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< December 13 - 15 | 2008-2009 Diary Page List | December 10 >

Friday Dec.12 2008


Weather: High -3, low -10. Mainly cloudy with a few weak streaks of blue; short light snowflurries. Friday Night Supper was bigger than last week, and one long table was set up. The menu: Boeuf Bourgoignon, coconut vegan curry, beet and green salads, mashed rutabaga, and apple pie with ice cream for desert. Half the people ate in skates.

A group called "Meet Market" came for their monthly visit, and they rented skates, had some dinner, and then made a campfire at the side of the rink. The rink house was very active with the younger teens, who rent skates and socialize and are really pretty nice.

The more there is a mix of ages, the better is the mood of the rink house. One of the loudmouth troublemakers from last week held open a door for a skater. I asked him, "is it my imagination, or are you already getting nicer?" He took a minute to consider it, and said, "I'm getting nicer."



Wallace Emerson

the game starts again

After being closed for three days, the hockey side was open again. Apparently the compressors turned off earlier in the week, for reasons no one has explained, and the ice lost patches all over the surface. Today at 1.30 pm the rink had a good game again and the skaters said the ice was all right.

The mall snow clearance vehicles have piled some snow right onto the entrance of the walkway from the mall parking to the rink, blocking it. The rink shinny players always park their cars in the mall lot, and maybe it's payback time.

Ice maintenance: once only


Glen Long

Shinny hockey players at Dufferin Rink have often complained that Glen Long Rink, up Dufferin Street north of Eglinton, "always seems to be closed." Time to go and see. At 2 pm on a pleasant Friday in December, the gates to the rink were locked and the ice was empty, with some light snow on it, but no skate marks.

large, empty ice surface

north gates locked, no sign

east gates locked, no sign

There's a small community centre right next to the rink, with big "No Loitering" signs leading up to a side door. The door was locked, but I slipped in past an older man who was just coming out. Inside the centre there was a young recreation staff person, just leaving; an empty gym, and another large room full of elderly men playing cards. The staff person said, on being questioned, that indeed there are only very limited public skating hours but she didn't know when. She suggested talking to the rink maintenance staff, who -- it turned out -- was the man just going out the door when I came in. I said -- "but where is he now?" She suggested knocking at side door of the rink.

The door had no signage on it, but a knock brought the appearance of the maintenance staff. To my question -- "how come the rink is closed?" -- he answered, "it's not closed, it's open from 9 am to 9 pm." I said, "but the doors are locked..." He said, "I have to keep them locked because otherwise dog walkers go in there. But the rink is open." I asked, "how do people know the rink is open? There's no sign." He said, "they know."

sign giving very limited public skating hours -- 13 hours for the week

I asked when the ice had been zambonied, and at first the maintenance staff said 7 a.m., but then he said he had flooded the rink only an hour ago. I said it didn't look like it had been cleaned, because of the snow on the ice, and he said, "there's no snow on the ice. What you're seeing is from the sun."

I asked him if I could put up a poster on the public bulletin board. He said there's no public bulletin board in the rink area but that if I asked the community centre supervisor, I might be allowed to put up the sign inside the centre. I asked if she was there, and he said -- "no."

Then he went back inside his office and shut the door. I taped a poster to the door, but it may not be there anymore, since he crossed back into the rec centre as I was getting into my car. Perhaps he was supervising the card players.



Aty 2.15 the rink had 7 shinny hockey players at one end, three pleasure skaters, and a large family of eight more skaters just arriving in the rink change house. The rink is so long that the shinny hockey players and the other skaters seem to be able to share the ice without bothering one another. The rink change area is clean and inviting, with lots of benches and a great view of the ice.

long rink with a little bridge going over it

shinny players at one end

Otter Creek

At 2.30 pm Otter Creek Rink had 21 enthusiastic shinny hockey players on the hockey side and another 17 on the pleasure-skating side, with many more in the players' boxes. They said it's exam time (the rink is right by Lawrence Park Collegiate) and a lot of the kids had the afternoon off. What better thing to do than play hockey?

A mother who was there with two young children said that normally the rink is pretty quiet on weekday afternoons. She didn't mind that on this day both rink pads were full of shinny players -- they were letting her little boy play along with them and the mom said -- this is one of the best days of his life!

Lawrence Park exam time

little NHL hopeful -- the perfect day at the rink
Thursday Dec.11 2008


Weather: High -2, low -5. Some faint sun, and again that beautiful moon over the rink. Market day, but this one was less chaotic. Part of what makes market day tricky is the profusion of babies, some in big strollers that make it seem even more crowded in the rinkhouse. There is no problem with population replacement in this neighbourood.

The Parks supervisor came to oversee the arrangements for the zamboni to fill its water tank during market time, when it can't get into the garage. People are forever looking for the rules, for the system that can lay out the correct procedure -- but in the end, friendly cooperation really makes or breaks a rink. The rink program staff are bending over backwards to make things work. And Chris, the new zamboni operator, is getting good at ice maintenance even though he's so new at it. Tonight's older men's neighbourhood shinny permit players said he laid down a perfect sheet of ice for them, and they had a lovely game.

Near the end of the evening, rink staff made ten guys leave, for being drunk on the shinny ice. They did leave, even though with threats to come back and be obnoxious again on another day.



E-mail from M.G. to rink supervisor Mark Hawkins:

"The ice at Greenwood is looking healthier and much improved since opening day Saturday, however there are still a couple of uneven areas, but over all it's looking very good, I really hope the weather keeps co-operating for you.

However, my email is not about the ice conditions unfortunately, I would like to bring to your attention a serious problem that I sincerely hope does not become habitual for Wednesday Women's shinny time slot for the rest of the winter. A friend and I drove by the rink at shortly after 8 to find that there were approximately 20-30 young men using the ice with 2 or 3 separate groups with pucks on the ice. We waited to go in the facility to put our skates on thinking the operator was just giving them some extra time. We entered the rink at 8:20pm, and I asked Anthony why there were boys on the ice during the women's time slot? Anthony indicated we were the first ones to arrive and offered to clear the ice, I said we can see how it is when we get out there (thinking the boys would give us half the ice or least 1/3 to do our thing). Needless to say, the scene was completely chaotic and unsafe as there were 3 different games going on, one of which dominated the entire ice. My friend and I are experienced hockey players/skaters and by no means beginners, we had no room to skate without getting blindsided or ran into. We expressed our need for some ice as this was our time slot, and we were met with sexist insults and belligerence by approximately a group of 7-10 males. They said since there were only 2 of us and "we can't play hockey anyways" and that we should be the ones to leave the ice.....

It took the staff about 20 minutes to get all the boys to clear the ice and a group of 5-10 males stuck around to berate us the ENTIRE while we were using the ice.....I understand that this rink gets a lot of use in the neighbourhood and an empty sheet of ice should not go to waste, but the women's shinny allotment of 5-1/2 hours per week pales in comparison to the 33.5 hours given weekly to shinny for males 14 and over."

December 11 2008, e-mail from rink program coordinator Marcel Vieira

I will follow up with the staff to ensure that the time slot is committed to women's programming.

I'm sorry that this ordeal transpired.


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< December 13 - 15 | 2008-2009 Diary Page List | December 10 >

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