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Rink Diary

2021 - 2022

Nov.27, 2021

Opened for the season

Rink diaries from earlier years:

2020 - 2021

COVID-RELATED RESTRICTIONS: To find out how to book a skating time, go to the city's outdoor rinks web page.
All shinny hockey has been removed except for Greenwood (and only children and youth are allowed there). The city's opening rules are described here and our rinks blog is here.

Nov.28, 2020

opened for the season


2019 - 2020

Dec.4, 2019

In early afternoon there was a shinny game under the roof of the hockey rink, and there were a few people on the pleasure-skating loop. Staff said there would a tree lighting ceremony led by the city councillor in the evening.

The water for the zamboni must be connected in the garage this year, since the zamboni is no longer parked in the fenced cage. At the east of the skating loop there's a little statue connected to a bench, of a young boy wearing a superman cape. Someone has put a cloth hat on the statue.The rink attendants were unaware of who he might be, but said they'd ask. Wikepedia has the story of his short and tragic life here.

covered hockey rink, campfire circle in foreground

pleasure-skating loop

Quonset garage now holds the zamboni

statue of Jeffrey Baldwin
2018 - 2019

Opened: Nov.24, 2018

Jan.29, 2019

This rink, along with most other outdoor rinks, has benefited from the calm winter weather this season -- until yesterday. But after the big snowfall that began early on Monday morning (more than 26 cm), the rink did not reopen until 3.30 Tuesday. Many rinks opened sooner. Was the extra cost for the roof worth it?


2017 - 2018

March 13,2018

The councillor's assistant responded to the teacher's letter from yesterday:

Hi Jessica,

Currently there is no skate lending available at Greenwood but Councillor Fletcher is looking into skate lending at Greenwood in the future. I will share your email with the Councillor.

March 12, 2018

Jessica Naves Gladman, a teacher at a school just a bit east of Greenwood Rink in Scarborough, cc'd us on this letter she wrote to the councillor:

Good morning Councillor Fletcher,

I recently took my Grade 1 class skating at Dufferin Grove Rink. It was an amazing experience for all involved, however, the journey from our school took over an hour each way on a school bus that cost almost $300. For more information about our trip:

For next year, I am looking for a rink closer to our school so that we might be able to more effectively use our bus allocation by shuttling groups of students to the rink. A closer location would also make using the TTC an option for our older students. We are a K-4 school so most of our students are quite young. The rink would need to have lending, in order to to be able to accommodate the needs of our students. I have learned that skate lending will become available in pop-up locations next winter.

I'm wondering how to go about requesting that pop up skate lending be made available at Greenwood rink? If pop-up lending were available at Greenwood, our school would likely use the rink over a two week period next winter.

Please let me know how we might be able to secure ice and skate lending for our students.

Feb.11, 2018

Eastview Community Centre is advertising a "Winterfest" event, and it's also on the city councillor's website. The poster says there will be face painting, hot chocolate, and skating lessons.



Loaner skates at Wallace Rink, 2014
September 11, 2017

A letter was sent to the city councillor, offering a donation of a complete skate loan collection for this rink.

Our reasons:
* people love to borrow skates: newcomers, school classes, kids and youth who grew out of their skates
* we have 110 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.


2016 - 2017

March 20, 2017, from skate Michael Kavluk

One of the highlights this year was at Greenwood Park, when 2 hockey players, having just finished their game, and a rink guard took time to critique a novice adult skater on the track. They told him that they noticed how he had improved over the season, and demonstrated a few points to help him further.

So, on the first day of Spring, I am already looking forward to another great winter of skating later this year.

Dec.12, 2016

First big snowfall. At 12.30 p.m., 17 of the city's rinks are listed as open, but Greenwood is still listed as closed and "snow-covered."

Nov.26, 2016

From Michael Kavluk, 12.15 p.m.: "The hockey rink is in very good shape today. The change rooms super clean. The young staff seemed excited to begin the season.

The "track" however is half closed with a large City truck is parked on the ice for no apparent reason!

Last year the Zamboni would work on the hockey rink, then drive across the park to the ice track to get to the garage, leaving mud-filled ruts in the track's ice surface, making it treacherous for anyone skating that part of the ice surface."


2015 - 2016

March 10, 2016

For the last week, Greenwood's pleasure-skating trail has been closed due to poor ice.

March 6, 2016

Eastview Community Centre held a skating party in the afternoon, which worked out well despite sunny weather (5 celsius) and slushy ice toward the end. They borrowed skates and a few sticks from CELOS, helmets from Wallace Emerson CC.

Feb.11, 2016

An evening skating party for the Greenwood ESL students. The teachers rented the party room ($50 for two hours), and despite the cold weather warning, lots of kids came. Almost none had skates. The school has a skate collection, and we brought Randy's loaner skates, so there were enough for everyone. They looked to be having a very good time, and the teachers had provided doughtnuts, cookies and hot chocolate from Tim Horton's a well -- a real party.

skate try-ons

party room has a cement floor, not for skates

murals on the wall, for birthday party rentals

one rubber runner, for putting on skates

There was some chance to talk to staff as well. The staff tend to gather around the large front desk, to chat amongst themselves and with their friends. They are courteous to skaters who come and ask for information, but quickly revert to the social scene. And indeed -- what else is there to do? The job of the zamboni operator is to resurface the ice twice or three times on an eight-hour shift. In between can be pretty boring. The other staff pass half the time playing cards or chatting, with the rink guards taking a few rounds on the skating trail, and then back in again. There is no snack bar or skate rental to keep the staff occupied. There's not even a public phone line that would require staff to talk to parents or to people who want to find out how the ice is. The only urgent tasks are negative: to make sure nobody takes a picture, that kids under 6 are wearing CSA-label hockey helmets, and that even when the skating trail is empty, nobody can play pretend-hockey with their little kid (see the Dec.11 2015 entry).

A big problem with rink staff is the question of whether they have agency. Creative action, being an agent of change rather than just following orders, is discouraged by management. The rink staff have ideas, but they don't have the feeling that they can try things. They were saying, "can you imagine that they rebuilt this place without a sound system?" I said, "at Dufferin Rink they hook an old city amp/speaker up to the staff's playlist, and it works fine." They said, "we could never do that here."

They said, "there's a possible route for the zamboni to take when they maintain the hockey ice, that doesn't require the driver to cut across the skating trail. When the driver has to cut across the trail, the other staff have to stand guard to make sure nobody is run over. But if the city were to join two parts of an existing concrete path with another ten feet of concrete, the problem would be solved. We all know it, but they'll never listen to our opinions."

Giving up before they even begin.

January 1, 2016

There were plenty of people at the rink on New Year's Day, mostly families with kids. A very cheerful scene, and a big difference from last New Year's Day when the building was closed. This year every bench in the rink change room was full, even the benches in the giant women's washroom. People had to line up to get in and out of the door but nobody seemed impatient -- there were lots of neighbourly "happy New Year!" greetings.

families enjoying the skating trail

warm, welcoming rink house was open this year

There were four staff seated at the big front counter. They took turns going outside to check on the ice, but without skates -- the lead indoor staff said that none of their rink guards had shown up. No problem -- the mood on the rink was friendly.

the new quonset garage beside the old zamboni fence

Despite the addition of the new Quonset garage, the zamboni was still inside the old tarped-fence enclosure, heated with strong space heaters. The problem, the zamboni driver said, is that there's no water supply in the new garage, and going back and forth between the new Quonset garage and the water supply at the end of the rink building is cumbersome and time-wasting. Apparently that's only one of the frustrations -- the other is that the zamboni has to drive back and forth across the pleasure-skating trail to resurface the hockey rink, and the drivers find it nerve-racking to be constantly worrying about kids running out. Poor planning.

Certainly at the time of the community meetings about the rebuilding of the rink, the zamboni crew couldn't get the attention of the planners about the rink's maintenance arrangement. A garage was not even put into the $3 million plans, and the afterthought of the Quonset garage hasn't really fixed the problem. Next time, hopefully.

new fire pit has a big fence

the path to the zamboni is through the bushes

The fire pit is new and staff didn't think it had been used yet this year. It will be fun once the fence comes down, but for now the fence is there, said the zamboni driver, to prevent him from dumping snow on that area. There are various access anomalies, including the absence of an access path for the drivers to get from the rink house to the zamboni area. The driver has to walk through the landscaping, squeezing in between bushes. Looking at the full half of the glass -- it's sort of a nature trail.

From Chrisinte Holman on Facebook: "Well, yea, it was nice to see so many families out there. BUT, the ice, at least in the a.m. when I was there, SUCKED!! There was a good 1/2 inch of snow all over it, at least, and some nasty cracks & holes (presumably from somebody's picks on their figure skates..) underneath it. I asked whether the ice would be cleaned, and the staff told me that they had no Zamboni crew & it had to wait until a "fly" crew got there, but no idea when. Couldn't somebody figure out it would be a busy day & make sure there was a crew there???? Stupid."

Dec.11 2015

hockey side

ice with surface water despite roof

pleasure-skating path

Another warm day, already over 10 celsius at 11.30. I ask the building staff how the ice has been since they opened, have they had lots of skaters, etc., and he asks me, why do I want to know? I say I do a blog on He tells me he can't answer any questions because he's not allowed to talk to the media. I take a picture of the zamboni quonset garage and he says photography is not allowed. My response, that I'm taking a picture of a building, not a person, seems to make it all right. But he can't tell me whether the garage is in use this year, for the zamboni, "call my supervisor." I say I totally understand, he's just following his training as directed. He says he appreciates that I get it.

It's possible, of course, that he really doesn't know, since most rink program staff seem to have no idea of how these rinks work or what the zamboni staff do.

There are very few people at the rink, nobody at all on the pleasure-skating side, until a man arrives with his little girl and her grandparents. The Dad gets his daughter set up with her skates, then brings out his hockey stick and a little one he's brought for her. The building attendant goes over quickly, and tells them, "no hockey sticks allowed on the pleasure-skating path." The man puts the sticks away; the grandparents look glum.

When the building attendant comes back over to me, I say, "now you're being a bit too bureaucratic. Can you let them play just for a few minutes? It's a good way for little kids to gain confidence on their skates." The staff says, "no, if somebody comes...." I say, "you can tell the Dad that he has to put the stick away if somebody else comes." I say, "your training should help you make skating enjoyable for the people who come."


Maybe the "somebody" he's worried about would be his supervisor. Maybe his supervisor would also feel that following the rules, any rules, is job one.


Rink diaries from other years:


March 12, 2015

view from the east, new rink Quonset garage on right

At 12.30 the temperature is 2 celsius under a bright blue sky. The rink has five people on the pleasure-skating path (including two little kids) and 8 people skating but not playing shinny on the hockey side -- one of them smoking a cigarette. The building attendant says there was a permit for some classes at the rink early in the morning -- about 100 students, using the covered side. Other than that, he said, attendance has been sparse, even when the ice is good.

The new Quonset garage never did get any use from the zamboni over the winter, although the building attendant said there have been a lot of visits from an electrician. But utilities weren't signed off, the same as at Dufferin Grove.

hockey ice looks good, 8 skaters, one helmet

pleasure-skating path holding in the middle

Rink User PDC: "I noticed that the Greenwood Ice Rink has a party room. Can you please let me know how I can get in contact with someone so that I can see if I can rent out the party room?... I did contact 311 and they had no information to give me." City Rinks: "really? They gave you no permit contact number? That's amazing. Councillor Fletcher is the person who insisted that there should be a party room when Greenwood was rebuilt, so you might want to call her office and see who they can direct you to. Another possibility is for you to contact Paul Stone [email protected] He's the recreation programmer for Greenwood. Either/both ought to get you to the right place."

Greenwood Rink: cost $3.4 million; saved $77.00 staff overtime
Jan.1, 2015 (New Year's Day)

The rink building was closed, presumably to save having to pay a building attendant the $77.00 holiday bonus. There were many skaters, and the zamboni was resurfacing the ice during our visit. Meantime, in Etobicoke on that same day, other destination rinks like Greenwood (e.g. High Park, Rennie, and Col. Sam Smith) had their buildings open, with rec staff as well as zamboni drivers. The Etobicoke hockey rinks also had their buildings open, without staff. It seemed to work fine. Why the double standard?

Dec.26 2014 (Boxing Day)

Boxing Day: building was open after all

City Councillor Paula Fletcher sent out a link in her Ward 30 newsletter, giving the rink's holiday schedule. The notice said that the Greenwood Rink building would be closed on all three stat holidays. But happily, the city's holiday schedule turned out to be wrong. Today at noon the rink building was OPEN and even though there was no staff person in sight, people were free to go in and out and change wherever they chose.

no staff in sight, but access to change room/washrooms

pleasure skaters

schedule on desk says "building closed" for Boxing Day

Quonset Hut zamboni shed -- in use?

shinny hockey

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 Greenwood Rink.

What's the message here -- "you should be drinking, not skating" -- ?

Nov.25 2014

good ice at Greenwood

8 pm: Good ice, lots of skaters. There's a big, lively youthful social scene inside the rink house -- lots of young guys chatting with the rink staff, lots of people lingering after a skate. The rink staff are asked if Kew is open -- they say it's not opening until this coming weekend -- obviously their world is centered around Greenwood Rink! But they are very friendly, and when reminded that Kew opened at the same time as Greenwood, that rings a bell. But still they have no information about their neighbouring rink. Youth "turf" is pretty local all over the city.

The outside shell of the new garage is up, just the smaller door needs to be installed. Progress.

Nov.21, 2014

The rink is basically ready to go. The ice looks a bit thin on the hockey side but that may be an illusion because you can only look through glass. The skating trail is rough in places but definitely skateable. The new garage is going up.

rink is just about ready to open

new zamboni garage going up
Nov.18, 2014

Yesterday it snowed and rained alternately. So the snow is stuck on top of the pleasure-skating trail, but the covered hockey rink is clear and ready for ice-making. We assume that the trail will be hard to recover -- a tractor has obviously been on it, but the compressor-pumped cold brine pipes have stuck the snow on like glue. However, a man who had stopped his car to take a look at the rink said with satisfaction -- "there's an excellent base on the rink already." Maybe he used to build natural ice rinks, and thinks that brine-cooled rinks go by the same rules. But they don't.

clean cement slab despite snow the day before

snow stuck onto the pleasure-skating trail

When Greenwood Rink was built for over $3 million, they ran out of money before they could build zamboni garage. So they put the zamboni in the same chain-link cage it always had, only that they put up tarps and some insulation, and put in heaters. Even so, last winter was cold, and the zamboni was often frozen. Today there were workers moving in the metal prefab parts of a zamboni hangar-style garage. Some contractors were ready to start assembling, but they looked pretty cold -- minus 9 with freezing winds gusting to 70 Km. The rink is scheduled to open in four days -- getting the garage ready will be tricky.

truck bringing prefab metal garage parts

a last-minute zamboni garage


March 1, 2014

10.15 a.m. Sunday morning, 7 skaters on trail

lively shinny game, 17 players, 2 with helmets

The ice was excellent on both the covered and the uncovered side. Paths were full of unshovelled snow, though. One very young-looking rink guard outside, skating around the path, apparently not concerned about the usual large group of un-helmeted shinny players. Inside, one tired-looking young building attendant, working her cell phone behind the desk. Change room tidy but women's washroom quite messy.

Jan.8 2014, email from rink user

We were excited for the opening of the Greenwood skate trail and rink… however we have been there 5 times now and have been disappointed every time with several factors each time.

- The amount of people teaching their children to skate on the trail vs the open area in the trail is crazy. Please people, if you child is learning to stand do not take them around the trail, take them to the small pad in the trail away from the flow of skaters.

- The amount of kids playing tag, running hockey drills or skating against the flow of traffic. We even witnessed what seemed to be a hockey coach with about seven 12 year old boys running hockey drills on the skate trail cutting people off and skating perpendicular across the surface

- I have hit several small children who are not aware of anyone else except themselves because they stop and turn around in the middle of the trail or decided to shoot 90 degrees across the ice without looking or are playing tag… it is no real danger to me but I am a big guy and if I fall on one of these kids it could be injury for them

- the staff is non-existent, there are usually 3 teens working there, just chatting with each other behind the desk, never anyone on the ice except when the zamboni comes out… at least have someone on the ice or the surrounding area to remind people of the to be aware and maybe reprimand bad behaviour

- I don’t want to sound like a spoil sport, I love skating but the trail is for recreation not chasing each other down or skating 5 abreast or teaching a toddler to skate, it is too narrow

Jan.2 2014, email from D.S.

There still remains the issue of the rink gates not being locked after 11pm. People are still playing hockey after hours and the noise has become so commonplace that police services must know me by now.

Following are the dates the gates have been left open:
Dec 23 - called the police to complain
Dec 25 - had to call the police at 1:30am
Dec 28 - called the police
Dec 29 - called the police yet again
Dec 30 - the light were on until 11:45pm, full hockey game was in effect

My patience has completely run out. If the lights are off at 11pm why can't the gates be locked at the same time?

In addition to the suggestion I made before about posting signage asking players to respect the neighbourhood and detailing what other rinks are open for midnight shinny, how about locking the goalie nets together to discourage late night games? I also understand the city employs a corporate security company to monitor its parks. Is it not possible to increase their patrols of this rink?

The police come when they can, but not always. And even when they do come, it's not as if tickets are issued. Players still come back - especially because an opened gate is basically an open invitation to play.

Other times, out of frustration, I go to the rink myself to beg the players to stop. Sometimes this is effective, sometimes it isn't - but by that point, I'm up, out of bed, and another good night's sleep has been disrupted.

I know I'm not alone with these sentiments. My neighbours have also been feeling great frustration over this. Will you please tell me what will be done to rectify the situation?

Dec.16 2013, from D.S.

thankfully peace has been restored. There was one minor incident on Friday night where the lights were off but the zamboni gate had been left open for some late night players. We called the police and that seemed to rectify things shortly thereafter.

Other than that, we've had no other incidents.

Dec.14 2013, from M.K.

People are making lots of noise in the morning too. Last time was at about 9:30-10:30 a.m on Saturday. Only 3 teenagers but they lined up/slapshot 20 or more pucks over and over and over. At least the full hour that I was there. Ridiculous amount of noise. And...pucks were flying over the glass in the area of young children.

The other problem with the track is that if one skates on the side the blade will go from ice to ground or concrete. I happened to fall but I wasn't paying attention.

Wednesday Dec.11 2013

Rink neighbours have been made very unhappy -- and sleepless -- by a lot of late-night hockey at Greenwood. As at all rinks, there is an automatic timer that turns the rink lights off at 11 pm, and the rink doors are padlocked shut. However, it appears that some staff or persons who got keys from staff have been returning to play hockey. The lights are turned back on and the doors are unlocked. The slapshots hit the boards and sleep is over for the neighbours. Time for the rink supervisor to lay down the law to his/her staff!

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Content last modified on November 29, 2021, at 06:38 PM EST