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

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Rink Diary

2022 - 2023

Jan.15, 2023 from S.I.

This evening they did not have a Zamboni as it was broken down/a replacement had not been sent. However it was still pretty busy on the shinny side. Some of the leisure skaters used skate aids to clear snow off the ice as staff are not allowed to let them use shovels (everything is a liability).

Jan.2, 2023

This rink is lively today (a day without rain!).

It's on the "skate library" schedule for Thursday. Yet there's no sign posted about that event anywhere at the rink, and the staff had heard nothing about it.

altered sign on the change room door

artwork sign made by staff to fill the time?

pizza oven is beside the leisure-skating rink

fire in the oven

This rink has a pizza oven right beside the rink -- the first oven built by the city (in 2005) rather than by a community group. It has only rarely been used to add to skaters' fun at rink season, but it has all kinds of potential. These days it's been used from time to time by APNLC, and even by NaMeRes. Wouldn't it be nice if city staff partnered with either of those groups to make the rink more fun for events like the upcoming skate lending day....


Jan2, 2023: kids-and-parents shinny hockey on a day without rain. This rink has the Home Ice program

Rink diaries from earlier years:

2021 - 2022

Nov.27, 2021

Opened for the season


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.

Dec.2, 2020

At 4.45 there were about 15 skaters, mostly kids, on the hockey pad (but just skating), plus one very fine figure skater on the pleasure-skating side.

Nov.29, 2020

At 3.45 p.m. at Harry Gairey Rink, staff were just leaving and the rink was closed, with water om both sides. Staff said that the machinery was 40 years old and weak. (Actually the machinery was replaced in 2006). Perhaps the water was there because the rink had just been flooded?

Nov.28, 2020

Harry Gairey/Scadding, ice too thin Nov.28

city's shinny hockey rink sign, Dec.3

At 3.30 p.m. Harry Gairey Rink in Alexandra Park was empty, with the hockey side locked, although the ice looked okay on the unfenced side. People in the park said that there been lots of skaters earlier.


Rink diaries from earlier years:

2019 - 2020

Feb.1, 2020, "Skate exchange" report from Peter Thillaye

Harry Gairey in his 80s

The weather was grey overcast, not too cold, pleasant for skating.

Parents and tiny children with their mandatory helmets, using the big blue skating supports. One Mother was dragging her protesting son around on his skates (no escape from momís determination).

Interior change room (no doors, or not closed) separating the washroom sinks and toilet cubicles. The skate exchange was set up on the floor, about 4 staff there. I counted 70 pairs of skates, the number of adult skates is small and getting smaller per event.

The staff said that the majority were exchanging or getting skates for their kids as they grew into bigger sizes. There was a bump in the number of womenís figure skates that had been taken in. This was taken advantage of by a group of women who came in.

The staff said that the majority of the skates had been sharpened, the exceptions being the one donated on the day.

Staff were giving out free self-assemble plastic skate support kits, but people seem to like the big blue ones that were out on the pleasure pad already.

She showed me a donated helmets bag that is used to loan to under-6 skaters so that they did not miss their chance to skate because of the under-6 helmet rule.

pleasure-skating pad

machinery is in a separate building by the street

shinny hockey pad (most players without helmets)

free candy and bagged snacks table

change room

skate aids in boxes

event sign

Jan.3, 2020

The main connection between the street, the rec centre, and the rink, has not been cleared of ice and snow. This is not surprising, given the tunnel vision of many city rink staff (and their supervisors). But a lawsuit waiting to happen, maybe.

ice and snow on the main path

skateboarders' rides neatly packed up for the winter

2018 - 2019

Opened Nov.24, 2018


2017 - 2018

Dec.8, 2017

This rink has had a slow start this year -- it's not unusual for staff to outnumber skaters in the daytime.


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 (actually -- ignored).


2016 - 2017

no entries


2015 - 2016

March 10, 2016

March 9, 2016, 7.45 pm

This rink was closed for the season today.

March 9, 2016

The rink has the pleasure-skating pad listed as closed and the hockey pad listed as open. They both seemed more or less equally water-covered, but with lots of ice. At 7.45 pm, three hockey players were hitting a plastic water bottle around with their sticks, and cheering when it moved any distance through the water. A puck moved also, but never very far.

January 16, 2016

Saturday morning 'hockey in the neighbourhood' session -- MLSE logo on the back, Tim Horton's logo on the front
Dec.30 2015

The hockey side was listed as open at 10 a.m. The pleasure-skating side was still listed as "snow-covered."

Dec.29, 2015

The rink was closed all day because of the the snow/rain mixture overnight.

Dec.25 2015

The rink was listed as closed but the ice was fine.

Dec.15, 2015

hockey side, layer of water on top of good ice

pleasure-skating side, curling circles on top of nice thick ice
Nov.23, 2015

This rink is popular and yet an orphan -- so many of its details show the lack of care. But still better than formerly. Is that enough?

It has lots of potential as a neighbourhood social space -- there's so much room in the rink house (pool building in summer). Ten years ago there were grandiose plans to knock down the building and put up a new one. That would have been a waste of money. But with very little money, the existing space could become a gathering spot.

pleasure-skating side, graffiti from summertime skateboard guys

compressors on, steam coming from condenser

hockey side is pretty clean

leaves stuck on pleasure-skating side

door looks beat up and slummy

bulletin board almost empty, no opening notice

Rink diaries from earlier years:

2014 - 2015

March 17 2015

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

March 8, 2015

hockey side

pleasure-skating side
Jan.22, 2015

There's curling at this rink most days: see the schedule.

Nov.30 2014

Even thought the temperature went up to 14 and this rink only opened yesterday, the ice held. But there was plenty of water on top of the ice, and not many people came to skate.

shinny hockey side: water on top of ice

pleasure-skating side: water on top of ice


March 1, 2014

This rink has been re-opened despite its scheduled Feb.23 closing. On Sunday March 1 at 10.30 a.m., there's a shinny game. The change room is open and warm and more players are getting their skates on. Skaters comment on how good the ice is.

lively shinny scene, 11 players, 6 without helmets

empty on the pleasure-skating side
Dec.26 2013

The rink is listed on the city's website as being open for shinny hockey from 10 to 3 on all the big holidays. But that's not what the posters at the rink say -- the building and washrooms are listed as closed for Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Year's. However this morning at 10.50, most of the ice had been cleaned by the zamboni and it looked to be almost ready for skaters.

Dec.1 2013

At 9.50, the ice looked excellent, much better than many of the other city rinks today. The change room was locked. The bulletin boards had no outdated information on them (but no schedules either).

a new chain-link adaptation for the west lift gate

not many people there yet, but very nice ice


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Content last modified on January 22, 2023, at 05:05 AM EST