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Rink Diary

2019 - 2020


Rink diaries from earlier years:

2018 - 2019

Opened: Nov.24, 2018

Jan.29, 2019

The rink has been marked as open until yesterday and then it was listed as "snow removal in progress" (with over 25 cm of snow). At 3 p.m. it was again listed as open.


2017 - 2018

Feb.15, 2018

1.30 pm: one guy playing shinny alone.

Nov.27, 2017

new Quonset garage for zamboni -- do they have their own now?

2016 - 2017

No entries

2015 - 2016

March 10, 2016

This rink was scheduled to stay open until March 20, but was closed for the season on March 10.

January 16, 2016

This rink continues to have problems: weak compressors leading to bad ice, rink house locked weekday daytimes. So it was nice to see a lively scene on Saturday morning -- skating classes. Lots of parents on the ice helping, a mix of kids following the teachers, or just talking, or sitting on the ice -- or little ones crying to come off. But everyone will eventually learn to skate.

Saturday morning skating lessons

2014 - 2015

March 17, 2015

Rink marked "closed" for today, by 3 pm.

Jan.16 2015

The rink staff supervisor said that they only have one school that books skating times, maximum once a week (Givins-Shaw, across the street) to bring one class (i.e. around 25-30 kids). The teacher knows to call before, and then a building attendant is sent over to staff the rink house, and close it up after the class has left. No other schools contact them, and the rink staff do no outreach to schools, to let them know this is possible, and free. The staff supervisor had no comment when told that e.g. Dufferin Rink often has 120 kids a week for three or four days, i.e. between 360 and 480 kids a week.

Jan.9, 2014, response from Councillor Layton

Yes, this is the response I received from staff and is accurate. It should be made available to the public. Thank you for checking in about this.

Jan.9, 2015, response to Councillor Layton

Good news and bad news #1, re holiday openings --

(a) every year including this one the city already had the budget for keeping change rooms/washroom open on the big holidays BUT

(b) they mainly applied that budget to Etobicoke (ALL were open boxing day and chilly new year's day). Anytime you'd like to know how the rinks budget works in detail, our 10 years of doing has made us pretty knowledgeable. More than many city staff, even.

Good news and bad news #2 re daytime change room/washrooms access for school kids, parents, shift workers etc. --

(a) again in Etobicoke, the rink buildings are open unattended with only spot visits from 9 a.m. including in tougher areas than your ward. Building attendants only start at 3, no fires set, very little vandalism (i.e., the same as unattended park washrooms citywide, May to September) BUT

(b) it seems like the graffiti/ fire (when, exactly?) did its job the same as terrorism acts do their job -- a handful of bad asses successfully manage to shut things down for everybody. At least under Kim Brown.

Time to give Toronto skaters beyond Etobicoke a better deal?

P.s is it ok with you if I post our correspondence on the Trinity and Christie pages?

Jan.8, 2015, email from Councillor Layton

Thanks for reaching out about this issue. I would also like to see this rink and many others across the City remaining open and staffed on these important dates that families gather. Unfortunately, the City does not have the budget to support this initiative and I am hopeful this is a service improvement we will see from this new term of Council. The City has had to close the changerooms on certain days and at specific times to deal with the vandalism and damage that happens should they be left unattended.

Here is the explanation I received from Kim Brown with the City's recreation division:

"The change rooms/facilities at these two locations are locked during the Unsupervised Public Skate times because these two facilities have a history of being broken into, vandalised and even fires been set in them. We cannot take that security risk. Recreation Staff at both rink locations always work with the schools to accommodate their skating requests as best they can."

Staff have agreed to ensure that they are more available and will do the following:

1. Recreation staff for both Rinks connect with the schools in their areas each season to re-affirm the process for schools skating at these rinks outside of the public skate time. Schools know they are to notify the FT recreation staff of their planned skates so that arrangements can be made for staffing and buildings to be open for school requests.

2. Staff at both rinks continue to evaluate their schedules each season to determine if program scheduling changes are required.

Should any of the local schools have specific requests they can contact the following Community Recreation Programmers who would be happy to help out. (Trinity Bellwoods Rink - Arlene Cabral-Donaldson @ 392-6675 & Christie Rink - Donna Densmore @ 392-0507)

Thank you again for bringing these issues to my attention and I hope to see the City become more available to those who want to use the rink and have an accommodating place to prepare for the skate.

Dec.22 2014, e-mail to Councillor Layton

We just found out that Christie Rink and Trinity Rink are scheduled to have their rink change room/washroom building closed Dec.25, 26, and January 1. That's true for many of the other outdoor rinks as well.

Your constituents will be able to skate on the rink but they can't get their kids out of the cold to change their skates and they can't take them to the washroom -- a problem!

In our 10-year monitoring of these 52 compressor-cooled outdoor rinks, we saw that those three days are the most popular days of the skating season -- for people who celebrate Christmas and also for people who don't. By not scheduling a staff person (at $14 an hour plus half) to allow public access to the change room/washrooms, the city will save $168 per eight hours on each of the three stat holidays.

We think that locking the rink buildings on these holidays is a false economy, and a drop in the bucket compared to the $6 million it costs per season to run this wonderful citywide 52-rink winter amenity.

Please let us know if you agree, and will try to change this.

Dec.19 2014, response from Councillor Layton

I have sent to staff for their response. We should be seeing these changing areas opened sooner to the public.

Dec.19, 2014, e-mail from CELOS to Councillor Mike Layton

Trinity's change room is kept locked until 3 pm every weekday except Thursday. That means teachers cannot bring their students skating to Trinity on most days during school hours, and at Christie they can't come in the mornings.

Most other rinks citywide either have a staff person on duty from 9 a.m., or they leave the change rooms unlocked in the mornings and start staff working in the afternoon. Monarch Rink just changed to keeping their change room unlocked for schools in the mornings, Withrow and Kew have been doing that for a while, and all the single pad rinks in Etobicoke have done it for years.

Cutting off the possibility of student access during most or all school hours makes these rinks much emptier than they need to be in the daytime -- but the fuel costs of running the compressors for an empty rink remain the same.

Would you be interested in helping to improve access by getting the change rooms/ washrooms unlocked to give access in the same way other rinks do?

Dec.18, 2014

At 3.15 pm the schedule says pleasure-skating, but actually there are five guys playing hockey. There are two staff, a rink guard and a building attendant who is inside, sitting at his desk looking out the window. The rink guard says the building is locked until 3 pm every day except Thursday -- he doesn't know why it's different on that day. He's pretty sure that if a school class wants to come skating, they can call the lead staff and arrange for the building to be open.

The graffiti has been removed from the door. The window facing the rink is so smudged or scratched that it's not possible to see the rink. No one is inside the rink change room.

empty change room

plexiglass window too scratched to see out well
Dec.3 2014

sign still says rink is closed

At 2 pm, the city's 311 rink info still says Trinity is closed. But it isn't, the gate is open, there's one skater, and the ice looks thick, maybe close to 2 inches. The rink house still has signs on it saying the rink is closed, and a man is taking a piss against the rink house wall. (The washrooms, as is usual at this rink in the daytime, are locked.) This rink building was renovated with MLSE funds a few years ago -- there is no follow-up by them, to see if their contributions are being used. The change area has nice benches and lots of windows looking out to the rink -- but during school hours, no one can get in.

At 5 pm, the city's website has declared the rink open.

rink is open, thick ice

orphan rink house, graffiti and urine in front of door
Nov.30, 2014

This rink has not yet opened for the season. At 8.30 pm. on Nov.29, the zamboni was just leaving after giving the ice a flood. The ice looks fairly thin. At 1.30 pm on Nov.30 the temperature was 14 celsius and the ice was water-covered -- couldn't really see if it was holding underneath (rink was locked).

Nov.29 2014, 8.30 pm., closed

Nov.30 2014, 1.30 pm, closed


March 1, 2014

10.45 a.m. on Sunday, four skaters just left

changeroom is locked, but there's a platform to sit on outside

This rink was one of the 11 that was reopened despite its schedule closing. A man and his son were there from Stouffville, very happy that the rink is open.

December 15, 2013, email from K.L.

It is 9:33AM on December 15th 2013 and I have just returned from Trinity Bellwoods outdoor skating rink with my son after planning to go for our regular sunday skate.

Much to my surprise there were no Parks and Rec workers to be found, the rink unopened and no one arriving to open it as scheduled. We waited 15 more minutes in the cold before returning home disappointed.

Can I know why the rink was not opened? It is after all winter and just because it snows, which often does happen in the winter is no reason to not bother opening up the skating rink and ruin plans for parents and children.



January 2013 - Trinity Bellwoods Community Association Newsletter

Help Improve the Trinity Bellwoods Skating Rink Schedule

Feedback from the community is welcome regarding how the Trinity Bellwoods rink schedule could be improved for next year. Please email any suggestions to Anna from Friends of Trinity Bellwoods Park at [email protected]. Comments will be presented to the the rink supervisor and used to inform next year's schedule.

February 1 2013

lively shinny game, 3.30 on Friday afternoon

unmarked changeroom door, urine puddle in front

scratched up plexiglass window in changeroom

Trinity rink house has very limited hours. Three weekdays it doesn't open until 3; the other two weekdays it opens at noon; on Sundays it closes early. There is a men's washroom door near the unmarked changeroom door, but the washroom door is also locked. On Friday, half an hour after the change room opened, there was still a fresh puddle of urine in front of the door, easily traceable back to where it hit the wall beside the door.

I showed it to the rink attendant and asked him if he might rinse it off with a pail of water. He said it was just melting snow running off the roof, no need to do anything about it. And he didn't. People going in and out just stepped over it, or right in it. Yuck.

When Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment "Team Up" Foundation redid the rink, they used plexiglass instead of real glass in the nice new window they installed in the change room. Somebody graffiti-ed the window and the city used chemicals to blast it off. Now the view out the window toward the rink is very hazy. Too bad -- many rinks don't even have a window, and this one, which is so big and bright, is all scratched up already. There is glass at almost all the rinks that do have windows -- glass doesn't scratch or get dull like plastic or plexiglass do.

Feb.2, 2013

I stopped by again to check if anything had been done about the urine puddle from the day before. There it was still, frozen now, and even more obvious in the marking that ran down the wall and in front of the change room door. The men's washroom door was still locked. If you've got to go and the doors are all locked, what are you going to do....?

A young man in skates with a stick, looking ready to play shinny, asked me if he could help me, as I stood there looking at the ground. It turned out he was a rink guard. I pointed out the frozen pee, but he said he was sure it must be Sprite. I suggested that maybe he could just throw a bucket of water on it anyway, but he said that was not his job.

welcome to Trinity Rink, watch your step

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Content last modified on November 14, 2019, at 06:12 PM EST