See also Site Map
This rink is listed on the city website as closed but the website also says "This location will operate as a natural ice rink and is weather dependent."
It's certainly true that some of the rinks are kind of "orphans" -- they don't get good care. Rivercrest is one example. Some suggestions for you:
1. If the city councillor for the area gets involved (Michael Ford), that will sometimes move things along. That means you need to call his office (416-397-9255) and ask for exact information on what the problem is and when the fix is scheduled to happen. Tell them you'll pass that information along to your friends (so they know it's not just one person who cares about this issue).
2. The city's website says about Rivercrest "This location will operate as a natural ice rink and is weather dependent." That means they have made a written commitment -- good! So you can call 311 and after you listen to all the recorded messages they jam into that line, you'll get a live person. You can tell them you want the phone number of the Parks supervisor responsible for that rink. Then you should call that supervisor and ask them when they plan to flood the rink, or leave a message if you get their voice mail. The city rules says they have to call you back within 48 hours.
Obviously, to make natural ice without the cooling machinery, it needs some colder weather, which is likely to come soon. Meantime the supervisor will know that somebody is watching (i.e. you are). Then, on the first or second day of cold weather call them again and ask when you can come down and skate. Ask them to post a sign on the rink about when it will open.
3. If Rivercrest doesn't get flooded and open as soon as it gets cold, email me and we'll back you up with some pressure from our end. If it does open as promised, please send us a picture so we can post it! And please send us a picture of the sign they post, or if they don't post a sign, send us a picture of the locked door with no sign. We'll feature it on our home page.
If you get that far and help get the rink open just with natural ice during cold days, we can give you advice on how you and the other skaters can keep up the pressure on the city rink staff to get it fixed so that the cooling machinery works again.
Hope that's a start for you.
Rink diaries for earlier years:
This rink was scheduled to open on Dec.1 and but was first simply listed as closed and now listed as "delayed opening" -- no reason given, but scheduled for January 2019. That was changed in mid-December to "closed for the season due to mechanical issues."
After being listed as temporarily closed due to mechanical issues since Feb.19,this rink is now listed as closed for the season.
Listed as closed Dec.24 to Dec.27
The rink opened Nov.29, closed Nov.30, reopened Dec.2.
Early evening: There were 5 young guys skating around trying to get a small game going. The lights were on but no staff around. No mats, no signage about when the rink was supposed to open, but the schedule was posted on the shiny big metal boards.
Rivercrest 3:30pm: Not too many people here in the mid afternoon, just one skater with his very young son. The ice was in good shape, but is surrounded by cement on all almost all sides. This isn't a problem if you can see it, but if it gets snow covered, lots of people seem to accidentally skate onto it, which pretty much ends their skating for the day. The fence was missing the plastic baseboards and had a gap in the bottom in one area and pucks kept ending up in the grass near the school as a result.
Rivercrest 6:30pm: Heavy snow tonight didn't keep players away, however, the colder temperatures kept the ice very hard and reasonably smooth. There were about 6 shinny players and 3 pleasure skaters when we arrived. By 7:30pm there were about 20 playing shinny, sharing the ice in four sections, two shinny games that were often merged in a mass of bodies with multiple pucks, as well as some pleasure skaters trying to avoid the shinny, plus some teens shooting a puck in one corner. Heavy snow stopped play, until the players pulled down one of the sections of protective boards to use as a shovel and players took turns cleaning the rink of snow. Half a dozen skaters destroyed their skate blades on the cement because the light dusting of snow made the transition from ice to cement at the end of the rink all but invisible.
This rink is located right beside a primary school. The schools are all on a P.A. day today, so the kids have a holiday. Rivercrest Rink could have been open -- the official opening day, citywide, is tomorrow, but the ice looks fine. However, the kids may not have been told. The gate is locked.
A teacher passing by says that their school uses the rink every Friday in January, for Phys Ed. But they wouldn't plan on using it yet, she says, because it's too warm for good ice. (The temperature is 4 degrees, and the ice looks solid).
A rink operator has just flooded the ice and he's upset -- he slipped and fell, not hard, but his overalls are soaked. He waves around the detached hose nozzle. "This is what they give us, no wonder we fall!"
It turns out that he had the hose and the nozzle, but no way to attach them to each other. So he had to work with just the hose, and had no way to control the water volume. I asked him if he could maybe go to the store and get soem clamps, but he said no, that's somebody else who's supposed to supply the rink handymen with the equipment they need.
3pm There are twenty skaters of various ages and skill levels on the ice, all playing hockey. According to the sign posted by the City Sundays are reserved for pleasure skating, but this is an unsupervised rink and there are no City staff to keep the hockey players off the ice. Some are parents with their children. When CELOS first arrives the activity on the ice is unorganized, but after a while players throw their sticks into a pile and sides are chosen in the time-honoured way. Sticks are tossed to one side or the other and your team is on the side where your stick lands. Not everyone joins in the game, but despite the rink's small size, the ice is wide enough that the game can take place on one side while the rest of the players can keep skating on the other.
This small rink with no boards, nets or changerooms is a fifteen walk away from Sunnydale Acres which has a much larger ice surface as well as boards, nets and a spacious changeroom. One of the hockey players says he sometimes plays at Sunnydale, but he doesn't like it there because he has to wear a helmet. Here he doesn't have to. He points to the crowded ice surface and says, "Look, no one is wearing a helmet and no one is getting hurt." He says he can understand kids being made to wear a helmet, but if you're 19 or older you shouldn't have to.
His buddy, another hockey player, says there are too many rules at Sunnydale. Also, when he calls Sunnydale to find out if the ice is available no one answers the phone. They've tried calling the City's rink information line 338-RINK, but it wasn't helpful so they don't bother any more. They just come to Rivercrest because they know the ice is available. The players say the rink is busy every day and children from the school next door come here skating after classes are over. This Sunday Rivercrest is a busy place. People were coming and going all the time during CELOS's visit.
12:30pm The rink is empty. There's a lot of water on the ice.
12:25pm The gates are locked and the only ice is frozen rainwater. A woman has come with her two children to skate because the City website said the rink would be open. She saw workers put up boards two weeks ago.