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You are in the Mel Lastman Rink folder

Welcome to The Unofficial Website of Toronto's Outdoor Skating Rinks

There's nothing like outdoor skating

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Mel Lastman Square Rink Profile

Built: unknown
Compressors: 80 hp; pump: 15 hp. Freon.
Refrigeration system installed 1988, header trench repairs (and more?) 2013

Opened: Nov.26, 2016
Closing: TBA

Rink change area: One can change on the benches outside but the rubber mats don't reach all the benches so you are better off going inside where there are lockers and washrooms. The changeroom is part of a hallway between 3 entrances to the civic centre so skaters and employees rub shoulders. No skate rentals.

Staff: Staff are very friendly but mostly this rink is unsupervised. The brochure says you can skate unsupervised 11am to 11pm, with music sometimes after 4pm. But the rink is just as unsupervised and open at 9am as 11am. Often civic centre employees take lunch to tie on their skates.

Helmet use: only leisure skaters under six

Cityrinks.ca position paper: is the city's helmet in need of an update? Should little kids be forced to wear only CSA approved helmets?

Maintenance: The rink is maintained with a zamboni on site, usually parked outside. There are 14 ice maintenance shifts a week.


Comments about this rink: e-mail us at rinkissues@cityrinks.ca.



Rink Diary

2016 - 2017

Dec.1, 2016

This civic rink has been listed as closed for the last three days. On the city's web page, it just says "ice conditions," and the schedule is the same as if it was open.

Nov.26, 2016

This rink was listed as open at 10 a.m., closed at noon, and listed as open again by 4 pm.


2015 - 2016

March 18, 2016

This rink is one of three North York rinks that were closed March 11 but are still listed as staying open until March 20, but on alert as "closed -- ice conditions." They have no ice.

March 10, 2016

This rink has been closed more than it's been open this year. But it's still scheduled to keep running until March 20.

Dec. 24 - 26, 2015

Closed "due to weather"

Dec.23, 2015

The city's website says that Mel Lastman rink is closed "due to weather." But it has no fence around it, so there are people skating. There is a LOT of water on the rink, even though the ice underneath is good. Last year's technical problems are evidently not over.


looking west

looking east

"caution -- ice is slippery"

in case the other signs didn't make it clear
 

Rink Diary


2014 - 2015

no entries


2013-2014

Dec.12 2013

Mel Lastman Rink is listed as open today!

Dec.4 2013

It looks like there's a lot of work left to do. Three CIMCO repair guys were overheard sounding somewhat grouchy and discouraged in the compressor room. The header trench was open and some of the pipes had been taken out. They are very rusty.


pipes laid out

CIMCO repair truck

rusty pipes

compressor room and brine storage tanks

 
Nov.28, 2013

Message from city staff to 311: "The rink was supposed to open November 23rd, but our equipment stopped working, and is now under priority construction without an estimated time yet. We will be putting up signage, and letting 311 know as soon as its fixed and we have an open date. We are hoping soon"

Saturday Nov.23 2013

The rink is CLOSED, with barriers (including yellow danger tape) all around it. Looks like some of the covers for the header trench are propped up on the rink. No other information, except a beaten up old sign saying "No skating."


Nov.23: rink not ready -- too bad

old sign says: NO SKATING
 

Rink Diary 2011 - 2012

Thursday Nov.17 2011

No sign of startup. The concrete doesn't even look painted yet (they do a white surface ever year to offset the black from the reflecting pool). And this is a civic rink!

Wednesday Nov.23 2011

ice looks good

5:00 pm: A Zamboni crew member said the rink is open for skating, though they'll still flood some more this evening to get some more thickness to the ice. The changerooms are open. There's benches & mats down at the west end of the rink. A few people stopped as they came by to look at the ice, and one asked if I knew when the rink would be open. She was very pleased when I told her it's open now.

The reason she didn't know is that there were no signs up about the rink opening for the season. There was only one sign on a board saying use at your own risk and 'No Hockey'.

 
Sunday Dec.18 2011

good skating weather

Photo from correspondent Rafael Lewis: "There were parents with their little ones skating about."

 
Monday Jan.2, 2012

From rink correspondent Rafael Lewis: Around noon there were skaters of all ages present, from very young to some older skaters. There was no music playing (usually when I visit on weekends there is) but everyone was having a great time. The zamboni came out to clean up the ice as I stepped on for the first time. I had my headphones on so I never noticed until I turned a corner and saw him politely gesturing me to get off the ice. It was a bit windy and cold, but that didn't seem to bother any of the skaters.


January 2, 2012

 
Saturday Jan.6, 2012



 | 

From rink correspondent Rafael Lewis: Around 6:30 pm, I was at the rink and here I have attached one of the lit up tree just at the corner of the rink, its really nice. Being a Friday night with pretty mild temperatures there were a lot of teens on the ice. There was music and the zamboni was out just as I got to the rink so the ice was in excellent condition when I got on.

 

Rink Diary 2009 - 2010

Tuesday November 17th, 2009

This rink is scheduled to open on the 21st of November. At around 2pm, there was a lot of activity in the North York Civic center nearby, but no staff that knew anything about the rink. The security guards there were unaware that there was a rink, they were there mainly to do crowd control for the flu vaccination waiting area. The rink pad seemed clean , but the compressors were off. There was a rink sandwich board up with signage about not having ice melters close to the rink, and that hockey was not permitted, but nothing about the opening date. Indoors the rink change area was cordoned off with yellow caution tape. The security guards said there was some construction going on. Upstairs at the PFR offices, a lady at the main desk gave me a number for a supervisor of the downstairs area.

Friday November 20th, 2009

Overcast, windy. The parks staff working said that the good news was that the compressors were in good condition and ready to go. However, the decision was made early in the week that due to temperatures in the 10s and sun, that it was not possible to make ice. They were hoping to start on Tuesday the 24th.

Tuesday Nov. 24 2009

1 pm: Mel Lastman square. Workers are on site. The rink has its closed signs up. The compressors must be doing a dandy job because there is frost on the pad. I talk to the workers: they say they turned on the compressors last night and they will start flooding tonight (Tuesday night). I ask why they didn't turn on the compressors earlier, they say there was no point because the weather was too warm. I tell them Nathan Phillips opened, they say it is warmer in the north of Toronto. When is it going to be ready? I ask. When it's ready is their answer.

Monday Nov.30, 2009

Mel Lastman square is OPEN ! as of this weekend according to the parks staff. No skaters but the music is on. The ice is described as "soft" by the worker but it isn't soft. It looks and feels good on my boots.

Dec.16 2009

12.30pm: 7 skaters, some beginner. No helmets

Monday Dec 21 2009

11 am: 6 skaters, none with helmets, all pleasure skaters. I ask how the skating is going, they say the rink is too small.

Dec.22 2009

12.30pm: 10 skaters, no helmets 2 staff. Everyone looks happy and the music is christmas-y.

 

Rink Diary 2008 - 2009

Sunday November 30, 2008

Mel Lastman Rink was supposed to open yesterday, according to the city web site and the staff report to city councillors. Until Friday, the city's "rink hot-line" still carried the 2007/2008 schedule information for this rink. Then the message was changed to say that Mel Lastman Rink would open on December 6. Confusion!

The reality is even more confusing. The rink has ice, with snow on top. There are skate marks, but at 11 a.m. there's only a little kid with his toy tractors, pushing the snow around. The city should take a leaf from his book -- Mel Lastman Rink needs a tractor, or even better, a zamboni, to deliver on the city's promises.

A hunt for staff to find out when maintenance will happen leads into the former city hall building, which is open but ghostly empty. Finally we encounter an older gentleman, who directs us upstairs to the security desk. He says, there's no one working here today -- come to think of it, there's no one working here any other day either!


Snowy ice attracts a little kid with his toy tractors

ghostly empty

Upstairs there are two security staff at the desk. The sign above their heads says "Access Toronto." But sadly, they don't know when the rink is supposed to open and be maintained for skaters. No one has told them. But they think that maybe the ice has been in for a week already. They've tried to tell would-be skaters to stay off it, but they say it's impossible -- the skaters just come back when they're not looking.


interesting interlocking rubber tiles

North York seems to have careful approach to materials, if not to people. Their rubber times are all laid down for the skaters -- very nice interlocking tiles, like jigsaw puzzle pieces. The outdoor rinks in other parts of the city would love to have some of those.

Click on pictures to enlarge

 

See Diaries tab

Views of the rink

Days before the rink is open to the public

From The City of Toronto Website 2014-15

For the skating schedule, go to Mel Lastman, then click on Skating.

Rink Diary

2016 - 2017

Dec.1, 2016

This civic rink has been listed as closed for the last three days. On the city's web page, it just says "ice conditions," and the schedule is the same as if it was open.

Nov.26, 2016

This rink was listed as open at 10 a.m., closed at noon, and listed as open again by 4 pm.


2015 - 2016

March 18, 2016

This rink is one of three North York rinks that were closed March 11 but are still listed as staying open until March 20, but on alert as "closed -- ice conditions." They have no ice.

March 10, 2016

This rink has been closed more than it's been open this year. But it's still scheduled to keep running until March 20.

Dec. 24 - 26, 2015

Closed "due to weather"

Dec.23, 2015

The city's website says that Mel Lastman rink is closed "due to weather." But it has no fence around it, so there are people skating. There is a LOT of water on the rink, even though the ice underneath is good. Last year's technical problems are evidently not over.


looking west

looking east

"caution -- ice is slippery"

in case the other signs didn't make it clear
 

Rink Diary


2014 - 2015

no entries


2013-2014

Dec.12 2013

Mel Lastman Rink is listed as open today!

Dec.4 2013

It looks like there's a lot of work left to do. Three CIMCO repair guys were overheard sounding somewhat grouchy and discouraged in the compressor room. The header trench was open and some of the pipes had been taken out. They are very rusty.


pipes laid out

CIMCO repair truck

rusty pipes

compressor room and brine storage tanks

 
Nov.28, 2013

Message from city staff to 311: "The rink was supposed to open November 23rd, but our equipment stopped working, and is now under priority construction without an estimated time yet. We will be putting up signage, and letting 311 know as soon as its fixed and we have an open date. We are hoping soon"

Saturday Nov.23 2013

The rink is CLOSED, with barriers (including yellow danger tape) all around it. Looks like some of the covers for the header trench are propped up on the rink. No other information, except a beaten up old sign saying "No skating."


Nov.23: rink not ready -- too bad

old sign says: NO SKATING
 

Rink Diary 2011 - 2012

Thursday Nov.17 2011

No sign of startup. The concrete doesn't even look painted yet (they do a white surface ever year to offset the black from the reflecting pool). And this is a civic rink!

Wednesday Nov.23 2011

ice looks good

5:00 pm: A Zamboni crew member said the rink is open for skating, though they'll still flood some more this evening to get some more thickness to the ice. The changerooms are open. There's benches & mats down at the west end of the rink. A few people stopped as they came by to look at the ice, and one asked if I knew when the rink would be open. She was very pleased when I told her it's open now.

The reason she didn't know is that there were no signs up about the rink opening for the season. There was only one sign on a board saying use at your own risk and 'No Hockey'.

 
Sunday Dec.18 2011

good skating weather

Photo from correspondent Rafael Lewis: "There were parents with their little ones skating about."

 
Monday Jan.2, 2012

From rink correspondent Rafael Lewis: Around noon there were skaters of all ages present, from very young to some older skaters. There was no music playing (usually when I visit on weekends there is) but everyone was having a great time. The zamboni came out to clean up the ice as I stepped on for the first time. I had my headphones on so I never noticed until I turned a corner and saw him politely gesturing me to get off the ice. It was a bit windy and cold, but that didn't seem to bother any of the skaters.


January 2, 2012

 
Saturday Jan.6, 2012



 | 

From rink correspondent Rafael Lewis: Around 6:30 pm, I was at the rink and here I have attached one of the lit up tree just at the corner of the rink, its really nice. Being a Friday night with pretty mild temperatures there were a lot of teens on the ice. There was music and the zamboni was out just as I got to the rink so the ice was in excellent condition when I got on.

 

Rink Diary 2009 - 2010

Tuesday November 17th, 2009

This rink is scheduled to open on the 21st of November. At around 2pm, there was a lot of activity in the North York Civic center nearby, but no staff that knew anything about the rink. The security guards there were unaware that there was a rink, they were there mainly to do crowd control for the flu vaccination waiting area. The rink pad seemed clean , but the compressors were off. There was a rink sandwich board up with signage about not having ice melters close to the rink, and that hockey was not permitted, but nothing about the opening date. Indoors the rink change area was cordoned off with yellow caution tape. The security guards said there was some construction going on. Upstairs at the PFR offices, a lady at the main desk gave me a number for a supervisor of the downstairs area.

Friday November 20th, 2009

Overcast, windy. The parks staff working said that the good news was that the compressors were in good condition and ready to go. However, the decision was made early in the week that due to temperatures in the 10s and sun, that it was not possible to make ice. They were hoping to start on Tuesday the 24th.

Tuesday Nov. 24 2009

1 pm: Mel Lastman square. Workers are on site. The rink has its closed signs up. The compressors must be doing a dandy job because there is frost on the pad. I talk to the workers: they say they turned on the compressors last night and they will start flooding tonight (Tuesday night). I ask why they didn't turn on the compressors earlier, they say there was no point because the weather was too warm. I tell them Nathan Phillips opened, they say it is warmer in the north of Toronto. When is it going to be ready? I ask. When it's ready is their answer.

Monday Nov.30, 2009

Mel Lastman square is OPEN ! as of this weekend according to the parks staff. No skaters but the music is on. The ice is described as "soft" by the worker but it isn't soft. It looks and feels good on my boots.

Dec.16 2009

12.30pm: 7 skaters, some beginner. No helmets

Monday Dec 21 2009

11 am: 6 skaters, none with helmets, all pleasure skaters. I ask how the skating is going, they say the rink is too small.

Dec.22 2009

12.30pm: 10 skaters, no helmets 2 staff. Everyone looks happy and the music is christmas-y.

 

Rink Diary 2008 - 2009

Sunday November 30, 2008

Mel Lastman Rink was supposed to open yesterday, according to the city web site and the staff report to city councillors. Until Friday, the city's "rink hot-line" still carried the 2007/2008 schedule information for this rink. Then the message was changed to say that Mel Lastman Rink would open on December 6. Confusion!

The reality is even more confusing. The rink has ice, with snow on top. There are skate marks, but at 11 a.m. there's only a little kid with his toy tractors, pushing the snow around. The city should take a leaf from his book -- Mel Lastman Rink needs a tractor, or even better, a zamboni, to deliver on the city's promises.

A hunt for staff to find out when maintenance will happen leads into the former city hall building, which is open but ghostly empty. Finally we encounter an older gentleman, who directs us upstairs to the security desk. He says, there's no one working here today -- come to think of it, there's no one working here any other day either!


Snowy ice attracts a little kid with his toy tractors

ghostly empty

Upstairs there are two security staff at the desk. The sign above their heads says "Access Toronto." But sadly, they don't know when the rink is supposed to open and be maintained for skaters. No one has told them. But they think that maybe the ice has been in for a week already. They've tried to tell would-be skaters to stay off it, but they say it's impossible -- the skaters just come back when they're not looking.


interesting interlocking rubber tiles

North York seems to have careful approach to materials, if not to people. Their rubber times are all laid down for the skaters -- very nice interlocking tiles, like jigsaw puzzle pieces. The outdoor rinks in other parts of the city would love to have some of those.

Click on pictures to enlarge

 

Diary 2007 - 2008


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

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Content last modified on November 26, 2016, at 01:16 PM EST