The rink opened yesterday, and the ice was perfect. But at noon it was empty. The rink operator said that a permit had ended at 11.30 and public skating was not scheduled to begin until 2.15. So he had turned a man away who wanted to skate at 11.45. I said, why? He said that it was all about insurance, and the threat of lawsuits. I told him that there had only been two rink-related claims against the City in ten years, both related to full-equipment indoor-arena hockey leagues, one a body-checking injury, one a fight. He said, even one injury is too much. But then he added that he was just starting to work at the outdoor rinks, and he'd have to check with his supervisor on Monday to see if it was all right to let people use the rink outside of the scheduled times.
December 8, 2008, e-mail to Kevin Bowser, manager of City Outdoor Rinks, from cityrinks.ca
On the weekend I was at Sir Adam Beck Rink and a man had just been turned away from skating even though the rink was not in use. The lead hand told me that he hadn't been told during his training that he could let people skate outside of scheduled public skating times, if there is no permit. He therefore turned that skater away, but said he would check with his supervisor today. Could you let me know whether that rink issue has been clarified: are there rinks in the city which are kept locked for certain hours of the day, in case someone might later on purchase a permit for that time slot?
The exact time of my visit to Sir Adam Beck Rink on Dec.7 is in the cityrinks blog here. Your supervisor will have been told about the time by the rink maintenance staff, if he asked. My question as I asked it in my e-mail did not relate to one specific time but to a policy, so I will repeat it here: are there rinks in the city which are kept locked for certain hours of the day, in case someone might later on purchase a permit for that time slot?
I would much appreciate finding out the answer.
[no answer came]
Friday Janaury 9 2009
ice waiting for people
At 4 pm the ice was empty but it bore the marks of skaters, and the kids were just getting out of school next door. Some kids were asking the rink operator through the fence -- "is there shinny for kids now?" He looked it up in the schedule for them, and sure enough, it was their shinny time. They hurried away, presumably to dump their school books at home and grab their skates.
The rink operator showed me the equipment -- there was a tractor with a plow attachment, which he said hasn't worked for some months, and a Champion ice resurfacer on another tractor. They also have a smaller unit that can be used to blow snow off paths.
He said that if it snows, they usually bring a plow over and have it cleared fairly fast.