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Natural Ice Rink: This rink is not operated by the City of Toronto

Orchard Park Profile

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Comments about this rink: e-mail us at [email protected].

Rink Diary 2017 -2018

Feb.7, 2018, from Sally Bliss

Orchard Park has had its best season. Probably just less than a week in thaw mode and rebuilt really quickly.

Dec.27, 2016, from Sally Bliss

Christmas Eve

Christmas Day

While the rink was unskateable for campfire carols on Dec 18th, it didn’t disappear during the few mild days with rain.

Xmas eve attracted skaters here and there during the squalls with a few attempts to clear the surface.

Some elves shovelled on Christmas Day and Boxing Day saw a steady stream of families.

Now taking advantage of cold stretch to flood a thicker surface in anticipation of a New Year’s Eve afternoon community fire.

 

an early start by a crackerjack ice-making group
Dec.17, 2017, email from Sally Bliss:

Started flooding on Tuesday and have good ice. Boys separating sticks for parent/child shinny. Campfire and carols tomorrow night. Optimistic we’ll still have a skateable surface for Christmas. If it all melts this week, it was worth it!

 

Rink diaries from earlier years:

Rink Diary 2016 - 2017

 
Dec.21, 2016, from Sally Bliss

We've had a great early start and it should survive Monday's mild weather.


taking a break

Dec.20: carolling at the rink firepit
 
Dec.16, 2016, from Sally Bliss:

Dec.16,2016: early try at making ice

Andrew, Trent, Ivor, Dave and Kevin have been working hard the past two days to get the Orchard Park rink going. We should have a skateable surface for the weekend! A community member has organized a carolling campfire next Tuesday evening and so I imagine we’ll be singing and skating on December 20th.

 

Rink Diary 2016

January 23, 2016

Saturday morning hockey drills

new fire pit
 
Jan.19, 2016, from Sally Bliss:

Jan.19: first skater of the season
 

Rink Diary 2015

Jan.17 2015

From rink neighbour Sally Bliss: "We had our 1st rink side campfire yesterday. Ice was great. Parent and kid shinny the best ever now that younger members of park families have found their skating feet."



 

Rink Diary 2013

See also: Editor's and Rink Users' blog

Dec.27 2012, from Sally Bliss

We're flooding Orchard Park tonight.

We started to shovel out the rink site this morning and saw the park's lead maintenance guy, Tim, in his little tractor plough. He took 10 minutes to clear a great circle, so we're ready to go--around 8pm and then a few more times until midnight. Tim used to be in charge of 8 or so natural rinks in this part of the city. He gets pretty nostalgic.

A couple of guys, Ivor and Dave will be out at 11pm to see if our first layer is frozen enough to put on a second coat. Camilla and I are meeting at 6am to flood again and then we'll leave it until tomorrow eve.

We also have a permanent fire pit with logs around it. Planning on a New Year's day fire at 2pm.


New Year's morning -- good ice

the campfire circle, ready to go
January 1, 2013, from Sally Bliss

Our New Year's Day campfire was amazing; probably about 100 community members gathered to skate, sip hot chocolate, sit on the campfire circle logs, share leftover holiday treats and celebrate the neighbourhood. The ice surface was a bit rough in places but way better than last year's inaugural skate two weeks later.

Deb and I shovelled off the rink this morning. Last night's snow helped some of the bumpy patches to settle. A woman walked by and told me how important she thinks the rink is for 'older people' like her who no longer skate. She said it gives her immeasurable joy to watch people shovel and flood and that it's important for the kids to see the work.


about 100 neighbours came out to skate on New Year's Day. (Photos by Camilla Sutton)

the park maintenance guy ploughed the circle in 10 minutes

testing the ice

scraping it smooth

every night, more floods

so many fun things to do in winter

neighbours

rinkside campfire
 
January 5 2013, correspondence between rink volunteers

Morgan and myself and some guy named Ben from Battenburgh did a scrape and a light flood late this evening. And then it started to snow. Hopefully it froze enough before the snow started that the surface stays as smooth as it looked right after flooding. The rink rake is awesome, but I think the hose needs some tlc tomorrow even tho I tried tightening the clamps tonight. Earlier in the evening Morgan and I took a couple buckets of slush and did our best to repair some of the major weak spots and breaks in the ice. It really seems to give the holes a lot of strength to put slush down, then water on top and let it sit, then flood later. The holes fill in and then freeze, preventing the water from flowing out.

We had a lot of fun on the ice today, if you guys ever want to borrow the nets, they are beside my shed in the backyard, knock on the door, if we don't answer, help yourselves.

January 26, 2013, from Sally Bliss

We're having a rinkside community campfire tomorrow from 2:30-4:30. The ice is better than ever! Might even partially survive next week's warm temps.

January 31, 2013, from Sally Bliss

Our rink survived the rain and warm temps. Some grassy patches at the edges, but still a good skating surface. There was a flood tonight.

Views

Rink Diary2012-2013

See also: Editor's and Rink Users' blog

Dec.27 2012, from Sally Bliss

We're flooding Orchard Park tonight.

We started to shovel out the rink site this morning and saw the park's lead maintenance guy, Tim, in his little tractor plough. He took 10 minutes to clear a great circle, so we're ready to go--around 8pm and then a few more times until midnight. Tim used to be in charge of 8 or so natural rinks in this part of the city. He gets pretty nostalgic.

A couple of guys, Ivor and Dave will be out at 11pm to see if our first layer is frozen enough to put on a second coat. Camilla and I are meeting at 6am to flood again and then we'll leave it until tomorrow eve.

We also have a permanent fire pit with logs around it. Planning on a New Year's day fire at 2pm.


New Year's morning -- good ice

the campfire circle, ready to go
January 1, 2013, from Sally Bliss

Our New Year's Day campfire was amazing; probably about 100 community members gathered to skate, sip hot chocolate, sit on the campfire circle logs, share leftover holiday treats and celebrate the neighbourhood. The ice surface was a bit rough in places but way better than last year's inaugural skate two weeks later.

Deb and I shovelled off the rink this morning. Last night's snow helped some of the bumpy patches to settle. A woman walked by and told me how important she thinks the rink is for 'older people' like her who no longer skate. She said it gives her immeasurable joy to watch people shovel and flood and that it's important for the kids to see the work.


about 100 neighbours came out to skate on New Year's Day. (Photos by Camilla Sutton)

the park maintenance guy ploughed the circle in 10 minutes

testing the ice

scraping it smooth

every night, more floods

so many fun things to do in winter

neighbours

rinkside campfire
 
January 5 2013, correspondence between rink volunteers

Morgan and myself and some guy named Ben from Battenburgh did a scrape and a light flood late this evening. And then it started to snow. Hopefully it froze enough before the snow started that the surface stays as smooth as it looked right after flooding. The rink rake is awesome, but I think the hose needs some tlc tomorrow even tho I tried tightening the clamps tonight. Earlier in the evening Morgan and I took a couple buckets of slush and did our best to repair some of the major weak spots and breaks in the ice. It really seems to give the holes a lot of strength to put slush down, then water on top and let it sit, then flood later. The holes fill in and then freeze, preventing the water from flowing out.

We had a lot of fun on the ice today, if you guys ever want to borrow the nets, they are beside my shed in the backyard, knock on the door, if we don't answer, help yourselves.

January 26, 2013, from Sally Bliss

We're having a rinkside community campfire tomorrow from 2:30-4:30. The ice is better than ever! Might even partially survive next week's warm temps.

January 31, 2013, from Sally Bliss

Our rink survived the rain and warm temps. Some grassy patches at the edges, but still a good skating surface. There was a flood tonight.

 

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Content last modified on February 08, 2018, at 04:52 AM EST