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Citizen-Z Cavan Young's 2004 film about the zamboni crisis

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wood stove at Dufferin


2020 - 2021

Dec.2, 2020

Opened for the season


Rink diaries from earlier years

2019 - 2020

Dec.30, 2019

The rink has an alert on the city's website, saying "ice not safe for skating," no reason given.

The city has a new helmet initiative -- skaters who refuse to wear a helmet for shinny hockey are told to leave the ice, and if they refuse, staff are told to call police.

2018 - 2019


2017 - 2018


2016 - 2017

Nov.28, 2016

rink at noon on Nov.28

This rink opened on time. This morning it was a bit of a lake on top of the ice, but the sun was out -- now that the clouds have come the ice will probably firm up fast. The building attendant was mopping what looked like an already pretty clean floor. He said the ice was fine over the opening weekend but there were few skaters -- same as in other years.

He said this morning so far there were two skaters.


2015 - 2016

This rink opened sometime after Nov.28, 2015 and closed March 10, 2016

Feb.13, 2016

too cold to skate much

Councillor Mihevc's skating party was from 1.30 to 3.30. It was a bright sunny day but the temperature never got above minus 18. So almost no one came. An extra rink staff had been put on for the event, so there were two staff. But there were never more than 8 people on the ice, and about the same number in the building. The councillor's assistant put out hot chocolate and cookies and bright pink valentine's day marshmallows. A few parents came through the change room with their kids after the Saturday skating lesson inside the arena, and stayed for hot chocolate.

I brought five bins of Randy's loaner skates, but only loaned out one pair -- no surprise, with the cold (despite the sun). The most remarkable thing was that when I was bringing in the skate bins from the car at the start, and asked the two youthful rink staff if they could help me, they declined. They said they had to text their supervisor for permission. She didn't answer, so they didn't help. One of them sat in the little office and worked his cell phone off an on for the two hours of the scheduled event, and the extra rink guard went out on the ice from time to time and sat inside the office to get warm the rest of the time. There were so many cookies and hot chocolate left at the end that the two staff were able to take as many as they wanted and drink as much hot chocolate as they wanted.

The city prides itself on introducing youth to their first jobs. Parents beware -- don't let your kids work at a city job -- if they think this is what work is, they may not keep a job anywhere else for very long.

Feb.9, 2016

At 1.45 pm the rink had excellent ice but it was empty. The change room was empty as well, and the indoor arena was empty. There were posters up, though, about the upcoming "Winterfest social" this weekend, advertising free skates and free hot chocolate. Sounds like fun, unless it turns very cold.

excellent ice at 1.45 pm, no skaters

poster for skating party this weekend
January 12, 2016, email from J.K.

I play pickup shinny there on Saturday nights and skate with my kids there occasionally on the weekends.

Today it closed at 4pm but the 311 operator said she didnít see a reason.

Well, I was there talking to the two attendants at 4pm as they were taking the nets off and chaining the door. I asked them why they were closing and they said they had no idea and that they had received a call from Parks instructing them to close. There was barely any snow on the ice and the sun was shining. A family with two young kids were turned away after they had walked 30min to get there. They were also confused.

In the past I have been surprised to see that they BARELY ever zamboni this rink - often the rink is in terrible condition by the time 830pm rolls around.

This is really odd because they have a zamboni ON SITE. I asked why they didnít and the attendant said that the zamboni guy who does inside doesnít get paid to do the outside. Does this make sense?

I find this really frustrating as the other rinks seem to get flooded and scraped every two to three hours, not once a day, according to another Cedarvale attendant I was chatting with. (Ramsden, Dufferin Grove, and Wallace Emerson always seem impeccably maintained)

This is a lovely new rink and an excellent facility and it seems itís being neglected due to mismanagement and red tape. The ice is being destroyed as a result and it is a crying shame.

ice is fine, just a little snowy

locked despite being in good shape
Jan.17, 2016, follow-up e-mail from J.K.

I am pleased to report that after emailing with Beth Gosnell from [City Councillor] Joe Mihevcís office, they have addressed the issue and the zamboniís are running again. Apparently they were going through staffing changes. Now the rink is being flooded three times a day. I skated there yesterday and the ice was marvellous.

Jan.6, 2017, email to Councillor Mihevc's office

we noted that last month Cedarvale Rink was closed much more often than most compressor-cooled rinks in the city. Is something wrong with the compressors?

January 7, 2016, email from Beth Gosnell, assistant to Councillor Mihevc

Your query was forwarded to me, and I have asked the Supervisor of the facility. He informed me that there were issues with the compressors going off over night during the warmer temperatures which leads to the loss of the ice bond. It has now been resolved.

Dec.27, 2015

This rink was closed from Dec.23 - 26.

Dec.17, 2015

Rink is closed.

Dec.16, 2015

Rink is closed.

Dec.15, 2015

Dec.15, 5 p.m., locked: why is the ice so bad?

E-mail from skater at noon: rink issues coolers unoperational @ phil white arena outside all puddles.....artificial rink

-- and yet on the city's website this rink was NOT marked as closed.

Dec.8 2015

Request from a parent council to have a skating outing for a primary school.

Response from

Classes don't need a permit at the outdoor rinks, nor do they need permission from the recreation supervisor -- as long as you come at a pleasure-skating time, not a shinny-hockey time. When you look at the Cedarvale outdoor rink schedule, you can see that on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons it's public skating between 1.30 and 4.30, and during that time any class can come.

You don't get exclusive use but one of the rink guards at Cedarvale said they are seldom busy on weekdays during pleasure-skating time.

2014 - 2015

March 17 2015

Rink marked "closed" for today, by 3 pm.

March 10, 2015

This rink, connected to the Phil White Arena, has very low usage most days anyway, but today at 6 pm it had nobody. Despite the "closed" signs on the change room doors, the rink gate was open and the ice was evidently okay except for one pylon near the middle. Two guys came onto the ice with hockey sticks and pucks, but they were just wearing their boots. They said the ice was not good, and they certainly didn't seem to be sliding much.

at 6 pm these signs were on both changeroom doors...

...but the gate to the rink was open

the ice looked okay...

...but the only rink users were two guys goofing around in boots

Feb.7 2015

This was the official opening of the warming room. The dicey weather forecast (lots of snow) never really happened, so skaters had a very pleasant time skating around on good ice, with little flakes of snow coming down, and the happy scene of many sledders and tobogganers going up and down the hills next to the rink.

ample seating, mellow wood

skate loans from CELOS

The warming room is a very pleasant space, with benches installed kittycorner to frame the two large angled structural girders that could not be removed. In consequence, the benches form conversational areas for the skaters -- a win-win. CELOS brought skates to lend out. Federal M.P. Caroline Bennett came too.

kids getting loaner skates

M.P. congratulating Capital Projects manager Dave Nosella

capital projects staff and contractor

Three of the architects and two of the capital projects staff involved with the project, as well as the contractor, came to watch the ribbon-cutting. There were also a number of Parks and Recreation staff, some from the rink and some from nearby centres or administrative units. One of the rink staff said that last winter when it was so cold, many skaters told him that they were giving up on the rink because there was nowhere to take shelter and there were no handy washrooms either. He said it's such a relief to have the warming room now, and he's sure that neighbourhood skaters will all return.

Councillor Joe Mihevc was obviously very proud of the room. He said that the kitchen is another good feature, and that skaters who want to have a neighbourhood event at the rink can now make hot chocolate and serve cookies. In summer, he said, people who are in the playground or picnicking will have handy access to the new washrooms. When he was asked about keeping the warming room open next winter for statutory holidays like Boxing Day and New Year's Day (unlike the experience of the current year), he said he was in favour and would appreciate a fall reminder.

Councillor Joe Mihevc cutting the ribbon

Beth Gosnell, Councillor Mihevc's assistant

Feb.4 2015, e-mail from Beth Gosnell (Councillor Mihevc's assistant)

Opening event for the warming room at Cedarvale:

RIBBON CUTTING: 2:00 pm with social skate to follow

TIME: Feb.7 2015, 2:00 pm Ė 3:30 pm

Dec.12 2014, e-mail from Beth Gosnell (Councillor Mihevc's assistant)

The construction of the warming room for the Cedarvale outdoor rink is expected to be completed by the end of January. Completion has been delayed due to a delivery from a manufacturer being prolonged. It will have a warming room, community kitchenette, changerooms, washrooms and the washrooms will be accessible from outside during the daytime for Cedarvale Park users all year long.

We will have a social at the rink when the room is ready to open.

Dec.9, 2014

Dec.9: amicable ice-sharing, 6.45 pm

temporary toilet

At the public skating time, there were half a dozen parents and kids skating around on one half, and a father and son taking shots at the other end. The sharing of the ice looked perfectly amiable.

There are many new windows and door into a pleasantly proportioned new rink change room where there was only a forbidding concrete block wall last year. The room looks almost ready. In the meantime, there's a Johnny-on-the-spot for people who need to use the toilet. Looks like this rink is not an orphan, nice to see.

easy access to the rink

a pleasant rink changeroom is almost ready


Wednesday Jan.1, 2014

no nets and maybe no ice maintenance -- shovel instead

New Year's Day: change room/washroom door locked

only a few skaters

At 3 pm there were only four people on the rink -- one with a hockey stick, the other two were pleasure-skaters. There were no nets and no evidence of ice maintenance. The chairs were not outside any more, and the change room/ washroom doors were locked. The city's website gives a full skating schedule for all three holidays, which would assume rink staff. But there were none.

Holidays: according to the city's outdoor rinks web page, Cedarvale Rink was to run a full regular schedule (with staff) until 10 pm on Dec.25 and 26 and Jan.1 (including change room and washrooms). But this this information was wrong. The rink was locked on Christmas Day, open without change rooms or staff on Boxing Day and New Year's Day.

Dec.30, 2013, note from rink supervisor

The gate was indeed locked on Dec. 25 because of the lost of electrical power from the ice storm. The loss of power led to the water being turned off to prevent freezing of the pipes. Also because of the loss of power we were unable to fuel our natural gas zamboni and service the ice to make it safe for skating or hockey. If we are faced with a similar situation in the future I will instruct my staff to put up signage to reflect the condition of the rink.

Thursday Dec.26, 2013

At 3.30 pm the rink had quite a few skaters (mix of shinny and pleasure-skaters), but the change room was locked and people were changing into their skates on a couple of beat-up metal chairs, and sitting in the snow.

Wednesday Dec.25 2013, from rink user J.S.

Cedarvale outdoor rink is supposedly open today according to the city of Toronto website and to 311. Whoever, when I went there at 1.15 today it was all locked up with a thin sheet of snow covering it. I swept some of the snow away by poking my stick through a crack and the ice appeared to be quite good. Any idea as to why this problem exists, and why it said it's open but it's not? Also, any clue if it will be open tomorrow?

Saturday Nov 23, 2013

Around 2pm, we arrived at Cedervale to find that Councillor Mihevic was having an opening day party. We looked up his newsletter item and were surprised to hear about the design plans of a bathroom, warming area and kitchen addition. The ice had skaters on it - at least ten and another 20 inside getting changed. A table was set up for hot chocolate, and as I left two policemen had come and joined in the social. The rink staff there said that they started flooding on Wednesday. He wasn't so sure that it would be ready today, and the north boards were pretty slushy earlier in the day.

first skate of the year

Councillor rink opening social

From Councillor Mihevc's website

Cedarvale Outdoor Ice Rink - Season Opening Social Skate

Please join me for some hot chocolate and a social leisure skate to kick off the new outdoor skating season. A new schedule is set for this season, based on community feedback received last year. Times have been adjusted with the addition of programming including a shinny time for girls only. During the girls only time, parents (including fathers) may attend. View the new schedule here and select the "drop-in programs/skating" tabs

Note: If the weather is too warm or wet to make ice for the start of the season, then the Social will be postponed. Follow me on Twitter or Facebook for a last minute update, or call the office (416-392-0208) to check our voice message.

A new warming area, bathrooms and a small kitchen will be constructed for the outdoor rink in the south end of the Phil White Arena Building in 2014. Design work is underway. Please stay tuned for more information.

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Content last modified on December 04, 2020, at 06:30 PM EST