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You are in the Mc Cowan Rink folder
There's nothing like outdoor skating
A project of CELOS (*)
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.
Rink change area: Bright and warm, with good visibility toward the skating surfaces
Staff: lots, courteous
Helmet use: leisure skaters under six
Cityrinks.ca position paper: is the city's helmet policy in need of an update? Should little kids be forced to wear only CSA approved helmets?
Maintenance: appears to be well maintained
Public Skating: see schedule
Comments about this rink: e-mail us at [email protected].
Rink diary for earlier years:
The rink opened for the season. The repairs must have been successful.
The rink seems to be running fine again.
The city's website has a service alert for this rink. saying that "shinny is cancelled due to broken boards." Boards are tough but they can break if the zamboni runs into them....
Sadly, the city's website schedule for this rink was not up to date and now it has disappeared entirely.
This rink had a problem starting up, and will need to have its pvc pipes replaced this spring/summer (they carry glycol to freeze the ice). For the moment, there is a temporary rink on top of the existing hockey slab, supplied by a global equipment rental company called Aggreko, headquartered in Glasgow Scotland. The company rents out energy equipment worldwide including at combat sites and for natural disasters. Their sports rentals include equipping Olympic sites, but also making temporary rinks: example.
The skating trail, also needing to be rebuilt, is fenced off and covered with snow.
Today there were four staff in the office, and because it's hard for rink visitors to hear what staff are saying, through that little hole, the staff invite skaters to come to the office door and talk from there.
Certainly the large glass barrier -- with just that little hole for talking -- reinforces the current city fashion of making the rink staff act like security guards rather than like welcoming recreation workers eager to help people learn how to skate. Permission to take a photo of the office window was only granted when it was certain that there would be no person in the photo. Rink staff are trained to focus on enforcing special helmets for shinny hockey and kids under 6, and preventing photography of skaters.
Staff were very friendly but clearly under-employed. They said that the rink has not been very busy -- no surprise -- since the temperatures have been very low. At the time of this visit, it was a bit warmer -- minus 10 and sunny -- and some people were skating.
When told about the Cityrinks loaner skates offer, the staff said that the reason why the city could never do skate lending was most likely "liability." The magic word.
9.45 a.m.: called 311 to let them know that the McCowan snow removal service alert is still posted there. It was corrected in early afternoon.
The "service alert" notice has been posted on the city's website, unchanged, for the past three days: covered in snow, snow removal in progress.
Staff have stated that they had the snow clearing issue which took far longer than they hoped due to misuse of the rink after hours (rink was utilized over night while snow covered, the public electing to clear the snow into the boards) which necessitated staff to hand clear the majority of the snow from the rink instead of utilizing equipment. Staff had mechanical issues with the ice resurfacer and last night there were electrical issues and the ice rink lights would not come on.
Staff is working very hard to overcome all of the issues and are committed to providing the posted service hours to the community.
The skating schedule on the city's McCowan Park web page shows skating hours (mostly pleasure-skating) beginning today.
The city's web page says the rink will partially open on Dec.9. However, it was marked as closed all day -- but Mayor John Tory was shown on TV at suppertime, skating there.
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 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.
Announcement on the McGowan Park web page:
diary entries from earlier years:
On the city's outdoor rinks web page, the McCowan District Rink link now says "closed for the season," with this announcement:
We regret that the new ice rink and skating path will not open as planned during the 2016/2017 skating season due to technical difficulties encountered during construction. The new rink's opening will be delayed until the 2017/2018 season. Our apologies for the inconvenience.
The councilllor comments on the delay.
On New Year's day, the sun shone on the new rink construction area. There was a wide opening in the barrier fence, with many footprints of others presumably looking to find out what stage the new rink was at.
The office window appears to have plexiglass with a small porthole for staff to speak to the public -- for staff safety?! The rest of what could be seen though the change room windows looks like modernist benches and coat hooks and washrooms in blond wood. No space for skate rentals or snacks or neighbourly socializing. Too bad.
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See schedule on city website.
The paper schedule at the rink is as follows:
weekdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 5 p.m to 8 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday: 12 noon to 9p.m.
child 9 - 13: Tuesday and Thursday, 4 p.m.to 5 p.m.
youth 13 to 18: Monday Wednesday Friday, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
child and caregiver: Sunday, 10 a.m. to 12 noon
adult 19+: Monday Wednesday Friday, 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.,Saturday 4 p.m.to 5 p.m.
Women 18+: Tuesday Thursday,8 p.m. to 9 p.m.