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posted January 11, 2008
This note is to let you know that our little research group (CELOS, Centre for local research into public space) has been working pretty hard to enlarge our outdoor rinks knowledge to include all 49 rinks, not just the downtown ones. Lots of the outdoor rinks have had lots of wonderful skating since they opened.
1. The 49 rinks vary wildly in their public hours, from 4 hours public shinny weekly in some North York and Etobicoke outdoor rinks to 60 hours public shinny weekly in some downtown rinks.
2. Some of the rinks with little public skating have a lot of permits, but some are just kept locked much of the time, with no one allowed to skate there. All of them get public money for ice maintenance.
3. It's unclear which management person is in charge of the rinks overall; the story changes. Kevin Bowser is sort of in charge but he was apparently unaware of items #1 and #2 when we met with him yesterday. However he said he'll look into it and maybe give direction that the rinks are to remain unlocked for public use when there's no permit.
4. A major change is about to happen in outdoor rink staffing, which will lock the city into a staffing system that was discredited as wasteful the years ago.
5. The Parks Committee has dropped the CELOS rink report from its agenda.
Where is this going? Not sure. As long as this kind of approach continues, the long-term news will tend to be not so good. More news next week. A big challenge is to get the details organized on the web site too. Cityrinks Website.