supposed to be closed. Its an ideal place to play hockey when there are spotlights all around. What people don't realize is that the 'slap shot' noises create very loud echo sounds and it keeps people from sleeping.
Anyway, appreciate your help thus far James, I know you're trying.
the midnight hockey guys need to move to Ryerson Rink. As far as I know, no one lives right near there -- true? The skaters can be moved by speaking to them repeatedly and following up in a sustained way. We had a problem at Dufferin Rink with midnight hockey five years back, because it's also very well lit and people climbed the fence every night and slammed pucks around. We put so much attention on it, and I came out a few nights in a row (at 2 a.m.!) and made appealing speeches. Finally it was so embarrassing for them to be bothered by a matronly lady (me) that they went to a more remote rink instead (they were shift workers in construction).
The trick is to find out who they are and see whether they can be embarrassed out of there or whether they need to get tickets. Three tickets would do the trick (the stick) plus a thermos of hot chocolate waiting for them at Ryerson Rink (the carrot -- and that's only partly a joke). All this is entirely within the capabilities of the people on your cc list.
Next season, if the city doesn't come through with a better solution the very first week, let's try this. One more thing -- you may be wasting your breath asking for less inviting lighting. We asked for that, and it was refused. But that's not the only trick in the book.
Your request to me should actually be directed at Corporate Security. My parks staff are not on duty at this point.
On Dec. 16th 2010 I instructed our Mobile staff to increase our pro-active Patrols @ the Barbara Ann Scott Outdoor Ice Rink @ 420 Yonge Street between the hours of 2200 hours & 0100 hours until further notice & to remove anyone found on the ice surface after 2200 hours.
Per below. Unfortunately our Mobile staff have other mandatory duties @ 11 PM nightly & reactive patrols are not possible @ that time. I will further instruct our Mobile staff to attend the Barbara Ann Scott Outdoor Ice Rink @ 420 Yonge Street between the hours of 11:30 PM to midnight whenever possible until further notice & to remove anyone found on the ice surface @ that time.
Please be aware that there are a number of operational reasons that this time specific reactive patrol might not be possible each evening, such as staff requests for security assistance & alarm response calls.
Really do appreciate our proactive action. If security can check out the rink at say 10:30 pm (or some time before the Mobile Staff mandatory duties) and at around midnight on a nightly basis that would be tremendous. I currently call either the police or the Mobile Staff on an almost nightly basis to report hockey players and would like to minimize this where possible. James - I know you sent a letter to the police at the beginning of the season, have you heard back? Also, Councillor Wongtam has been cc'd on these emails and I'm not sure what assistance can come from the councillor's office. It would be great if we could get a response.
I have raised this with the Councillor, and I have monitored your correspondence, but have not yet had a chance to speak with her directly about this. Now that the budget has wrapped up, I am hoping I will be able to raise this with her.
I will let you know once I have been able to talk to her.
Great, thank you for following up Melissa.
Please let us know if the Councillor has any recommendations.
P,F&R staff have informed me that they will be turning off the Barbara Ann Scott Outdoor Ice Rink compressors today & staff will go by to hot water the ice surface to melt it in spots & make the surface unuseable for skating. I will continue the re-active patrols to ensure that the after hours skating has stopped for the season.
This might just mean no more 11 pm phone calls for the rest of the winter season!
The big hole has been replaced by the first 4-5 storeys of the condo. In summertime, the scene is much friendlier, with the fountains and lots of people sitting around the periphery of the "pond."