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Pearen Park Profile

Features:

Pearen Park maintains 2 rinks. One for shinny, and the other for pleasure skating. They have skates, helmets, sticks (and socks and mitts!) to loan, and skating lessons on select days during the week.

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


Rink Diary

2018

Jan.20,2018

At noon the ice was still firm and smooth, but the sun was strong. No skaters, but four kids with two snow shovels, moving piles of snow onto the ice -- apparently with big building plans.


sunny morning and pretty warm: kids are trying to build a snow fort on the ice
 
Jan.18, 2018, announcement on the Mt.Dennis website:

After ten days of skating (with a couple of gaps) starting January 1st , the Mount Dennis Community Rink in Pearen Park is now CLOSED for the rest of January due to mild weather.

The Rink will be rebuilt in February when (IF) we get a long-enough spell of cold weather.

from Simon Chamberlain

Flooding can sometimes be quite magical ... late at night when the wind falls away, the city's noise level drops, and you are standing there in the park with just the trees and the night sky, quietly spraying water, knowing you are building a rink, feeling peaceful and imbued with a sense that you are where you should be and all is well with the world ....

The other end of the spectrum, in the flooding experience, comes when our team is starting up the evening's flood and we all suddenly realise that one of the hoses has become jammed with ice and WILL NOT clear itself, no matter how often we hammer it or jump on it. So then it is panic mode as we turn off the water and the whole team rushes to get the frozen hose replaced with a spare one before the cold causes any of the other hoses to jam up too! And once we manage to get the whole thing running smoothly, then someone has to get the semi-frozen problem-hose into a warm basement to thaw itself out, despite the fact that the ice inside will by that time have made parts of it behave like a length of steel pipe!

Jan.11, 2018, from Simon Chamberlain

So on Dec. 28th the baseball diamond was covered with nearly six inches of snow. On Saturday the 30th we got half-a dozen people out for a major clear. I calculated it had taken 18 person-hours of work by the time we got all the snow to the perimeter! We started flooding late Saturday and had a terrific rink by end-of-day Sunday, so were able to open New Year's Day. (1 - 5 pm ... our standard weekend & holiday hours). We did our usual 4-6 pm weekday Learn-to-Skate program Tues - Thurs, but shut down Fri-Sat because of the extreme cold (worsened by our exposed windy site). We re-opened Sunday Jan.7 (1 - 5 pm) but have been closed since because it's been too mild to skate.

Attendance has been well below our "normal" levels, mostly I think because of the unpleasantly cold conditions, but also because of the uncertainty, and because with the schools closed we have not been able to get our little quarter-page flyers out to all the local kids.

I'm planning to start building the rink tomorrow evening, about 7 p.m. when it's forecast to be about -6 or -7. My HOPE is that there might be something left of our original rink (we've left the snow on it all week as a "preservation blanket" ... but given the expected rainfall today I doubt there will be much of anything by the time we start. And we will have to go slow with the flooding, because the rain will have thawed the ground so the first layers may not freeze properly.

From current forecasts it seems we will be able to operate most of next week, but likely not on Friday or the weekend.

In short, it is shaping up to be a winter almost as frustrating as last year's.

 
Monday Jan.1, 2018

a chair can be a big help

Hurra! Pearen Park Rink will be open New Years Day (Jan 1st)

Skate hut open 1pm – 5pm for borrowing skates, helmets, etc… + on ice supervision.

Kids “learn to skate program” Monday to Friday 4pm – 6pm

Weekends and Holidays 1pm – 5pm

  • while the ice lasts

Updates will be posted on this website and facebook and on site at Rink Notice Board

Volunteers always needed for on-ice coaching and supervision; also in skate hut for fitting and fastening skates and helmets (Call 416 614 3371) or e-mail [email protected]

Friday December 29, 2017

Simon has started work, half the area is cleared of snow, and the hut is almost organized!

We need help this afternoon to finish snow removal, and this evening to start flooding.

And maybe on Monday we can have New Year's Skating!

 

Rink diaries from earlier years:

2017

Correspondence with John from mybackyardicerink.com: cost of a portable mechanically-cooled ice rink.

Feb.8, 2017

Pearen Rink, Feb.5, 2017 -- ice is in

The rink has been open for some days. From Simon Chamberlain: "This evening's session had a late start (mild weather and need to clear snow) but turned out happily for close to 20 attendees....It's been very up and down, and unless the weather turns dramatically colder after the Family Day holiday we could end up having our last skate on Friday the 17th, reaching the same magnificent twelve days of skating as last season! It's all a bit dispiriting."

Jan.13, 2017, community email from Simon Chamberlain

"Having looking at the very thin layer of ice remaining after the rain this week, I have decided NOT to try and create a rink for this weekend.

The temperature this evening is expected to be in the -6 to -8 range, but the ground is almost certainly not frozen enough to hold ice successfully around the edges, where the rink melted completely. If we were trying to make a rink for tomorrow and Sunday, we'd need to go at it all through the night, with no guarantee of success. Tomorrow afternoon's temp will be only -2 or -3 and sunny, so not great for skating even if we were starting with a good ice pad. Sunday will be worse (in the zero to minus 1 range). And after that, it will be above zero EVERY DAY for the next two weeks ... going all the way to 8 degrees next Sat and Sun. !

"In short, it is not feasible to try and create a rink right now.

"THANK YOU for your efforts last weekend. There were 15 kids having fun on the ice on Monday, who really enjoyed the fruits of all our labour. But we need to wait for some sustained cold weather to rebuild the rink again."

January 7, 2017

first day of ice: looking southeast

looking northwest
 
January 5, 2017, from the Mount Dennis Community Association

Now it is finally getting cold again, we are planning to make ice for the Mount Dennis Community Rink. We were waiting for the ground to get solidly frozen over the last couple of days. We'll start on Friday evening and have follow up sessions on Sat and Sun evenings.

Each day, we will need:

- a set-up crew of 3 or 4 people from 7 pm - about 7:30 pm

- ice-making pairs from about 7:30 till about 10:30 pm (this will probably NOT be continuous ... Given the temperatures, we will likely need to spend 10 - 15 mins flooding, then have a 30 - 40 minute break). The flood team can be one pair or various pairs through the evening;

- a take-down crew of 4 or 5 from about 10:30 - 11 pm

Please email or phone Simon ASAP and let him know if and when you would like to be part of this. And feel free to invite others to join too (but let Simon know, please).

In case you are wondering, we are very aware that the forecast is for milder weather next week. Our hope is that by building a good thick base on these three evenings, we will be able to:

- have one good skating session on Monday from 4 - 6 pm

- nurse the rink through the next ten days or so, including showers on Wed when the temp may reach +5C

- top up the rink about ten days later, or whenever the weather gets cold enough


 
From Mount Dennis Community Association (Dec.19 2016):

It's that time of year again.

"When will the community rink open?"

With snow and cold temperatures arriving, people are increasingly asking this question. Unfortunately, we need a full week of very cold weather (close to minus ten degrees C) for the ground to get solidly frozen and then for us to build up the right thickness of ice. And after that we need it to stay well below freezing for the ice to be suitable for successful skating. Based on current forecasts, that means no skating until some time in January.

An update will be posted on our website around New Years, but check again after December 28th.

Thank you for your patience. We still need volunteers for ice-making, rink snow-clearing, skate fitting & tying, and on-ice coaching / supervision. Please contact us to learn more about any of these. Email [email protected] or phone 416-614-3371

 

2016

Email from Simon Chamberlain: Frustration and Fun at the Rink

2016 was a difficult year for our Community Rink at Pearen Park. After 55 and 54 days of skating in the 2014 and 2015 seasons, it was a shock to have just 12 skating days this year. We spent more time trying to make ice (46 hours) than actually operating our skating program (34 hours)! We still recorded 187 skating experiences by 102 different rink users, but this was a far cry from last year’s 1,015 experiences by 423 skaters. Average daily attendance was hurt by the sudden shut-downs and all the uncertainty.

But it was not all bad news. We had the most volunteers ever - more than forty people wanting to help out either on the ice, in the Skate Hut, or with ice-making. And it was especially good to have two of our former “rink rats”, Marven Maala and Mya Brissett, coming back as volunteer on-ice coach/supervisors. Another highlight was when new volunteer Adam McMahon came up with a HUGE bag of used helmets collected from his friends and neighbours. And we were especially touched when one long-time resident, showing up at the rink with her visiting grand-daughter, told us: “What is happening here makes me feel proud to live in this neighbourhood”. Thank you to the volunteers (check our web-site for a full list) plus the skaters, parents and all the Rink’s many other supporters.

Jan.28, 2016,. email from rink friend Simon Chamberlain:

"We were open 5 days, and had more than 100 customers in that time. So we felt good about that. But it is an awful lot of work to rebuild the rink each time it dies!

Back in 2014 we did our initial build, then had to rebuild three times. Last season was a wonderful exception to the rule - and one that will not, I suspect, be repeated."

Jan.21, 2016, email from rink friend Simon Chamberlain:

"Hope you had a chance to visit our great little indie coffee shop at the corner of Weston & Eglinton. They offer high-end hot chocolates to the kids for just $1.00 if they have an 'I've been at the Rink' coupon!"

Jan.20, 2016

It looks like the main rink is in good shape; the other one is started. Note from Simon Chamberlain: "We finally started ice-making Sunday night ... First time the ground was cold enough with a forecast of enough cold days and nights to do it!

We officially open the rink on Thursday evening for our daily 4 - 6 pm Learn-to-Skate program. Our larger second surface is under construction, but will not be usable for a while."


signs for eager skaters: wait!

second rink not ready yet

 

This is the poster on the Mount Dennis website:


 

Rink diaries from earlier years:

2015

March 22, 2015, group email from Simon Chamberlain

2015 was the third full season for the MDCA-organized Mount Dennis Community Rink at Pearen Park – and definitely the busiest! A mild holiday period meant a late start, but from January 10 onwards, a long cold winter gave us 54 days of great skating.

Over this time, 423 different individuals used the Rink during our daily Learning / Skate Borrowing sessions, and we recorded more than one thousand individual skating experiences (90% by children). These numbers exclude all the people who came with their own skates and did not register at the Skate Hut.

Records show the Pearen Park Skate Hut did 874 skate loans over the course of the season - including a small number of cases where people came back to try a different pair that would be more comfortable for them! We also loaned out helmets to anyone who wanted them, plus gloves, hats, socks and scarves to those who needed them. And, of course, hockey sticks and broomball sticks, as well as putting out our hockey nets and learn-to-skate aids for those who wanted to use them.

There was hot competition for the season’s most frequent skater between three local 8-10 year-olds, with Christian, who skated 36 times, narrowly beating out Chelsea and Kadin. Daily attendance at the week-day after-school sessions averaged about 12 – dragged down by some very cold days when few kids ventured out. Weekend attendance averaged thirty per day, hitting a high of 53 on a busy Sunday. (All these numbers exclude those with their own skates who did not register at the Skate Hut).

Every week the rink was visited by children and adults who had never skated before, Mount Dennis was able to give most of them a great introduction to this wonderful Canadian winter pastime. To watch kids skating confidently and well, knowing they have never skated anywhere else in their lives, was deeply satisfying. MDCA had great support from parents, community members, the Parks Department, Supercoffee, local schools, 12 Division, LEF, Councillor Nunziata and MP Mike Sullivan … and from “icemaster” Guy Ruggieri and our more than forty other volunteers.

Jan.25, 2015, email from Simon Chamberlain

skating practice

Our "Skate Hut" is just 10 feet by 10 feet. It holds our collection of 120+ pairs of skates, forty or so helmets, plus gloves, socks, hats, scarves, eight fire hoses, eight snow shovels, an ice scraper, two hockey nets, more than a dozen hockey sticks, a set of brooms for broomball, six chairs, and enough open area for us to be able to fit and tie on more than 20 pairs of skates per hour!

We are a natural ice rink, and so only opened on Jan 10. In our first two weeks of the season (Sat Jan 10 - Fri Jan 23) we had 223 skating experiences in total, involving 121 different individuals. More than two-thirds of these used our skates (168 rentals). And this was despite being closed last Sunday - normally one of our busiest days. Although we attempt to count everyone who is on the ice during our Learn-to-Skate program times, my guess is we probably failed to include about 20 people in this count.

The above stats relate only to our Learn-to-Skate program which runs Mon-Fri 4-6 pm daily, and 1-5 pm on weekends (Plus a special morning session for a small special needs class at our nearest pubic school). On top of this there are all those who come out with their own skates to enjoy the rink at other times!

 

2013-2014

Once again this winter local residents and MDCA members, with support from the City of Toronto, will be building an outdoor ice rink in Pearen Park. The Rink, located 1 block west of Weston Road, north of Eglinton, is open for all to use during daylight hours.

Our program hours are from 4-6 pm weekdays and 11am-3pm weekends and holidays. That’s when we have skates available to borrow for those who need them ($1 donation requested to cover sharpening & maintenance costs) and free learn-to-skate lessons for local kids and other residents.

If you can help out, whether one time or twenty times, please let us know by emailing [email protected] or calling Simon at 416-614-3371.

Rink Diary 2012-2013

 

January 16 2013

From the Pearen Park ice makers:

"Lots of people enjoyed using the Pearen Park Community Ice Rink during the first week of January, but then it melted.

Based on current forecasts, we expect to have ideal ice-making weather on Saturday night and Sunday (Jan 19 and 20). We plan to create a usable rink by late Monday for sure (and perhaps even some time Sunday late afternoon / early evening). We then expect good ice for the next seven days or longer.

So we are looking for LOTS of people prepared to sign up for water-the-rink shifts starting Saturday evening and continuing throughout most of Sunday.

Watering the rink is manageable as a one-person task, but is definitely easier if there is a second person around to help manoevre the hoses when changing position (they get pretty heavy and awkward). My plan is that when someone signs for a one-hour shift, they will spend the first half-hour watering and the second as a hose-moving back-up.

Detailed times will be worked out later when we have more reliable forecasts, but what we urgently need to start with is a “show of hands”. If you can manage one or several one-hour shifts on Saturday evening or any time Sunday, please let us know WHEN you will be available.

Would you like to commit to helping with this community effort, and if so when can you do it? Please let us know ASAP, so we can develop a schedule.

Even if you can't take part yourself, you may know someone else who might like to be part of this. Please encourage them to email [email protected] or phone 416-614-3371. Many hands will lighten everyone's load!"

January 18 2013

From Simon Chamberlain: About rink-making: Let me start by saying I have made numerous backyard rinks using a regular garden hose. I found they were best when made using numerous very thin layers of ice rather then one thick one. The key to success with that is to keep the hose warm! (At my current home I was able to route it through the hole where the clothes dryer vents and pull it back in after each flooding).

For something as big as a community rink a much larger hose is needed. Typically in this type of situation there is no way to keep the hose warm, but we have found that by leaving it open just a trickle between floodings (leaving it directed onto an area of grass several feet away from the rink), it continues to work fine.

Again, the multiple floodings approach works best, unless it is VERY cold and you have a basin-like site where there is no run off.

See the following exchange of emails between one of our community members (SD), me (SC) and our chief ice-maker (GR):

SD: a friend in Roncesvalles told me they run an outdoor rink each year and they simply asked the local fire station to come by and flood an area of parkland for them and they do. Not a problem apparently, they love to help out and it takes no time for them to spray the water.

SC: Interesting idea. My own experience (both in doing my home rink and more recently with this one) is that the key to good ice is putting on lots of very thin layers and making sure it freezes well in between. Difficult to achieve unless your firefighters are very patient and making multiple visits! I'll pass your email on to GR (the Rink Guy)! See what he says.

SD: My friend also mentioned the thickness of ice achieved by fire fighters pouring water and allowing it to freeze overnight is a few inches thick and lasts really well even in warmer weather.

GR: Simon, you are correct. The reason is that the nature of our park is prone to runoff. We have no way of retaining the water like we could if we had a natural concave depression to keep the water in place. Great suggestion but could not be adapted to our rink. Last rink was made up of 25 layers. This took approx. 3 days of flooding due to the warmer weather. This forecast I expect the same results with 2 days and nights of flooding with the expected temperatures.


GR hates to start the flooding unless the temperature is at or close to -7 C Once it get to about -10 or -12 C you can work continuously, putting on very thin layers working from one side of the rink to the other - or switching from one pad to the other if you have two ice-pads, which we try to do (though we didn't have enough snow-clearing volunteers last time, so could do only the main rink). At that temperature each layer will quickly freeze very solidly.

You also need some sort of ice scraper (the City has provided us with a big heavy-duty one, which works far better than a snow shovel) which you need to use if any bumps develop, and later on after the rink has been used before you re-coat it.

It's a lot of very cold work, but the results can be truly rewarding when kids and others are out there enjoying it!

January 20, 2013

There is a very nice concrete-block shed at this park, with tidy shelves of numbered skates, and places for snow shovels and hoses, and a space heater. Efforts to get a rink ready by Monday may not work out, though -- the temperature only went down to minus 5 and the sun came out, so the water the rink supporters put down didn't freeze well. However, the hoses are big, the water pressure is strong, the temperatures continue to go down, and no doubt there will be good ice by midweek.

January 23, 2013

nice location, inviting approach

big rink in baseball diamond

ice is thick, smooth, and skateable

second rink partly snow-covered

hose marks and skate marks -- both good signs!
Open letter at Pearen Park, January 24, 2013

Great Ice at the Rink – and some great Opportunities to Volunteer!

Cold weather makes great ice, and the Mount Dennis Community Rink is now at its best (thanks Guy, and everyone else who helped out!). Latest forecasts say it will stay solid through end-of-day Monday. We’ll almost certainly have to close down Tuesday – Thursday next week, but hope to be back skating by 4 p.m. Friday (Feb.1).

So take advantage of these next few days to come out and enjoy a skate with family, friends or neighbours.

Since our skatable days are so few, we try to have the skate hut open and learn-to-skate lessons available every day.

Right now we need a skate teacher for the 4 – 6 p.m. slots on Friday and Monday, as well as for Sunday 10-12 and 12-2 (we don’t ask people to commit to more than 2 hours at a stretch).

We also need a second person in the skate hut 4-6 on Thursday, and need several skate hut volunteers on Saturday and Sunday (for either the 10-12 or 12-2 slot each day). We are guessing the weekend will be busy, so want to see at least two people in the hut throughout these times. Skate hut duties include helping people find the right size skates (and helmets if they want them), and getting them properly tied good and tight. Also lending them socks or gloves if they need them. And – of course – making sure it all comes back!

If you can help, or know someone else who might like to, please let me know ASAP.

Thank you

Simon

March 2, 2013, from Simon Chamberlain

Hi everyone:

After careful consideration and review of people's other commitments this weekend, Guy and I decided NOT to try and get the rink going again. It was pretty clear that the best we could do would be to have it ready for use on Monday, with continued skating on Tuesday and perhaps Wednesday. But those are school days (and the Parks Department has asked us not to encourage after-dark use of the rink), so the actual useful skating time available would be in the range of 5 - 8 hours total. It would take many more hours than that to get the rink built up, and with the vagaries of March weather we could well end up with poor quality ice. So .... no more local skating this winter.

On behalf of the MDCA and the whole community, I'd like to thank all of you for volunteering your time and energy to help make the rink a success. Together we made a real difference - working together to strengthen Mount Dennis!

This winter we had 29 days of rink operation during which hundreds of people enjoyed skating in Pearen Park. We did nearly 400 skate-loans, many of them to people with little or no skating experience. We also loaned out gloves, helmets, socks, and occasionally our hockey sticks and net. The volunteers who came out to help teach or assist in the skate hut all felt a real sense that they were making a difference. The individuals with whom our on-ice volunteers shared their skating skills were mainly school kids, but also some adults new to Canada who wanted to experience the joy of skating for themselves. We were able to provide almost everyone who showed up with good quality skates, sharp and well maintained as well as properly tied and fitted. We were able to give them the guidance they needed, and put them on an ice surface that was the best we could possibly achieve on a natural outdoor ice rink in Toronto,

Special thanks to those who did the often-unseen work of clearing snow from the rink, setting up the hoses and building the ice surfaces. We literally could not have done it without you. And particular thanks to Guy (the Iceman) Ruggieri, who did more than anyone else to make the rink a reality.

If you are like me, you found our community rink an enriching and rewarding experience, as well as one that helped connect you to the larger community.

All the best for this coming spring, summer and fall. You can look forward to an update in the December / January period next winter, when we will again be anxious to find volunteers, and you can once again be part of the Mount Dennis Community Rink experience!

Please pass this on to anyone who has helped out at the rink but is not on my email list.

I have prepared a more comprehensive "Thank You" to everyone who contributed to the rink this winter (attached). We will be posting this at the rink and on our web site. Please let me know if I have missed anyone.

Views

Rink Diary2012-2013

 

January 16 2013

From the Pearen Park ice makers:

"Lots of people enjoyed using the Pearen Park Community Ice Rink during the first week of January, but then it melted.

Based on current forecasts, we expect to have ideal ice-making weather on Saturday night and Sunday (Jan 19 and 20). We plan to create a usable rink by late Monday for sure (and perhaps even some time Sunday late afternoon / early evening). We then expect good ice for the next seven days or longer.

So we are looking for LOTS of people prepared to sign up for water-the-rink shifts starting Saturday evening and continuing throughout most of Sunday.

Watering the rink is manageable as a one-person task, but is definitely easier if there is a second person around to help manoevre the hoses when changing position (they get pretty heavy and awkward). My plan is that when someone signs for a one-hour shift, they will spend the first half-hour watering and the second as a hose-moving back-up.

Detailed times will be worked out later when we have more reliable forecasts, but what we urgently need to start with is a “show of hands”. If you can manage one or several one-hour shifts on Saturday evening or any time Sunday, please let us know WHEN you will be available.

Would you like to commit to helping with this community effort, and if so when can you do it? Please let us know ASAP, so we can develop a schedule.

Even if you can't take part yourself, you may know someone else who might like to be part of this. Please encourage them to email [email protected] or phone 416-614-3371. Many hands will lighten everyone's load!"

January 18 2013

From Simon Chamberlain: About rink-making: Let me start by saying I have made numerous backyard rinks using a regular garden hose. I found they were best when made using numerous very thin layers of ice rather then one thick one. The key to success with that is to keep the hose warm! (At my current home I was able to route it through the hole where the clothes dryer vents and pull it back in after each flooding).

For something as big as a community rink a much larger hose is needed. Typically in this type of situation there is no way to keep the hose warm, but we have found that by leaving it open just a trickle between floodings (leaving it directed onto an area of grass several feet away from the rink), it continues to work fine.

Again, the multiple floodings approach works best, unless it is VERY cold and you have a basin-like site where there is no run off.

See the following exchange of emails between one of our community members (SD), me (SC) and our chief ice-maker (GR):

SD: a friend in Roncesvalles told me they run an outdoor rink each year and they simply asked the local fire station to come by and flood an area of parkland for them and they do. Not a problem apparently, they love to help out and it takes no time for them to spray the water.

SC: Interesting idea. My own experience (both in doing my home rink and more recently with this one) is that the key to good ice is putting on lots of very thin layers and making sure it freezes well in between. Difficult to achieve unless your firefighters are very patient and making multiple visits! I'll pass your email on to GR (the Rink Guy)! See what he says.

SD: My friend also mentioned the thickness of ice achieved by fire fighters pouring water and allowing it to freeze overnight is a few inches thick and lasts really well even in warmer weather.

GR: Simon, you are correct. The reason is that the nature of our park is prone to runoff. We have no way of retaining the water like we could if we had a natural concave depression to keep the water in place. Great suggestion but could not be adapted to our rink. Last rink was made up of 25 layers. This took approx. 3 days of flooding due to the warmer weather. This forecast I expect the same results with 2 days and nights of flooding with the expected temperatures.


GR hates to start the flooding unless the temperature is at or close to -7 C Once it get to about -10 or -12 C you can work continuously, putting on very thin layers working from one side of the rink to the other - or switching from one pad to the other if you have two ice-pads, which we try to do (though we didn't have enough snow-clearing volunteers last time, so could do only the main rink). At that temperature each layer will quickly freeze very solidly.

You also need some sort of ice scraper (the City has provided us with a big heavy-duty one, which works far better than a snow shovel) which you need to use if any bumps develop, and later on after the rink has been used before you re-coat it.

It's a lot of very cold work, but the results can be truly rewarding when kids and others are out there enjoying it!

January 20, 2013

There is a very nice concrete-block shed at this park, with tidy shelves of numbered skates, and places for snow shovels and hoses, and a space heater. Efforts to get a rink ready by Monday may not work out, though -- the temperature only went down to minus 5 and the sun came out, so the water the rink supporters put down didn't freeze well. However, the hoses are big, the water pressure is strong, the temperatures continue to go down, and no doubt there will be good ice by midweek.

January 23, 2013

nice location, inviting approach

big rink in baseball diamond

ice is thick, smooth, and skateable

second rink partly snow-covered

hose marks and skate marks -- both good signs!
Open letter at Pearen Park, January 24, 2013

Great Ice at the Rink – and some great Opportunities to Volunteer!

Cold weather makes great ice, and the Mount Dennis Community Rink is now at its best (thanks Guy, and everyone else who helped out!). Latest forecasts say it will stay solid through end-of-day Monday. We’ll almost certainly have to close down Tuesday – Thursday next week, but hope to be back skating by 4 p.m. Friday (Feb.1).

So take advantage of these next few days to come out and enjoy a skate with family, friends or neighbours.

Since our skatable days are so few, we try to have the skate hut open and learn-to-skate lessons available every day.

Right now we need a skate teacher for the 4 – 6 p.m. slots on Friday and Monday, as well as for Sunday 10-12 and 12-2 (we don’t ask people to commit to more than 2 hours at a stretch).

We also need a second person in the skate hut 4-6 on Thursday, and need several skate hut volunteers on Saturday and Sunday (for either the 10-12 or 12-2 slot each day). We are guessing the weekend will be busy, so want to see at least two people in the hut throughout these times. Skate hut duties include helping people find the right size skates (and helmets if they want them), and getting them properly tied good and tight. Also lending them socks or gloves if they need them. And – of course – making sure it all comes back!

If you can help, or know someone else who might like to, please let me know ASAP.

Thank you

Simon

March 2, 2013, from Simon Chamberlain

Hi everyone:

After careful consideration and review of people's other commitments this weekend, Guy and I decided NOT to try and get the rink going again. It was pretty clear that the best we could do would be to have it ready for use on Monday, with continued skating on Tuesday and perhaps Wednesday. But those are school days (and the Parks Department has asked us not to encourage after-dark use of the rink), so the actual useful skating time available would be in the range of 5 - 8 hours total. It would take many more hours than that to get the rink built up, and with the vagaries of March weather we could well end up with poor quality ice. So .... no more local skating this winter.

On behalf of the MDCA and the whole community, I'd like to thank all of you for volunteering your time and energy to help make the rink a success. Together we made a real difference - working together to strengthen Mount Dennis!

This winter we had 29 days of rink operation during which hundreds of people enjoyed skating in Pearen Park. We did nearly 400 skate-loans, many of them to people with little or no skating experience. We also loaned out gloves, helmets, socks, and occasionally our hockey sticks and net. The volunteers who came out to help teach or assist in the skate hut all felt a real sense that they were making a difference. The individuals with whom our on-ice volunteers shared their skating skills were mainly school kids, but also some adults new to Canada who wanted to experience the joy of skating for themselves. We were able to provide almost everyone who showed up with good quality skates, sharp and well maintained as well as properly tied and fitted. We were able to give them the guidance they needed, and put them on an ice surface that was the best we could possibly achieve on a natural outdoor ice rink in Toronto,

Special thanks to those who did the often-unseen work of clearing snow from the rink, setting up the hoses and building the ice surfaces. We literally could not have done it without you. And particular thanks to Guy (the Iceman) Ruggieri, who did more than anyone else to make the rink a reality.

If you are like me, you found our community rink an enriching and rewarding experience, as well as one that helped connect you to the larger community.

All the best for this coming spring, summer and fall. You can look forward to an update in the December / January period next winter, when we will again be anxious to find volunteers, and you can once again be part of the Mount Dennis Community Rink experience!

Please pass this on to anyone who has helped out at the rink but is not on my email list.

I have prepared a more comprehensive "Thank You" to everyone who contributed to the rink this winter (attached). We will be posting this at the rink and on our web site. Please let me know if I have missed anyone.

 

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Content last modified on January 24, 2018, at 11:51 AM EST