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Rink diaries from earlier years:
Opened: Nov.24, 2018
The rink has been marked as open until yesterday and then it was listed as "snow removal in progress" (with over 25 cm of snow). At 4 p.m. it was again listed as open.
we’re still skating with our Phys. Ed. classes. We walk over to Dieppe now that we’re inside Danforth Tech. It’s about equidistant to Monarch and Dieppe, but Dieppe’s change areas are brighter with a better view of skaters. It’s also open reliably in the morning and they have lots of skating supports. As a double pad (mini-trail and shinny rink) we don’t have to worry about hockey scheduling. And with all-day, all-ages shinny scheduled during school hours, we have the chance to introduce the better skaters to shinny.
The city's website lists Dieppe as having a service alert, not for snow clearance but because the hockey pad is closed. The details given are "leisure pad open, hockey pad closed -- issues with rink structure." Dieppe rink is closed more than most double-pad rinks, but usually it's because of mechanical problems on the skating trail. Something went wrong at the time of construction.
The rink is listed as closed on the pleasure-skating trail, open on the hockey side. The construction problem on the trail was evident from the time the rink re-opened after being rebuilt, and it still seems not to have been resolved.
A letter was sent to the city councillor, offering a donation of a complete skate loan collection for this rink.
* people love to borrow skates: newcomers, school classes, kids and youth who grew out of their skates
* we have 110 pairs of skates, 20 hockey sticks, 20 helmets to donate
* this kind of program has been done by city staff for 12 years at Dufferin Rink, 9 years at Wallace and Campbell -- lots of experienced staff, each one teach one
* staff often have time on their hands to lend skates and also to maintain skates
* the city has insurance that can cover this (the city is self-insured under $5 million anyway), but skate lending programs are rarely threatened with a claim if they do responsible skate maintenance.
Offer declined (actually -- ignored).
The rink once again says "closed on pleasure rink." Same problem, one imagines, although there are never any details o the city's website.
4 p.m.: Dieppe Rink is still marked as "service alert" from 10 a.m. There's no definition what this means. 311 pointed out that the city's Dieppe web page also says "hockey rink open, pleasure rink closed." So what this may mean is that Dieppe Rink has continued to have the skating trail problems that were there since construction. Follow-up tomorrow. Since there are no public phone listings for the outdoor rinks, rink users have to go to the rinks and see for themselves.
This rink closed for the season today, although it was scheduled to stay open until March 20.
Last year on New Year's day the rink building was locked, but this year at noon you could tell right away that it wasn't -- the parking lot was full of cars and people were parking in the overflow area. A cheerful scene inside the change room -- filled with people changing into skates, talking to their kids, and calling out "happy New Year!" And even as we were leaving, more people were pouring in.
There are two big banners put up across each end of the rink, inviting people to a Leafs practice on January 11. A young rink guard said that the Leafs are donating a new water fountain for the change room "and a zamboni." I said, "really? Are you sure?" He said actually he wasn't sure, the just thought it might be true He had also heard that the Leafs were going to make the place look better because a big Leafs logo was going to added at centre ice.
This rink is one of two city rinks marked as "closed due to weather" today.
A very warm day -- the rink is covered with a thin sheet of water att 11.30 a.m. The building is closed, as it is so often.
At 11.50 the rink changeroom/washroom building was locked. There were many people skating on the trail and playing shinny hockey. It was a windy cold day and people squatted on the rubber mats to put on their skates, looking quite uncomfortable. Many people tried the change room doors (there was no sign), but were unsuccessful.
A problem with the HOLIDAY HOURS: it appears on the city's rink information website/311 that almost all of the city's rinks will have their changerooms/washrooms locked on the three main holidays: Christmas Day, Boxing Day (yes!), and New Year's Day. You can skate on most of the rinks but you can't get your kids out of the cold to change their skates and you can't take them to the washroom. This is true for Dieppe Rink.
What's the message here -- "you should be drinking, not skating" -- ?
The rink re-opened.
This rink opened for the season on Nov.29, but was shut down on Nov.30 due to "thin ice and warm weather" (most of the other rinks held their ice, since it was cloudy).
At 10.30 a.m. the rink had plenty of skaters on the skating trail and a good shinny game going on as well. But the change room was locked! A sign said that the change room never opens until 12.30 (noon) except on Saturdays, when it's supposed to open at 9. But it didn't. So this is the only double pad rink in the city that doesn't allow morning access to its washrooms and change room. Too bad, because it was just rebuilt.
The ice looked good except in two strips that go right across one end of the skating trail. There is obviously a problem with the pipes, so that the ice is chippy and soft in those strips -- must be the places where people have reported tripping.
Comment from rink user M.M.
Comment from rink user C.R.
Dieppe Rink is very different than it was last year. It now has a skating trail around some little trees, and further on from there, a brand new hockey pad. The rink change room has a lot of big windows to let the light in.
Is the inside set up as a pleasant social space for rink users? We couldn't tell, because there was a big meeting going on inside -- it looked like it might have involved planners, contractors, city officials -- maybe signing off the renovations. So we didn't want to go over and look into the windows.
2:45pm: Though 311 said the whole rink was open, shinny included, the hockey pad was closed when I arrived. The zamboni operator said that the ice was soft, worse than the pleasure pad because of the hockey boards. He said he would do the ice again a bit later once it got harder.
The pleasure pad was still open, a bit soft in spots, but with 13 or so happy skaters. There were a few bored boys kicking around a puck, but the rink guard told them to stop. There were 19 shinny players inside changing, most getting ready to leave.
There were old schedules on a glass bulletin board inside - it needs a screw driver to open it up, but the rink guard didn't have one. I called the local phone line and the mailbox was full.
4:45 pm: It's raining, but both ice surfaces and the changerooms are open. There's an intrepid family on the pleasure pad, a father & 5-year old are sharing a skate aid. The building attendant was there & helpful with info - they've got the schedule up on the wall but waiting for new copies to give out.
Weather: high minus 1, low minus 6 , cloudy
Opening day. The rink has lots of people, as usual. A friendly rink guard skates up and says I can't take photos. He says that the rink had people on it from early morning, and that the ice is fairly good because it's so cold. I suggest that it doesn't need to be this cold because of the compressors, but he says he heard that their compressors are really bad.
This rink never has washroom or changeroom access until after 12 noon, even on weekends.
There's a pile of take-home schedules in a handy plexiglass schedule holder near the entrance.
At about 3 pm skaters were enjoying both rinks. A large sign visible to the road advertised a November 11 Remembrance Day ceremony - perhaps this sign could be used to let people know that the rink is open. Three new skaters arrived and were disappointed to find that the rink building was closed (the 2 chemical toilets outside were open). A youth and one family said that they didn't mind the rink building not being open - they were just glad to skate. One youth said that putting on skates outside was "part of the experience" for him. He said that he would like to see the lights left on longer at night. They turn off at 10 pm, but people still want to play, and often play until much later. He felt that it would be safer to play with the lights on. One man said that he thought it might be seen as a "liability" issue for people, but that it was hard to know exactly what the actual danger is.
There were several families - even one with a young visitor from California, skating for the first time. Her relatives, who live in the neighbourhood, didn't know if the rink would be open and they were very glad it was.
Several young people were coming and going to play shinny. Very few people were wearing helmets. I asked if the helmet policy was enforced and a young man told me it was. Most people chose to skate without helmets.
High 1, low -6.
Trying to find out whether Dieppe Rink is open, here's the message: "the mailbox belonging to Dieppe Rink is full."
A beautiful clear, cold winter day, and a school holiday -- but at 11.15 a.m. the Dieppe Rink changeroom is locked. There's no sign to say when it opens. The side gate to the rink is open. Three young shinny hockey players changing on a bench outside say they don't know when the clubhouse opens -- they say this is their first time at this rink. Three pleasure-skaters (father and two kids) are just leaving; otherwise the ice is empty.
Friday had 15 cm of snow and the rink closed. On Saturday the hockey rink got cleared by early afternoon but the pleasure-skating side didn't get done completely until Sunday. Pleasure-skaters skated in the 15 cm of snow all day Saturday. The zamboni came twice but couldn't get it done and it wasn't enough and the workers got pulled to another rink. There was no plow.
In early afternoon there were 15 hockey players, 20 people in the rink changeroom and 8 people pleasure skating. Only 4 cars in the lot so it must be walk-ins. Hockey pad looks like it hasn't been scraped in a few hours of serious use but otherwise is in good shape. The pleasure-skating side still had snow around the edges and corners and mustn't have been resurfaced since Sunday because the rink has snow tracked and caked onto the rink from the zamboni wheels. It seems the zamboni only does the east 3/4 of the rink. The rink guard is concerned about 4 places in the ice where there are deep grooves. 2 are from skates that must have been extremely sharp, and 2 are from "vandalism" (kids whacking the ice with their skates making "potholes"). These holes have gotten worse through a lack of maintenance.
The change room still has a couple of problems that are easily fixable: soap in the washrooms. Fixing the wall in the women's washroom. And the men's bathroom may have a problem - the smell of pee was very strong, you can smell it as soon as you walk in.
At 7.50, the rink was quite full -- 26 pleasure skaters, 13 shinny hockey players (just under half in helmets), 18 people changing in the very brightly electrified change room. The building attendant said that earlier in the afternoon he had counted over 100 people on the ice and in the building. This rink is known to be very popular.
There were signs up urging rink users to "respect women's hockey," but the staff said there has never actually been a problem (maybe because they only have an hour and fifteen minutes on Saturday at suppertime). Their problem is slow ice maintenance because their water hose is connected to a narrow (one-inch) pipe and it takes forever to fill the zamboni. However they do have an on-site zamboni and their own driver, so the staff said they don't really use their ice scrapers to clean off the rinks, together with users. But they have two scrapers.
The rink is packed with people -- last day. The hockey pad has a huge number of little boys in full hockey gear, and dads, with about five different games happening on various parts of the pad. A group from Scarborough has come over on the subway. Councillor Ootes' office arranged for some of the Dufferin Rink loaner skates to be sent over to Dieppe sent over for them, and helmets. The boys have brought their own sticks but they forgot a puck. One of the dads gladly hands over an extra one in his hockey bag, and out they go, the Scarborough kids, who have clearly not played a lot of hockey. But they fit right in.
The skate changing room has a whole wall of windows -- what a difference that makes, for parents to be able to watch their kids from inside.
There are 3 people playing shinny and 5 people inside. All the people on the ice are wearing helmets. The ice is okay but not great. The ice was last done very early in the morning and will be done again sometime late at night. But staff really don't seem to know about ice maintenance. There is a copy of the schedule posted and they do not have a copy of their schedule to take home. Inside there is a lot of graffiti in the bathrooms.
4:45PM: Dieppe's double pad, easy access by way of Cosborn and large parking lot should make it a hopping rink on a weekend. Today the lot is near empty and there are only 18 skaters on the ice. At the same time of day there are 25 at campbell rink, a single pad, 48 at Wallace (a double pad) and 176 at Dufferin rink (a double pad).
The rink was not cleaned thoroughly before the ice went in and piles of leaves mottle the ice. Although in near zero temperatures with low sun the ice doesn't suffer from the leaves. However as the temperature rises and the sun strengthens the piles leaves will warm and aid the melting of the ice leaving patches of rough, slushy danger. The ice is pretty thick and hasn't been maintained with a scrape or flood since...staff aren't sure. When might the maintenance crews arrive? Unsure. Although floods are scheduled throughout the day according to the lovely printed schedules available to all.
Dieppe has one of the best changeroom set ups in the city with windows facing the rink. However the women's washroom is in a sorry state of repair with no soap and a broken sink. However the broken mirror from last year was repaired. There is a broken a snack machine in the corner.
3:45pm The gates were locked and both ice pads were empty on Christmas Day.
The ice had been cleaned/scraped that morning before staff arrived. It is a double pad and there is a large parking lot!
The cement surface had not been properly cleaned before the ice was put in, there was a great deal (more than any of the other 10 rinks we saw) of leaves under the ice. However the ice quality was good since it had been cleaned/scraped and the temperature and cloud cover were helping.
No skaters but the place was open. The schedule was not posted outside but when we asked the staff person he readily gave us a copy. Staff clearly care about the rink since some smart signs have been posted, hand made in red pen, explaining that while the ice is being cleaned skaters have to wait on one or the other side of the rink. Outside there were many mats and no benches. It was clean of trash on the whole.
Inside a mirror had been broken in the ladies washroom for a whole year. Despite being logged in the log book, staff reported, it had not been fixed. Property work order?
Furthermore the men's toilet was reported to be clogged - and unfortunate recurring theme during our rink visit day. They get 1 or sometimes 2 zamboni visits a day.
The snack vending machine was closed and empty. The change room is pleasant, well lit, well set up and well matted. The code of conduct and schedule were posted indoors.
Green shovels had been removed and not returned.
High 9 celsius, early morning drizzle, then mostly cloudy. Low 5. Dieppe rink closed.
High 5 celsius, early morning drizzle, then cloudy. Low 2. Dieppe Rink still closed.
High 7 celsius, sunny. Low 1. Dieppe Rink still closed.
Dieppe Rink is unable to open as scheduled. High plus 4 celsius, mostly sunny. Low minus 4.
Jan.6, 2004: Perfect ice.
No schedules available to take home, but some posted on the wall.
Staff: Building staff person was in back room but with door open. He came out and was very friendly.
The staff said he knows everyone who uses the rink and doesn't mind giving out the rink number so people can call to see if the rink is okay. Says there's not much vandalism -- people have pride, still a sense that this is East York, different and more neighbourly than Toronto.