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There's nothing like outdoor skating
A project of CELOS
Natural Ice Rink: This rink is not operated by the City of Toronto
This natural ice rink has a liner and so it lasts longer when the weather is unseasonably warm
Comments about this rink: e-mail us at [email protected].
(photos by Dale Howey and Michael Gauthier)
From Dale Howey: The bad news: There was so much snow everywhere that it got into the skates and embedded in the laces. We'll need to bring the skates into a warm place and let them dry out to prevent mold and other damage. The available rubber mats were narrow and so it was hard keeping the kids off the concrete pavers.
The good news: There must have been close to 100 skaters there and they were so enthusiastic. Even though it snowed all day, and pretty hard near the end, I don't think I saw one person who didn't look cheerful. There were many who didn't know how to skate, and who may have grown up in places where there's no winter. There were chairs to help people balance, and it seemed like the enjoyment of trying to learn outweighed any worries about falling.
Postscript (photos by Jutta Mason):
An announcement is up for the annual Morningside Rink Community Skate Day, on Saturday Feb.10, 2018, 11 to 4 pm: skates available to borrow (free), lunch and refreshments served.
Placed liner and first flood. Temperature: minus 16!!
Rink diaries from earlier years
From organizer Michael Gauthier:
A bit of a smaller group as the weather was a little warm in the afternoon...
Good fun...Hot Chocolate and Apple Cider and 'Chilli Haystacks' for lunch..
Having the skates for those who don't have their own (many needed them) is very important to the value of the day...
"I walked the rink and it is as smooth as a baby's bottom. The skate tracks are rounded (from melting) and refrozen, there is no snow on the rink only some ski marks but I don't think they will interfere with the skating. It was minus 8...."
"No cracks in the ice. So we didn't flood..."
From event organizer and Centennial College professor, Michael Gauthier: "it was an all day winter wonderland and shovelling treat....A conservative estimate is that over 100 of the skaters on Saturday Feb 21st, had never skated before!!!"
Saturday was the Family Day event put on by the students of the Centennial College Environmental Society. The weather had been extremely cold but there was a short break in the morning -- only minus 6. Lots of people came to skate, or to watch the fun.
Thank you letter from Fatima Jabeen, President, Environmental Student Society, Centennial College:
Around 250 people - from current and graduate students, faculty, staff and members of the neighbourhood community attended and enjoyed the sunny, and cold winter day. The enthusiasm of skaters, first-time skaters, and non-skaters was evident from their very presence at the rink.
On behalf of all the Board Members and volunteer members of the ESS, I take this opportunity to thank you all for making this Day a huge success. We are really overwhelmed and gratified by your support and coming out with families to skate at the Rink and spend time with us. This gives us the inspiration and encouragement to continue holding this Project year after year to come...
Students and ESS Boards change every year, but the commitment to this Project would continue to live and grow owing to the initiative put forward by the Advising Faculty of the Society. We, the members of the ESS, salute the passion and determination of our leaders - Professors Michael Gauthier, and Francis Lapointe, who gave us the opportunity to work on this Project and provided us with resources and guidance.
Professor Gauthier's meticulous planning and magnanimous effort and energy are invincible to the very mission of the ESS - Community Outreach and Environmental Awareness. This commitment has helped us put forward the Ice Rink Project and also our Clean-up and Restoration Projects in Highland Creek Watershed and Morningside Park.
This Day would not have been successful but for the efforts of not only the Centennial College Students, Staff and Faculty, but also Local Businesses and Community Groups. They contributed and added to our success.
I would personally like to extend sincere thanks and appreciation to ---
Parks, Forestry & Recreation, through Christopher Martin, who allowed us to build the rink, use the picnic tables, washrooms and water to flood, keeping snow removal a priority and, rooms for storage of all the tools needed to construct the rink. and for the Permit Process and its funding;
Home Depot, through Christopher Smart, who from the start supplied the wood and helped with the build and who have been bringing a snow blower after snow storms to clear the rink;
Toronto Park People, through Minaz Asani-Kanji, for their support of the Rink Project and connections to supply the Skates;
CELOS, the Centre for Local Research into Public Space, through Jutta Mason, for bringing eight hockey bags of skates for lending out;
Princess Auto, through Praveen Gnanaolivu, who supplied shovels to clear the ice (and hold onto for balance), the burners for the hot apple cider and to cook the lunch;
Lowe's, through Robert McLaughlin who supplied fire pits and wood to burn;
Layfield Environmental, through Graduate Student Mark Tymecki, who supplied and helped to install the rink liner;
Councillor Paul Ainslie, who arranged for the Morningside Park planning meeting that gave rise to the idea of the natural outdoor rink in Morningside Park;
Patrick Kelly, and the Centennial College School of Engineering Technology and Applied Science, who encouraged and financially supported the rink project;
Francis LaPointe and the Architecture Students for helping with the Design and Rink construction;
Brian MacFarlane, who's original rink design was used as a base for the Morningside Park Rink, and who helped build the 2013 Rink;
Marie Gulas and Geb Verburg, who have participated on the planning, building, flooding and hosting this Ice Prink Project from the very beginning;
The Centennial College Student Association, Inc, through Penny Kirlik and James McNabb, who have supported the efforts of the Environmental Student Society since 2000;
Toronto Police, Community Response Unit, through Therese Kwok, who are supporting the ESS and the community Ice Rink Project;
Eddie at Lick's Morningside, who supplied and delivered the yummy lunch;
Aramark, through Jay Rawal for the generous donation of condiments;
Tyrone Gangoo, who helped with tables and with the very important Chairs used during skating.
The rink is done, ready for skating. It has a liner inside a frame, and there's plenty of ice.
See also: Editor's and Rink Users' blog