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Rink User Letters to the Editor.

Got a comment to share? Information about rink conditions or schedule changes? Email us at [email protected] and we'll post your comments here. We'll only publish your name if you ask us to.

What rink friends said about the delayed rink openings, November 2010:

S.L. It is a huge waste of resources and tax dollars having rink staff sit around while paid for one week, prior to the rink opening. Our neighbourhood relies on this outdoor space. It strengthens our community.

S.P. Most of us are awfully busy and hard pressed to add being an activist to our list of daily chores. What rankles me though as a parent and coach is that many of our kids don't get the opportunities that we are all paying for ...

In this case I'm talking about the outdoor rinks. They are opening late AGAIN this year. We are all paying for them to be open on time. Many of our house league kids only have a total of 15 minutes ice time a week if we don't find additional ice for them.

A.A. My family has had November 20 marked on the calendar for weeks: Dufferin rink open! I bought my daughter new skates on the weekend in preparation. We use the rink every day (no exaggeration) from the day it is open.

I just learned the opening might be delayed. I am disappointed, because the weather is not above average temperatures, and not warmer than it was last year.

A.H. We have moved out of the Dufferin Rink neighbourhood and still come down to it frequently. We also use the skate rinks at Trinity and Alexander Park too. The longer the rinks can be kept open the more opportunities there are for all of us to have fun. Particularly for our teenagers, it gives them a wonderful and healthy option to have fun and meet others. Please open the Dufferin and other rinks as soon as you can and keep them open for as long as you can. We truly appreciate the free access to the rinks and know that many others do too!

E.G. The rink is essential to many families in our community. It is shameful that everyone is ready for skating and the rink at the dufferin park is closed. Did you know that the Harbourfront RInk is already open? The weather there is the same as ours. There are too few physical affordable options to keep teenagers busy this time of year and the excitement created by the rink is wonderful and thrilling to witness.

F.P.Delays due to dubious reasons are not to be accepted under any city government, but now that half the city's voting population voted for Mayor Ford, "true Canadian", don't we need the rinks to run well and on time all the more?

G.G. Please have pity on us northern Canadian dwellers who longingly search for healthy activities to chase away the seasonal doldrums . We are a product of our environment. As the season shifts from mid fall to winter--cherished events like the "early rink opening" act as hopeful beacons along the journey through winter. Donning tattered leather boots with slightly rusty blades below serve as our passports to this treasured ritual. Neighbours of all ages are prompted to congregate and socialize while gliding along in large oval patterns. This is our awaited ceremony.

Please do not delay the opening. It may have far reaching effects on our collective psyche.

G.S. I believe in community ice rinks and would like to see them open as much as possible. My understanding of the delay in opening the rinks is due to scheduling issues rather than a desire to save money - this reason is unacceptable for a city service and if this initiative indeed saves money that point should be made and it should be handled proactively to provide communties the opportunity to fundraise or seek sponsorship to "save the money" while still opening on time.

H.W. I'm pleased to hear about the new rink equipment at Greenwood and some other parks. Be good to get them going too! How about asking your staff to open Dufferin Rink on schedule this Saturday November 20 as a test of the equipment? This will show for future rink seasons that delaying the rink opening is not necessary for any city rink.

N.L. It seems a waste that the City is investing millions in the installation of two more compressor-cooled rinks, only to not use them to their full capacity.

S.K. As a life long Canadian, i hate politically correct lies that we get told as if any of us believe them.

So, if the plan was to open the rinks nov 20, the weather can not be the reason for delay. We all know that anything under 10 Celsius so long as the angle of the sun is low--like in November!!!--there is no problem making ice.

So, quit with the pathetic excuses and make the ice. I'm anxious to get skating and what is the point of having rinks lieing idle while workers get paid but no one gets to skate? This doesn't sound like an efficiency that our new mayor would approve of, but this old citizen doesn't approve either.

R.E. My neighbours and I suffered through the last summer with closed swimming pools and filthy conditions in the ones that were open. I can't believe that I am hearing that winter sports management is in as bad shape.

E.E. i live near greenwood and withrow but i wanted to skate at Kew which was to open early...alas...the division violated our elected council!

J.T. I certainly appreciate your concern for equipment, costs, etc, but I find it difficult to accept that by November 20th - in Toronto - we can't have an outdoor rink open.

I understand that one voice is unlikely to change your position, and I also understand that only one week of delay will not ruin the ice rink season. Nor do I claim expertise on matters of rink preparation.

But I feel compelled to call your attention to the fact that in Tampa, Florida, a place that almost certainly "shouldn't" have an outdoor ice rink at all, will be opening one on November 19th. One day earlier than Toronto's "early" open date!

A.P. There are many of us that have been counting down to November 20th to be on the skating rink at Dufferin Grove Park. It does not make sense to delay this opening based on the weather...this weather is just about the same as any year...the compressors work fine in freezing the ice through the night.

It has been brought to my attention that the manager of the rinks is off on vacation right when these early-opening rinks are scheduled to open...who authorized that?

S.B. I've recently learned that the opening of Kew Gardens and many other outdoor rinks has been delayed for a week. How disappointing when the skating season is already so short. Last Sunday I skated at the Beaches Sports Complex with a huge crowd, anxious no doubt to be outside on ice. Please consider at least the recent request to turn on the compressors at three outdoor rinks so that community members can get them up and running.

M.D.: I'm concerned by the city's recent responses to those who have offered to help start the rink at Dufferin Grove on schedule. (For the correspondence and other related facts, see Two aspects of this response are particularly worrying to me. First, responses by city officials suggest that they have not taken heed of the possibilities of ice-making that are opened by overnight flooding. City responses discuss the difficulties of keeping ice during the day, but without acknowledging the success last year when they flooded through the night and by facts about the capacity of rink compressors. This success is backed up by remarks made by the company that makes the city's outdoor rink compressors. The city's response indicates that there will be no attempt to flood rinks through the night even during the coming week. I worry that this could further delay opening of city outdoor rinks. Second, the city's responses show a stunning unwillingness to harness an offer of volunteer work. Having been on a number of late-night floods, I know the dedication that is required for someone to flood a rink in the middle of the night. I'm shocked that the city is not willing to try to harness the passion the folks are offering.

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Content last modified on December 28, 2010, at 07:51 AM EST