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Wallace Rink Newsletter

February 2009

In this issue:

REGULAR EVENTS

Drop-in youth shinny hockey: Fridays 8-9pm, 14 and under.

Recreation staff Chris Amaral does fun hockey drills and a game. Free, no registration required.

Adult Beginner’s shinny: Thursdays 8:30-10pm

Drills and a game with Deirdre Norman. Free. To sign up: speak to rink staff or e-mail [email protected]

Rink-side campfire: Saturdays 1-3pm

Everyone welcome! Come and have some free hot chocolate, or buy a hot dog for $1 and roast it over the fire yourself (the staff have sticks for roasting). Campfire permits for birthday parties etc. are also available: [email protected]

Wallace Rink snack bar and pro shop, every day 10 a.m. to 8.30 p.m.

The snack bar has mini-pizzas, chocolate chip-oatmeal cookies, hot dogs, hot chocolate, juice and pop, and coffee. They also sell pucks and hockey tape. On weekends, there is a hearty winter soup as well, cooked in the Ambrico Room kitchen upstairs from the rink.

$2 Skate Rental (and sticks and hockey gloves, and free helmet loans)

The hours are the same as the snack bar. The skate/shinny-hockey-gear rental collection was hugely increased by a generous gift this year from the NHL Players Association. Now the selection is bigger than before – figure skates too, and some skates/bobskates for very little kids. Skates are $2 to rent, sticks and gloves $1.

Wallace Rink changeroom activities

The rink changeroom has kids’ books, lots of games, and plenty of good seating. If you sit by the big sunny windows, you have a great view of the “pond” pleasure-skating rink.

Code of conduct

Staff enforce the age groups for shinny hockey, and also the code of conduct posted by the front door. If anybody forgets how to act – swearing, smoking, hockey on the pleasure-skating side, etc. – please come and tell the staff right away, and they’ll remind the person of the rules – or ask them to leave.

Wallace website: wallaceemerson.ca

This community website is run by Michael Monastyrskyj. He has all sorts of information on it, including the Wallace Pool schedule. To get in touch with him, or find out about other Wallace programs, e-mail Michael at [email protected] and he’ll refer your question to the right city staff.

Ice Maintenance At Wallace Rink: A Zamboni For February?

As every rink user at Wallace Rink knows, the quality of ice maintenance has gone down again this year. For December and January, Wallace was only serviced by the flying squad. (This rink is the only one of the city’s 13 double-pad outdoor rinks without its own zamboni and maintenance operator.) In December at Wallace Rink, there were 15 days with only one flying squad visit a day, and 4 days with no ice maintenance at all.

After many complaints, there was an improvement in January: there were 20 days with 2 flying squad visits, and 6 days with 3! But in all that month there were only 5 ice maintenance visits in the heavily-used evening hours. Not good enough, by a long shot.

On Thursday January 29, City Councillor Adam Giambrone called in some City staff to find out how to fix the maintenance problem. Park supervisor Peter Leiss told him that he’s had a zamboni for Wallace Rink all along. But Wallace Rink has no garage, and the zamboni tent (like the one that High Park Rink has, and that the Women of Winter fundraised for last year) was never ordered. The Park supervisor was reluctant to place a zamboni at Wallace in case it would be vandalized at night.

Councillor Giambrone said that a solution had to be found. He wrote a memo to Brenda Patterson, the general manager of Parks, Forestry and Recreation, asking for a minimum service standard of three flying squad visits a day, with ice maintenance in the evening “whenever possible.” He also asked staff to “fast-track the purchase and installation of a secure zamboni tent…before the end of the current rink season” and to “begin design work and cost estimates for a permanent zamboni garage at Wallace.”

Better late than never! But there’s a short-term solution that may get a zamboni to Wallace sooner. It turns out that the flying squad zamboni is stored outside at nights at another rink, inside a fenced enclosure. So the suggestion has been made to the Councillor that a modu-lock fence could be rented immediately and erected at Wallace, and the zamboni would therefore have the same level of secure night-time storage.

Councillor Giambrone visits Wallace Rink on Saturday January 31

Councillor Giambrone agreed to visit Wallace Rink on Saturday January 31 at 4 pm to have a look at a possible site for a zamboni fence himself, and get a briefing on the rink situation. Meantime, the councillor’s assistant, Chris Gallop, wrote an e-mail:

“The Councillor has asked Parks to take a close look at the idea of a fence and get back to us as soon as possible. Additionally, he has told them that he doesn't care how they solve this problem (whether it be a tent, or a fence, or an igloo for that matter) as long as they solve it quickly. Once there is more news we will let the community know.”

An igloo would be interesting, but a fence is faster! When the problem is solved, it will be obvious to all – and the occasion for a big rink party. Watch for news bulletins.


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