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2011 - 2012

Saturday Dec.3 2011

snow-covered on opening day

11am: The rink is hard to spot amidst a pile of construction. The ice was covered in thick frosty snow, but the compressors were clearly on, and it looked like it could have been skateable if only it had ice maintenance.

There was one recreation staff at the rink, sitting in a glassed-in area that looks like it could be a snack bar. He said the rink was closed because there was no maintenance and didn't expect it any time soon. I asked if he had a phone number so I could check back later and he said he had no phone at all, but that his supervisor was bringing one later in the day. A father and daughter came by to check it out, but left soon after. 311 confirmed that the rink was closed, and had no estimate on when it might open. The only benches around were the concrete ones built into the rink design, though there were a couple of picnic table stacked nearby.

Sunday Dec.4 2011

6:25 pm: It's raining, the ice has lots of footprints & bumpy, doesn't look ready for skating yet. There is a little glass windowed area that currently has 5 parks dept. garbage bins and a table with a first aid kit on it.

rink with city skyline

the office -- supposed to be a cafe?
Wednesday Dec.7 2011

rink has potential

From rink user Geoff Vona: The ice is solid but a bit bumpy – looks like ice that’s not getting properly maintained. Skateable, but covered in a thin layer of crusty snow. That was between 12:30 and 1:30 today (Wednesday December 7th). No attendant, but the sign says there is no attendant between 11am and 3pm.

For the life of me I can’t figure out how an ice cleaner of any weight gets on and off this ice surface. There must be a portable ramp somewhere…


December 11 2011

great view, two people

On a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon, the rink had only two skaters. The ice was in good shape. There was a rink attendant in the office, but there were no benches to change there and no mats to protect skates if anyone wanted to come inside. However, outside the rink there are vast expanses of mats, as many mats as at the main civic rinks. This staff office appears to be set up as a cafe (lots of electrical outlets, a little service window, maybe sink connections). But right now it's a storage space for extra trash cans and a shelter for staff. If skaters come and want to change, they go into the washrooms and sit on the toilets.

There is no parking nearby, and the bus comes every 45 minutes (there is no handy bus stop, it's a distance). All these factors explain why the rink had a maximum of five skaters while we were visiting. Down the road at Harbourfront's Natrel Rink, there were hundreds of skaters at exactly the same time. Same lakefront, different approach.

January 22 2012

This time I was pleasantly surprised to find cars parked at the roadside where the rink starts. They were just parked up on the grass, and the rink attendant said he wasn't sure if the parking was "official," but he thought he might have noticed some yellow lines painted onto the frozen grass, presumably by the city.

The rink had more people on it than I'd seen before (8), but the rink attendant was still sitting indoors in solitary splendour while the skaters had to change outside in the cold wind. It would take about half an hour to drag the excellent new rubber mats in and slide some of the room's green wooden storage boxes over so people would have a spot to sit. How hard would it be to bring a dozen plastic chairs from John Innis community centre?

The only warm place to sit inside and change is the toilet. Instead of evidence of welcome for skaters, there is a sign in the window, forbidding hockey. Might as well put up another sign: "The City of Toronto doesn't mind your discomfort." Painful to see such a waste of a picturesque new rink.

new: some parking allowed now

two skaters, four more changing

two outside benches for changing

change room -- for staff to sit, but not for skaters

sign in change room window

mats are all outside, not in change room

door to get inside, out of the cold

inside it's warm at last

only place to sit for skate changing

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Content last modified on November 28, 2014, at 05:34 AM EST