On your website it say that Buttonwood Rink was suppose to be open on December 6th. I visited the rink and found only one thin layer of ice down and the gates locked. I know this rink is not high priority for the city because itís so small, but maybe you could get some updated information for your website to let others know when it opens.
Monday December 8 2008, reply from cityrinks.ca to Orest Leshchyshen, cc'd to City Councillor [email protected]|Gloria Lindsay Luby, City outdoor ice rinks manager Kevin Bowser, and City rink information line staff Kelly McInnes at [email protected].
I'm sorry you were disappointed by our wrong information on cityrinks.ca. The problem is that we are not an official city site and so it's sometimes tough for us to find out about delays in opening. However, let's try to follow up now. I'm cc'ing this e-mail to your City Councillor and also to the manager of city rinks. The city has its own "rink hotline" but if you tried it, you will note that Buttonwood Rink is left off their announcements. That's strange, because your rink is in a great location and I think it gets a lot of use from local youth -- of which you may be one, am I right? (Because you started your e-mail with "hey.")
Please let me know what the city rink staff's answer is, to your question. For now, we'll write that it did not open on December 6 and we're awaiting an update. Perhaps the city's information line staff will be able to find out -- I've cc'd her on this also.
Tuesday Dec.9, 2008
E-mail from Councillor Lindsay Luby's office to O.L. and cityrinks.ca, cc to Terry Hickingbottom
Further to your e-mails below, Terry Hickingbottom, Supervisor, Active Living, advises that Buttonwood Rink was delayed in opening as there was an issue with the compressor which needed attention. The issue was resolved and staff were able to cool the pad on Friday. The pad had skaters on it last evening and although the ice is not as thick as other locations, it will continue to build over the next few days weather permitting. There is no menu selection on the 338 RINK line for any of the Etobicoke York minor pads as they are all drop in facilities.
Tuesday Dec.9, from cityrinks.ca to Councillor Gloria Lindsay Luby
Thanks for getting the answers so quickly. I have posted your response on the Buttonwood Rink blog.
As for the city "rink hotline" not having drop-in rink information for your ward, may I suggest that they simply add the opening dates for the drop-in rinks to the city's recorded information, as they do for the larger drop in rinks like e.g. City Hall?
It only takes a moment, and it would be a help to rink users who don't want to go to their neighbourhood a rink only to find it's not open yet.
Also, the City's web site still gives Dec.6 as the Buttonwood opening day: I'm sure you agree that it would be good to keep the City's web site updated, again so that rink users could rely on it.
Wednesday December 10 2008
unsupervised shinny hockey, what a thrill
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.
shrine for a murdered youth
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.