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Humber Valley Rink Profile

Built: 1983
Compressors 75 hp and 50 hp. Total 125 hp. Pumps: 20 hp and 7.5 hp. Glycol.
Condenser 1983 (city rates it as 'poor'), heat exchanger & compressors new in 1997

Opening: December 2, 2017
Closed: Feb.25, 2018

Rink change area: Done in the classic Etobicoke style -- sparse but tidy and functional.

Staff: Mainly the rink maintenance staff, with some rink guards during the supervised public skating times.

Maintenance: Frequent and skilful. No zamboni -- they use a Schomberg ice resurfacer, which is slower. 9 ice maintenance shifts a week


Comments about this rink: e-mail us at [email protected].

 

Rink Diary

2017 - 2018

Jan.20, follow-up report

10.30 a.m., hockey drills

Maple Leafs colour scheme in change room

At 10.30 a.m. there were three little boys in full hockey gear, and two dads at the sidelines. Usually, they said, there are lots of kids doing drills, as part of the Humber Valley Hockey League. But the rink had been shut down for compressor problems and had just been re-opened yesterday. An email had gone out to the parents, saying that the ice might not be ready. So only these three kids came over. They looked like they were having fun.

The dads said the kids don't have games there (they use indoor ice) but they have drills on Saturday mornings.

Apparently the rink was closed because there was an ammonia leak around Christmas and the compressors had to be shut off at that time. Repairing such a leak needs a permit from the province to allow licensed technicians to do the repair using the approved procedures for handling dangerous materials. It took until last week for that permission to come through, and that's why the rink was closed last week. It would have been closed a lot longer, but the temperatures were so low that the rink had been functioning as a natural ice rink since the compressors were shut down. But last week it got too warm, and the ice was completely gone. So they had to spend some days rebuilding it, and half a day after they opened it (yesterday), the sun came out, they had to shut it down again, for the rest of the day. But today the rink was never listed as closed, even though there was sun and +5.

Jan.19, 2018, report from cityrinks visitor:

no one on the rink

The rink re-opened today. At 1 p.m. a dad and 2 little kids were getting off the ice as I arrived. NO ONE ELSE. A gorgeous sunny day and a PD day to that, no one there. Another dad and son pulled in when I arrived, went inside, and left again. I asked the dad did the rink just open, and he said he thought they shut it when the weather warmed up and now reopened.

Ice looked not very thick, could see lines underneath from the cement. Area around not very well maintained. Still snow on the 3 little rubber mats that lead from the change room to the rink (and it snowed how many days ago?!)

No printed schedules, no community bulletin board. A sign inside with rules of hockey and shinny (no skating backwards, no speed skating, helmets etc). Nothing prohibiting photography, interestingly. Outside a no smoking sign. Parking lot was empty when I arrived, office was empty. The office doesn't look out onto the rink, it looks out to the parking lot and the empty change room.

When I left, someone was in the office and the City truck was in the parking lot, guess he arrived for his shift and went right into the office, not to the ice.

Comment from a rink user: ...about no one being on the rink at 1pm on a P.A. day. That's likely because public skate is only until 1pm and then its adult shinny at 1:30. Iím not sure I know many adults who have nothing to do on a Friday afternoon but go play shinny. Perhaps they can extend the public skate time as there arenít many public skate opportunities."

Jan.18, 2018

10. a.m. The rink has been listed as closed for mechanical issues since Jan.13. A phone call has gone to the councillor's office, which says they will do a little more digging.

3 p.m. Email from Councillor Campbell's staff:

Just an update about the rink from staff. There were some mechanical issues which have now been resolved and they already have flooding underway. They're hoping it will all be ready by tomorrow but latest Saturday morning. Their permit holders have already been notified as well.

 

Rink diaries from other years:

2016 -2017

No visits

 

2015 - 2016

March 2, 2016, e-mail from Skip Williams, Edmonton

It does my heart some good to see that this outdoor rink is still in operation. I was a student at Humber Valley public school back when the principal was Mr. Davies. There were many times when we were permitted to use the rink as students from the classrooms. I also recall the weekends with friends and can still smell and taste the lime pop that was dispensed for a dime into paper cups from the old vending machines....I was going to that rink when I was 6 or 7 so that would have been 1961 and 1962....from the outside it looks exactly as it did when I was a kid in the sixties.

Jan.20, 2016

one lone skater hugging the boards at the back

This rink had trouble over the holidays, but today it looks perfect. At 11.45 a.m. there is only one skater, teaching himself how to stay upright, probably grateful that there's no one else out there to run him down. The rink change room and washrooms are open even though there's no staff there. Everything looks tidy and in good order.


mortar crumbling off the bricks --does Etobicoke maintain?

staff office with Venetian blinds closed, everything tidy and clean
 
Dec.31, e-mails from rink user M.M.:

E-mail #1:

This email is to serve notice that area residents are not happy with the state of the ice pad at 50 Anglesey Blvd.

The Zamboni has not been working properly for the past several days and is unable to resurface the ice. The surface is in such poor condition that the rink is now closed. This is unacceptable service delivery.

E-mail #2:

Up until this year, Humber Valley rink was being serviced by a tractor that pulled a snow clearing/scraping machine. This was better than nothing but it didn't flood the ice to create a proper hockey surface. Last year the rink was also plagued with coolant system and compressor problems that resulted in forced closures on a number of occasions.

As a volunteer house league coach for the Humber Valley Hockey Association, I know too well about the issues this rink has had in the past and can confirm that it is one of the most highly used rinks for active local children and youth hockey in the city.

It would be interesting to find out how much the City is taking in on the permits the local youth hockey associations are paying and if there is a proper balance of priorities towards maintenance.

Not much has changed at this rink since I was using it in my youth in the 1970's. Perhaps a bit more than the very least could be done to improve this facility.

311 staff were able to track down someone in Recreation management who was not on vacation. He passed the complaint on to someone in Parks management to make them aware.

E-mail #3:

Thank you for forwarding my email to your colleagues in the department responsible for maintaining the rinks in this area. I imagine it won't be until at least Saturday before someone is able to get back to me with an update on the successful operations at Humber Valley. The parents of the kids in the neighbourhood and I look forward to seeing a working Zamboni at the rink first thing Saturday morning to get things started off on the right foot for the new year.

Dec.29, 2015

Yesterday's overnight snow, supersaturated with rain, meant that all city rinks were closed until 3. Humber Valley was the ninth rink on the re-opening list, at 8 pm.

Dec.27, 2015

This rink was on the "closed" list from Dec.24 evening until Boxing day.

Dec.17, 2015

Even though the ice seemed fine yesterday, this afternoon the rink was again marked as closed.

Dec.16 2015

Dec.16: good ice, lots of kids, 3.30 pm

The rink staff said they've had some trouble keeping the ice in, especially at the back of the rink where the pipes don't go far enough. They have to pile snow there so nobody skates on thin ice or cement. Today it seemed fine and there were a lot shinny players out.


2014 - 2015

Dec.2 2014

The rink opened on Nov.29, closed Nov.30, reopened Dec.2.


2013-2014

According to the city's web page, this rink was CLOSED until after the Christmas holidays were done -- from the time the ice storm happened (from Dec.22 2013). But in fact the ice was open from Jan.4 (not the building).

Dec.30 2013

The only sign in the window: "Building closed until further notice"

Humber Valley Rink has been marked as "closed -- no water" on the city's website since Christmas Eve, although the ice storm took their power out in the early morning of Dec.22. The power to that neighbourhood was restored on Boxing Day. Today at noon there was a scrawled sign in the window, in faint ball point pen, stating the obvious, but with no information other than the obvious. Two cars pulled up, with skaters. But there wasn't even a sign for the nearest open rink.

What would it take to run up a sign on a park computer saying: "this building lost power on Dec.22 and has been winterized to prevent the water pipes from freezing. It will take between two and four days to bring the rink back into service after the power is restored. Call 311 for updates."

But no such sign was there.


rink change room locked

a crack in the locked chain link gate to the rink
 
Dec.16 2013, email from rink user

"The unsupervised skating is not working. People play hockey and shoot pucks at all angles, endangering skaters. I have even seen hockey played during supervised skating by the supervisor! This rink is in very good shape. It is too bad there is no supervision for skaters, and that hockey players bully their way onto the ice.

This must change immediately."

 

2011 - 2012

Saturday Dec.3 2011

Rink is open, ice in good condition, but there was no poster or sign saying the date of opening day.

Ice seemed to be built up so well because the driver there has been spending a lot of time putting towel floods on the ice.

There was actually not one person on the ice or in the change room at this time because of the weekend permits.

 

2008 - 2009

Wednesday December 10 2008

7.30pm -- the rink had good ice, a bit snowy but no problem for skaters. A dozen youth were on the ice with an instructor, having full equipment hockey drills. They had an odd drill where two lines of kids on either side of the rink shot pucks back and forth to each other while other kids took turns running the gauntlet down the middle, trying, I guess, not to get hit. Nobody raised the puck so it didn't seem dangerous, but it was different.

Inside the change room there were another dozen younger boys just changing out of their equipment, and as soon as they left, another crew of kids arrived to get ready for their time.

The rink operator said that the Humber Valley Hockey Association has the ice every evening, and it was those kids who filed in and out according to their time.

The operator said that they do the ice with a newer machine but not a zamboni. The new machine was broken and he was having to use the old one. Even so, the ice was all right, despite the bad snow/rain combination yesterday. But the operator says that he'd like it if the city stopped auctioning off its old $60,000 zambonis for $1000, and placed them in the "major" rinks instead.

The operator said he is a lead hand, but there are also Arena Pool Operators (APO2s) doing ice maintenance for the unboarded rinks they call "minor" rinks in Etobicoke. They do basically the same work for $5 an hour less, and (as the CUPE Local 416 web site says) this will be the source of so many grievances that the arrangement probably can't last.

The operator had worked at the Park Lawn "Bubble" rink and told more stories about it. Apparently the Humber valley Hockey Association bought the bubble for over $250,000 about 14 years ago, in return for getting a reduction for their hockey time -- which is about 80% of the time at Park Lawn. That worked all right, but now the bubble is getting old -- four year after it's "best before" date, and it's unclear what will happen to it. The public skating time is packed -- 150 or more kids from the surrounding apartments, with only two rink guards. The area is predominantly Eastern European, frugal, and without much money. The operator said he's seen brothers come to skate, with one of them skating for 20 minutes and then then taking the skates off so the other brother can have a turn. Apparently there used to be snack and hot chocolate machines and even a skate sharpening machine there, but they've all been taken out because everything gets damaged.

No wonder, with so little public skating time -- it must frustrate people. And the operator says it's pretty hard to get rink guards, when they only have two hours of work at minimum wage -- nobody wants that job.

An hour later, downtown at Trinity and Christie Rinks, there was public over-18 shinny at both rinks. Trinity had 28 out on the ice, 12 in the boxes, and another four guys just arriving. Christie had about as many on their open shinny time, and then a permit came and everyone got off for them. The permit was mixed men-women, again over 20 people. Same story from the time school lets out, only that before 7 it's younger teens, then little kids and parents. There are rink guards, and the wood supply for the "hot stove" at Christie is neatly stacked against the wall. Last night the skates for rent were still being sorted, but they exist.

Different cultures, in a way. A "major" rink like Humber Valley could be called a "working rink." The downtown rinks are more "playing rinks." Nobody from the downtown rinks is going into the NHL (but some of the Humber Valley kids might). Downtown the skaters just get on the ice and play shinny, sometimes for three hours at a stretch, since there's so much free public ice time compared to the Etobicoke and North York rinks. Or on the single pads, during the pleasure-skating time slots, they skate around with their friends, or play British Bulldog when the rink guard has his back turned. At Humber Valley the times are shorter and the hockey skills approach is more serious.

Different strokes. But more public time slots might be helpful at this Humber Valley Rink and others like it, to spread the joy of skating more broadly.

See Diaries tab

 

From The City of Toronto Website 2014-15

For the skating schedule, go to Humber Valley, then click on Skating.

shinny hockey only

leisure skating only

Rink Diary

2017 - 2018

Jan.20, follow-up report

10.30 a.m., hockey drills

Maple Leafs colour scheme in change room

At 10.30 a.m. there were three little boys in full hockey gear, and two dads at the sidelines. Usually, they said, there are lots of kids doing drills, as part of the Humber Valley Hockey League. But the rink had been shut down for compressor problems and had just been re-opened yesterday. An email had gone out to the parents, saying that the ice might not be ready. So only these three kids came over. They looked like they were having fun.

The dads said the kids don't have games there (they use indoor ice) but they have drills on Saturday mornings.

Apparently the rink was closed because there was an ammonia leak around Christmas and the compressors had to be shut off at that time. Repairing such a leak needs a permit from the province to allow licensed technicians to do the repair using the approved procedures for handling dangerous materials. It took until last week for that permission to come through, and that's why the rink was closed last week. It would have been closed a lot longer, but the temperatures were so low that the rink had been functioning as a natural ice rink since the compressors were shut down. But last week it got too warm, and the ice was completely gone. So they had to spend some days rebuilding it, and half a day after they opened it (yesterday), the sun came out, they had to shut it down again, for the rest of the day. But today the rink was never listed as closed, even though there was sun and +5.

Jan.19, 2018, report from cityrinks visitor:

no one on the rink

The rink re-opened today. At 1 p.m. a dad and 2 little kids were getting off the ice as I arrived. NO ONE ELSE. A gorgeous sunny day and a PD day to that, no one there. Another dad and son pulled in when I arrived, went inside, and left again. I asked the dad did the rink just open, and he said he thought they shut it when the weather warmed up and now reopened.

Ice looked not very thick, could see lines underneath from the cement. Area around not very well maintained. Still snow on the 3 little rubber mats that lead from the change room to the rink (and it snowed how many days ago?!)

No printed schedules, no community bulletin board. A sign inside with rules of hockey and shinny (no skating backwards, no speed skating, helmets etc). Nothing prohibiting photography, interestingly. Outside a no smoking sign. Parking lot was empty when I arrived, office was empty. The office doesn't look out onto the rink, it looks out to the parking lot and the empty change room.

When I left, someone was in the office and the City truck was in the parking lot, guess he arrived for his shift and went right into the office, not to the ice.

Comment from a rink user: ...about no one being on the rink at 1pm on a P.A. day. That's likely because public skate is only until 1pm and then its adult shinny at 1:30. Iím not sure I know many adults who have nothing to do on a Friday afternoon but go play shinny. Perhaps they can extend the public skate time as there arenít many public skate opportunities."

Jan.18, 2018

10. a.m. The rink has been listed as closed for mechanical issues since Jan.13. A phone call has gone to the councillor's office, which says they will do a little more digging.

3 p.m. Email from Councillor Campbell's staff:

Just an update about the rink from staff. There were some mechanical issues which have now been resolved and they already have flooding underway. They're hoping it will all be ready by tomorrow but latest Saturday morning. Their permit holders have already been notified as well.

 

Rink diaries from other years:

2016 -2017

No visits

 

2015 - 2016

March 2, 2016, e-mail from Skip Williams, Edmonton

It does my heart some good to see that this outdoor rink is still in operation. I was a student at Humber Valley public school back when the principal was Mr. Davies. There were many times when we were permitted to use the rink as students from the classrooms. I also recall the weekends with friends and can still smell and taste the lime pop that was dispensed for a dime into paper cups from the old vending machines....I was going to that rink when I was 6 or 7 so that would have been 1961 and 1962....from the outside it looks exactly as it did when I was a kid in the sixties.

Jan.20, 2016

one lone skater hugging the boards at the back

This rink had trouble over the holidays, but today it looks perfect. At 11.45 a.m. there is only one skater, teaching himself how to stay upright, probably grateful that there's no one else out there to run him down. The rink change room and washrooms are open even though there's no staff there. Everything looks tidy and in good order.


mortar crumbling off the bricks --does Etobicoke maintain?

staff office with Venetian blinds closed, everything tidy and clean
 
Dec.31, e-mails from rink user M.M.:

E-mail #1:

This email is to serve notice that area residents are not happy with the state of the ice pad at 50 Anglesey Blvd.

The Zamboni has not been working properly for the past several days and is unable to resurface the ice. The surface is in such poor condition that the rink is now closed. This is unacceptable service delivery.

E-mail #2:

Up until this year, Humber Valley rink was being serviced by a tractor that pulled a snow clearing/scraping machine. This was better than nothing but it didn't flood the ice to create a proper hockey surface. Last year the rink was also plagued with coolant system and compressor problems that resulted in forced closures on a number of occasions.

As a volunteer house league coach for the Humber Valley Hockey Association, I know too well about the issues this rink has had in the past and can confirm that it is one of the most highly used rinks for active local children and youth hockey in the city.

It would be interesting to find out how much the City is taking in on the permits the local youth hockey associations are paying and if there is a proper balance of priorities towards maintenance.

Not much has changed at this rink since I was using it in my youth in the 1970's. Perhaps a bit more than the very least could be done to improve this facility.

311 staff were able to track down someone in Recreation management who was not on vacation. He passed the complaint on to someone in Parks management to make them aware.

E-mail #3:

Thank you for forwarding my email to your colleagues in the department responsible for maintaining the rinks in this area. I imagine it won't be until at least Saturday before someone is able to get back to me with an update on the successful operations at Humber Valley. The parents of the kids in the neighbourhood and I look forward to seeing a working Zamboni at the rink first thing Saturday morning to get things started off on the right foot for the new year.

Dec.29, 2015

Yesterday's overnight snow, supersaturated with rain, meant that all city rinks were closed until 3. Humber Valley was the ninth rink on the re-opening list, at 8 pm.

Dec.27, 2015

This rink was on the "closed" list from Dec.24 evening until Boxing day.

Dec.17, 2015

Even though the ice seemed fine yesterday, this afternoon the rink was again marked as closed.

Dec.16 2015

Dec.16: good ice, lots of kids, 3.30 pm

The rink staff said they've had some trouble keeping the ice in, especially at the back of the rink where the pipes don't go far enough. They have to pile snow there so nobody skates on thin ice or cement. Today it seemed fine and there were a lot shinny players out.


2014 - 2015

Dec.2 2014

The rink opened on Nov.29, closed Nov.30, reopened Dec.2.


2013-2014

According to the city's web page, this rink was CLOSED until after the Christmas holidays were done -- from the time the ice storm happened (from Dec.22 2013). But in fact the ice was open from Jan.4 (not the building).

Dec.30 2013

The only sign in the window: "Building closed until further notice"

Humber Valley Rink has been marked as "closed -- no water" on the city's website since Christmas Eve, although the ice storm took their power out in the early morning of Dec.22. The power to that neighbourhood was restored on Boxing Day. Today at noon there was a scrawled sign in the window, in faint ball point pen, stating the obvious, but with no information other than the obvious. Two cars pulled up, with skaters. But there wasn't even a sign for the nearest open rink.

What would it take to run up a sign on a park computer saying: "this building lost power on Dec.22 and has been winterized to prevent the water pipes from freezing. It will take between two and four days to bring the rink back into service after the power is restored. Call 311 for updates."

But no such sign was there.


rink change room locked

a crack in the locked chain link gate to the rink
 
Dec.16 2013, email from rink user

"The unsupervised skating is not working. People play hockey and shoot pucks at all angles, endangering skaters. I have even seen hockey played during supervised skating by the supervisor! This rink is in very good shape. It is too bad there is no supervision for skaters, and that hockey players bully their way onto the ice.

This must change immediately."

 

2011 - 2012

Saturday Dec.3 2011

Rink is open, ice in good condition, but there was no poster or sign saying the date of opening day.

Ice seemed to be built up so well because the driver there has been spending a lot of time putting towel floods on the ice.

There was actually not one person on the ice or in the change room at this time because of the weekend permits.

 

2008 - 2009

Wednesday December 10 2008

7.30pm -- the rink had good ice, a bit snowy but no problem for skaters. A dozen youth were on the ice with an instructor, having full equipment hockey drills. They had an odd drill where two lines of kids on either side of the rink shot pucks back and forth to each other while other kids took turns running the gauntlet down the middle, trying, I guess, not to get hit. Nobody raised the puck so it didn't seem dangerous, but it was different.

Inside the change room there were another dozen younger boys just changing out of their equipment, and as soon as they left, another crew of kids arrived to get ready for their time.

The rink operator said that the Humber Valley Hockey Association has the ice every evening, and it was those kids who filed in and out according to their time.

The operator said that they do the ice with a newer machine but not a zamboni. The new machine was broken and he was having to use the old one. Even so, the ice was all right, despite the bad snow/rain combination yesterday. But the operator says that he'd like it if the city stopped auctioning off its old $60,000 zambonis for $1000, and placed them in the "major" rinks instead.

The operator said he is a lead hand, but there are also Arena Pool Operators (APO2s) doing ice maintenance for the unboarded rinks they call "minor" rinks in Etobicoke. They do basically the same work for $5 an hour less, and (as the CUPE Local 416 web site says) this will be the source of so many grievances that the arrangement probably can't last.

The operator had worked at the Park Lawn "Bubble" rink and told more stories about it. Apparently the Humber valley Hockey Association bought the bubble for over $250,000 about 14 years ago, in return for getting a reduction for their hockey time -- which is about 80% of the time at Park Lawn. That worked all right, but now the bubble is getting old -- four year after it's "best before" date, and it's unclear what will happen to it. The public skating time is packed -- 150 or more kids from the surrounding apartments, with only two rink guards. The area is predominantly Eastern European, frugal, and without much money. The operator said he's seen brothers come to skate, with one of them skating for 20 minutes and then then taking the skates off so the other brother can have a turn. Apparently there used to be snack and hot chocolate machines and even a skate sharpening machine there, but they've all been taken out because everything gets damaged.

No wonder, with so little public skating time -- it must frustrate people. And the operator says it's pretty hard to get rink guards, when they only have two hours of work at minimum wage -- nobody wants that job.

An hour later, downtown at Trinity and Christie Rinks, there was public over-18 shinny at both rinks. Trinity had 28 out on the ice, 12 in the boxes, and another four guys just arriving. Christie had about as many on their open shinny time, and then a permit came and everyone got off for them. The permit was mixed men-women, again over 20 people. Same story from the time school lets out, only that before 7 it's younger teens, then little kids and parents. There are rink guards, and the wood supply for the "hot stove" at Christie is neatly stacked against the wall. Last night the skates for rent were still being sorted, but they exist.

Different cultures, in a way. A "major" rink like Humber Valley could be called a "working rink." The downtown rinks are more "playing rinks." Nobody from the downtown rinks is going into the NHL (but some of the Humber Valley kids might). Downtown the skaters just get on the ice and play shinny, sometimes for three hours at a stretch, since there's so much free public ice time compared to the Etobicoke and North York rinks. Or on the single pads, during the pleasure-skating time slots, they skate around with their friends, or play British Bulldog when the rink guard has his back turned. At Humber Valley the times are shorter and the hockey skills approach is more serious.

Different strokes. But more public time slots might be helpful at this Humber Valley Rink and others like it, to spread the joy of skating more broadly.

 
 

To see the (2007-2008) report card, click here

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Content last modified on February 26, 2018, at 08:12 PM EST