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.
lively scene on Saturday morning
zamboni garage, well-located
strip of soft ice across trail
second strip of soft ice
10.30 a.m. Saturday -- rink change room locked
sign: change room is locked until 12.30 every day but Saturday
Sunday Dec.1, 2013
Comment from rink user M.M.
My brother and I went skating at Dieppe rink in East York today. It was pretty busy considering the wet weather. I counted 25 pleasure skaters not including people in the changeroom. There were about a dozen guys on the hockey side (Level 1 - 18 and over). The ice was a bit rough and there was one big crack marked off with a pylon. My brother and I talked about the rink's new design. He doesn't like it. There's a landscaped island in the middle of the pleasure pad and the ice narrows a lot on the south side creating bottlenecks when slow skaters are moving through. I wonder if it was consciously designed this way to keep people from skating too quickly. I don't know. I like the fact the island makes it pretty hard for kids to play British bulldog. The rink schedule includes some unsupervised hours. My brother (who lives near the rink) says there are conflicts between pleasure skaters and hockey players using the pleasure pad during the unsupervised time.
Comment from rink user C.R.
"Terrible opening weekend. Weather was perfect, ice was probably the worst I've skated on. We stayed for over an hour, no sign of scraping or flooding in either pad. The city needs to reconsider maintenance intervals. We weren't impressed and it was a big let down for opening weekend."
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.