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Here's a look at the running of Campbell Rink during the rink season of 2005/2006. Toronto has 47 neighborhood compressor-powered outdoor rinks (that's not counting the big outdoor rinks in central squares). The rinks range from lively meeting places for their neighborhoods to squalid hangouts for very troubled people. The rinks are also demonstration sites of the joys and troubles that beset city staff. Jutta Mason visited some rinks every day, some just occasionally.
Campbell: At 10.45p.m. the mixed (men and women) permit was just leaving and there were 7 shinny players on the ice. Nets on.
Campbell: At 5.30p.m. the rink had not been done, some puddles on it, nets off. The two flying squad zamboni drivers were sitting in office with the on-site rink staff -- said they had been told not to scrape ice but just be on standby. They also said they would ruin the ice if they went on it. No point telling about Dufferin being done an hour earlier -- why argue with a wall?
10.30 p.m.: 13 skaters in very fast hockey game.
Campbell: good ice maintenance all day, zamboni there all day. One-day tournament for all ages, starting at noon. Six teams, 35 players from all three rinks. Hockey was very fast and good. Barrel fire with hot dogs (One Dufferin Rink staff plus local helpers). All players seemed to enjoy it. (Two refs, no fights). At the finals (8 p.m.), the team from Dufferin was ahead 6-4 of the team from Campbell, when the team from Campbell decided to forfeit. --?
Many players said they want to do another tournament, but at Dufferin where the rink house is handier and warmer.
At 10.30 Campbell rink was empty.
Campbell Rink: Dufferin Rink staff person went over and Campbell rink staff helped her set up the barrel for fire and the benches from McCormick. Only 6 hockey players when they got there -- then one pleasure skater. Suddenly at 2.30 all sorts of pleasure skaters came. Dufferin Staff said it ended up being 40 people on the ice. She put a bench right on the ice and people sat there too. Hot dogs were free again -- next time we'll bring more.
Staff unlocked both side doors leading to washrooms. Maybe there could be different padlocks on so the staff could unlock the doors?
Ice done by zamboni driver. He drove the zamboni right on the road from rink to rink, because the trailer was broken, at about 4.30 p.m.
Campbell Rink -- 9.45 p.m. -- empty.
2. Campbell Rink: 10.50: the rink was empty. Not much snow on the rink -- either they didn't have many players tonight or the ice was done sometime in the evening.
Campbell: 10.20: 19 people playing shinny, a mixed permit.
Campbell Rink: 1.45 a.m. rink empty, gate open.
Campbell Rink 9.30 p.m. permit on the ice. Ice looked okay but fairly snowy. Building attendant had rigged up a TV reception dish and was watching TV inside the rink office with a friend.
Response to John, from Jutta Mason --
1. as far as I know the city's policy is to charge full price for the ice whether the ice maintenance was good or bad.
2. I'm not sure the evening crew of zamboni drivers works their full shift. Campbell Rink is looked after by a "flying squad" -- two zamboni drivers with a truck pulling a zamboni on a trailer. They do Campbell, Wallace, Trinity and Christie rinks, I think. Despite the rain on Thursday night, by Friday evening the rinks should have been okay. I checked them and noticed that Campbell and Christie and Trinity rinks had lots of snow on them but they did look like they had been serviced at some point earlier during that shift. Wallace Rink had not been serviced at all.
I thought that the evening shift for zamboni drivers is until 10 p.m. but there are signs from your reports and those of other rink users that they stop earlier. Whether their shifts have changed or they simply leave early every night is something that management ought to verify by checking the log books against rink user reports. I'm not sure they will, though.
Campbell Rink, 12 noon. Dufferin staff person arrived with her shopping buggy full of hot dogs and firewood for her regular Sunday afternoon ‘family pleasure skating’ mini-event. But the rink house was locked and there were no staff in evidence. No note either. So she returned to Dufferin Rink, which was full of skaters.
Campbell Rink 2.00: again pretty solid ice except on about an eighth of the rink where the sun hits the worst – just mushy there. The lowest ice is 3 and a half inches, higher in some places but not as high as Dufferin – you can see plenty of dasher boards right around the rink circumference. Eight people playing hockey – they moved the nets forward so they’re out of the mush. No ice maintenance since the morning.