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Monday Outdoor Rink Report #13, February 15, 2010

1. Major ice maintenance improvements at Wallace Rink, from Tuesday to Saturday (between 4 -6 resurfacings on each of those days). Sunday more normal, back to three times, on Monday, the wheels fell off (none in the morning, substandard in the afternoon): Wallace Rink Main Page. Communication was much better -- most of the time, the zamboni drivers talked directly with on-site staff, even asking their opinion on whether to flood. Very nice! And except on Monday Feb.15, there were big compliments from the skaters, saying that they haven't seen the ice this good for years, and that their shinny games have been wonderful.

2. Next step: when the zamboni leaves ice on the walkways (from being rinsed out, and the rinse-water freezing), the zamboni drivers could be directed to help on-site staff to chip that ice, for public safety. No need to just sit in the truck waiting for the next resurfacing time.

3. Behavioural problems cleared up at Dufferin Rink, moved over to Campbell Rink: extra staff have been put on there to help with consistent messages to youth (13-16) who are being disrespectful of the B.A.

4. Rink attendance: over the past week, attendance has been down at all the rinks we visited. It seemed that people are really getting tired of winter. But the pattern is not a straight line. On Saturday, Dufferin Grove was not crowded, but Wallace Rink was. On Sunday, Dufferin Rink was very crowded, and so was Campbell Rink, Wallace Rink not so much.

5. Family Day usage: Dufferin Rink had the busiest day in their history ($390 received in skate rental fees, at $2 per rental). Wallace and Campbell Rinks were also busy. Report from a few other rinks that we visited:

Glen Long: as usual, this was the troubled rink. At 4.30 the rink had 19 skaters (high for this rink). At 5pm the buildings were locked and the lights were turned off, although the gates were left open. At 6.30 there were two families attempting to skate in the dark.

Giovanni Caboto: at 4.45, there were 58 skaters and 3-4 staff. Then the building was locked, and two-thirds of the skaters went home.

Christie Pits: there was a special event (not listed on the City's permit list) with hundreds of peopel in mid-afternoon. Staff locked the building at 4.56 -- at that time there were only 12 skaters left.

High Park: At 5.30 when the four staff locked the building there were 77 skaters.

Rennie: at 5.50 there were 54 skaters, of which 29 were connected to the Swansea Hockey League.

Regrettably, CELOS had insufficient time to visit any other rinks -- the conversations about Parks and Rec management were too intense, in too many places. However, from this sample it appears that having two Local 79 staff at selected busier city rinks on Family Day next year, and keeping these rinks open until 9 pm, would be worth the $70 per staff for the extra time.

Jutta Mason

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Content last modified on November 15, 2010, at 09:39 PM EST