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Citizen-Z Cavan Young's 2004 film about the zamboni crisis

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Rink Diary

2021 -2022

Nov.27, 2021

Opened for the season

Dec.3, 2021

Marked as closed for "ice conditions." Temp is 0 celsius, heavy cloud

Dec.4, 2021

Marked as closed for "unsafe for skating." Temp. is 3, mostly cloudy.

Rink diaries from earlier years:

2020 - 2021

Dec.3, 2020

Opened for the season

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.

2019 - 2020

No reports


2018 - 2019

Closed for the whole 2018/2019 season for construction


2017 - 2018

Dec.15, 2017

This rink was listed as closed 6 days this month already. Today it was listed as "closed for the season."

Dec.1, 2017

The rink was scheduled to open a week ago, but was postponed until Dec.2 for "mechanical issues." What were those mechanical issues? A mystery.


2016 - 2017

Dec.13, 2016

This rink has been open a bit more in the past week, but since the snowfall on Dec.11 it has been listed as closed due to snow cover. That's still the case at 9.30 this morning, although it's been more than 24 hours since the snow fell.

Dec.2, 2016

This evening, for the first time, this rink has been listed as open on the city's rink web page.

Dec.1, 2016

This rink has never been listed as open since its scheduled opening day on Nov.26. The city's web page cites undisclosed "technical issues." Interesting that the city's rink list says this rink got new equipment in 2010 -- and yet it can't open?


2015 - 2016

March 10, 2016

This rink was often closed during this last rink season,. Today it's been closed for the season, even though it was scheduled to keep running until March 20.

Jan.11, 2016

This rink is listed as closed for "ice conditions" -- the only city outdoor rink closed for that reason.

Dec.27, 2015

Listed as closed Dec.24 to Dec.27

Dec.15, 2015

A hockey player said he went all around trying to find a shinny game, but everywhere there was water on the ice (6 celsius overnight, heavy showers as well). The ice was fine underneath, but you can't move the puck....

water on top of ice, one guy shovelling water, the other guy speed-skating

2014 - 2015

A problem with the HOLIDAY HOURS: it appears on the city's rink information website/311 that almost all of the city's rinks will have their changerooms/washrooms locked on the three main holidays: Christmas Day, Boxing Day (yes!), and New Year's Day. You can skate on most of the rinks but you can't get your kids out of the cold to change their skates and you can't take them to the washroom. This is true for North Toronto, and even worse: the city's schedule says this rink will be closed on two other school holidays: Dec.24 and again on Dec.31.

What's the message here -- "you should be drinking, not skating" -- ?

Nov.30 2014

The rink was listed as closed by Sunday afternoon, presumably a combination of thin ice and the warmer weather (14 celsius). Since it was cloudy, the rinks that had more ice held up fine.

Nov.29 2014

The rink was listed on the city's website as open for the season.


2011 - 2012

Saturday Dec.3 2011

The city website says the rink will open on Dec.5, but the people at the community centre say it won't open until a week from today, at the earliest. There are construction signs on the fence. The rink has new boards installed, but two workers are hammering and screwing a new swing gate in place, between the hockey rink and the pleasure-skating rink.

construction sign

still working on the swing gates

rink is locked, no ice

rotting bulletin board is empty

There is nowhere a sign explaining the delay in opening or giving an alternative opening date.

Dec.11, 2011

The rink opened for the season.

Saturday Dec.24 2011

From rink user Raf Lewis:

2pm. The shinny pad was swarmed with little kids, the pleasure skating pad not so much. There were quite a few rink guards (I think about 3 or 4) taking turns monitoring the pleasure skating pad.


2009 - 2010

Dec.5 2009

High 1, low -5

There's a phone message on the community centre phone line, saying that North Toronto Rink won't be opening until Monday Dec.7 "due to poor ice conditions."

Saturday Dec.26 2009

Because it was raining, the rink guards and their coordinator closed and locked the rink at 10 a.m. That meant it was locked all afternoon, although the rain had stopped. No information about ice maintenance.

Friday January 1, 2010

stairs to rink blocked off for the winter (no snow)

At 1.15 pm there are 20 people inside the two little subterranean changerooms. Both rinks are pleasure-skating only. One side has 10 people on it, the other has 17. There are three rink guards. I ask why no shinny, and they say that holidays are treated like Sunday. I ask about the lift gates, why they're shut. The guard tells me that the lift gates are old and one got stuck in the up position a few weeks ago, so their supervisor decided not to put them up any more. One of the rink guards says that the City is so cash-strapped that last year they didn't have money to run the inks and the Weston family had to bail them out. Hmm. An interesting fairy tale. One wonders what they learned at training.

A rink guard tells me that they don't enforce helmets for 18 and over during shinny hockey, but they do make kids wear them.

pleasure-skating only on New Year's Day

lift gate closed during pleasure-skating-only time

2007 - 2008

Friday February 15

1pm This rink is a double pad. On one side young boys in full equipment are playing hockey. There are five skaters on the pleasure pad. The changeroom is inside a community centre. At first the CELOS researcher isn't sure which outdoor path leads to the changeroom, but he finds the room without too much problem. The change area is small and it's easy to imagine it being too crowded on a busy day. Today, however, there's more than enough room to sit and change. There are flat benches in the middle of the room while green benches with backs line one wall. The green benches could use a coat of paint and one of them rocks. There are two washrooms on the other side of the room. The staff room is on the same side as the washroom. No door connects the staff room to the changeroom but a window at the corner allows the building attendant to look in. The floor is rubberized and the rubber matting extends into the washrooms. The rubber is riveted to the floor and there are holes where the rivets poke through. The room is reasonably clean, but could use a sweeping. However, it should be noted that the changeroom is a fairly busy and it might be hard to sweep it without bothering people trying to put on skates. The CELOS researcher notices that there's no toilet paper, soap or paper towels in the washroom. There's also no hand dryer. He tells the building attendant who promptly brings toilet paper and anti-bacterial soap. However, he doesn't bring paper towels. As the CELOS researcher is putting on his skates, shinny players start to arrive. From their conversation it's easy to see these are regulars who play here often. The boys who were on the hockey pad come off and the shinny players go on. There are a dozen players of different ages and the game is fast-paced. Only one boy is wearing a helmet. There are now eight people on the leisure pad. The ice is in excellent condition except for a little snow next to the chainlink fence that lines one side of the pleasure pad. Some of the snow that accumulated there has fallen onto the ice, but it doesn't interfere with the skaters. There is no rink guard on duty, but the building attendant says there are guards sometimes.

Wednesday Jan 9

7:45pm When a CELOS researcher calls, a recorded message says the outdoor rink is closed due to poor ice conditions.

Sunday Dec 9

The rink was closed because of a broken water pipe. It was expected to open in a few days.


2006 - 2007

Dec.19 2006, one pm

The ice was in good shape. It was not too thick. The building attendant said there's no phone in the office and no radio. He said that this year they took away his phone.

There were some schedules printed out. There were also notices that while the community centre would be closed for the holidays, the rink would be open. There were also detailed descriptions of age groups and who they include.

There were 2 pleasure skaters there, 2 more arrived as we were leaving, and 5 shinny players. No skaters were wearing helmets. Staff said that they log the number of skaters every hour.The zamboni is shared with the arena next door, and the outdoor rink gets two ice maintenance times a day - one for a whole hour right after school (3:30-4:30), though sometimes they're done sooner.

Staff reported that there were no green shovels on site. Helmets are enforced only for little kids.

There are two change rooms inside (no windows at all), but one is only opened when there's a permit or a class coming. The public generally uses the change room that was originally meant to be the women's washroom, which has one regular and one wheelchair accessible bathroom stall in it, hope they don't get crowds with that setup! There are lockers, but you have to bring your own lock.


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Content last modified on December 04, 2021, at 11:10 AM EST