See also Site Map
Rink diaries from earlier years:
COVID-RELATED RESTRICTIONS:To find out how to book a skating time, go to the city's outdoor rinks web page.
All shinny hockey has been removed except for Greenwood (and only children and youth are allowed there). The city's opening rules are described here and our rinks blog is here.
Opened for the season
Buttonwood rink seems to have gotten a near full renovation. Looks like there is a new cooling equipment installed, new fencing, the stands have been pulled outside the rink, the wooden path on the north side of the ice is gone, and the ice is about 10-15% wider....Despite the old equipment Buttonwood has always maintained a fairly consistent number of skaters.
The ice was a solid 8/10 last night despite fairly warm temperatures and rain, something that the old cooler could probably not have kept up with.
The city also covered up the door to the skate house, which was presumably used at one point as a changeroom? A few skaters were hoping that a renovation would include the reopening of the skate house and a warm place to change, but that seems like it's never happening now :(
Listing changed to "open" this afternoon.
The rink was scheduled to be open on Dec.1, 2018, but on Nov.30 the listing was changed to "under construction," no reason given. Still that way today.
The rink is listed as open, even though the schedule said it would open mid-January.
Missing: any information about what's wrong with the rink.
The city's rink web page says "Delayed opening due to mechanical issues, estimated to open January 2018." Sounds like they plan to run it as a natural ice rink.
no rink visits
Now that the weather is cold, the rink's ice looks very good. This rink seems to have excellent lighting -- but we're not sure how much they use it.
Listed as closed Dec.24 to 27.
The rink is now listed as open.
Buttonwood has been marked as closed for many days. The puzzle is, why is their ice so bad? Is it because of an old compressor that no longer has enough kick? Or is it because ice-making is done by staff schedule rather than by a best-practice schedule? Should this rink be taken over by the community, hosed as a natural-ice rink but with the compressor still on?
The city's web information page says nothing about Buttonwood not being maintained: see their open/close listing. It would be helpful if you call the city's help line at 311 to report this. They will pass the message to the rink supervisor and should get back to you within 48 hours. From CityRinks
This rink was listed as open on Nov.29, but then quickly as not open -- seems to have finally got going around Tuesday.
We went by late Monday night. The compressors were on and a layer of rime build up covered the surface of the rink.
No opening day sign. Good amount of people.
The rink is in the middle of a big open space behind an apartment building. At night it's visible from far away because of the bright rink lights and the steam rising from the condenser. The ice looked good, despite bad weather yesterday (rain mixed with snow). At about 7 pm the rink had 25 youth on it, skating around or talking. A few girls, mostly guys. Almost half seemed to be smoking. There was no adult at all, nowhere nearby either. The mood was merry, lots of ribbing, but it didn't sound mean. Some of the kids remembered having their photo taken last year, and they commented on its having been the "featured picture" on the cityrinks.ca homepage for some time.
Sticks were thrown into the middle and then suddenly there was a fast game. There are no boards, and the ice doesn't even cover the whole tennis court -- on one side there's suddenly cement -- but it didn't seem to bother anyone. A few kids wore helmets. Most didn't.
Outside of the rink, against the chain link fence, was a shrine for 17-year-old Boris Cikovic, who was murdered near the rink in early October. There was a hockey stick, a basketball, some lanterns, a photograph, a plastic wreath, and a little printed description, maybe from the funeral.
A rink maintenance staff person came by to check on the rink. He said that there had been many layers of water put down to get the rink ready, "every day, every day, we were out here" and he was clearly pleased at the results -- good ice and a rink full of kids, playing shinny. The memorial is right beside them, and at least some of the kids must have known this talented young hockey player. But as long as there are kids and places where they can play, life goes on.
2:30pm About a dozen boys and girls are playing hockey. They look like kids playing baseball in the back field, just messing around. The big difference is that this pickup game depends on a 50 horsepower compressor and the machinery to clear the ice. A whole city bureaucracy is needed to set these friendly, goofy kids up in their play area. Some of them don't even have skates.
We ask them if we can take their picture, and tell them they'll be posted on the cityrinks.ca website. This interests them for half a minute -- being on TV would last a little longer -- but then they return to their game. Two of the three girls are goalies, and they get frustrated with each other if they let the puck through. The boys flash up and down the ice and don't seem to take anything very hard.
1:45pm This is a shared-use rink where shinny players and pleasure skaters use the ice at the same time. A city worker at the site says this is an "off the track place. There's nothing here at all." During our visit there is a lively game of shinny involving ten players. There are also a few pleasure skaters, but the rink is largely empty despite the huge housing development nearby. A CELOS researcher spoke to a woman who brought her daughter here to skate. The woman says she used to skate here as a child. She says it was never busy and she brought her daughter here because she knew it wouldn't be crowded.