For better use and better management. The UNOFFICIAL Website of Toronto's Outdoor Skating Rinks

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

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2008 - 2009

Nov.4 2008.

From Tijana Petrovic, assistant to Councillor Mihevc, to I am writing to you with an issue regarding the rink facilities at Nathan Philips Squre. I am aware of the renovations that have been happening, and I also wanted to point your attention to the problems with the broken locks on the lockers. A concerned resident has pointed out that this has become a problem, especially during the busy times. It seems that some of the locks won't accept change or do not close properly.

Nov.4 2008. From to Tijana Petrovic.

The website is not a city website -- it's run by rink enthusiasts who want to make sure the rinks work well for citizens. The people you would want to contact to address this problem are Parks manager Kevin Bowser or Recreation (Active Living) supervisor Kevin Mercer. One of them probably needs to contact PDIM to put in an order for locker repair.

I've cc'd Dave Hains, the recreation supervisor responsible for staffing City Hall Rink with rink attendants -- if the broken lockers were an unreported problem last rink season, he'll probably want to make sure that his staff are attentive to any related rink user complaints this winter. A situation where rink users are unsure of the security of their shoes, purses, etc. can really certainly spoil an otherwise wonderful time at the rink.

Nov.4, 2008. From Dave Hains to Tijana Petrovic.

Thanks for the email - we were aware of this concern at the end of season earlier this year and have made arrangements for this problem to be addressed. I have contacted the person who reported this to you and assured her that this problem will be addressed. I gave her my number in case she had any other issues.

Nov.22 2008

All schedules and the city's "rink hot line" said that the rink would be opening today, "weather permitting." The weather was perfect -- minus 6 celsius and a feeble winter sun -- but the rink was NOT open. It was covered with snow and there was a sign posted, saying the rink wouldn't be open until next Thursday. The post card seller offered "Natrel Rink is open." (That's the rink at Harbourfront.)

City Hall - unpleasant surprise

opening day is postponed because of construction

Nov.27 2008

Announcement on the city's "rink hot-line" -- City Hall rink is open.

Nov.28, 2008

The rink is open, just in time for the Cavalcade of Lights, which starts tomorrow. last year the ramp had a "danger" sign on it, and people had to step way down off the overhanging edge to get on the ice. This time the ramp has no such sign. Good!

The ice is back, but no "danger" barrier on the ramp. Better!

Getting ready for "Cavalcade of Lights"

City Hall is one of the few larger rinks that doesn't have a garage for the zamboni, so they've made a little plastic tent for it. The zamboni driver says they have a heater in there, and that it's seldom that the zamboni freezes up.

zamboni filling

zamboni night shelter

December 17, 2008

At 1pm the rink is packed with skaters who seemed to be enjoying themselves. There are 70-80 people on the ice, with more skaters sitting and standing by the side of the rink. Roughly a third of the skaters are wearing rentals. There is a lot of laughter on the ice. The ice is smooth and hard, but starting to get snowy. At 1:25 the two rink guards blow their whistles and ask people to get off the ice so the Zamboni can clean it. After the skaters leave, the Zamboni waits a minute so that a figure skater can do a few twirls for a CITY TV cameraman.

December 18 2008

There's no bulletin board anywhere near the rink. There's an information counter, but it's a private venture and won't take a poster. Nor do they give out the city's own rink schedules for other rinks in the city. Inside city hall there's no bulletin board either.

The city hall staff don't answer the phone to let people know how the ice is. However, the rink rental place (new owner, nice guy) answers their phone and they say if the rink is open or not.

Thursday December 25 2008

At 1.45 pm on Christmas Day, the rink was very full of skaters.

Monday February 16 2009

(Family Day holiday)

All the stores in malls, and all the community centres and libraries, were closed. So the rinks were packed (a sunny day).


waiting for space

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Content last modified on December 07, 2014, at 06:09 PM EST