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In September, some recreation staff from Wallace-Emerson Rink (10 minutes downhill from Giovanni Caboto) and CELOS made a proposal to Parks and Recreation. We asked for permission to photograph the change rooms at Giovanni Caboto, and that led to several weeks of back-and-forth, since City staff first said they had no key. They said the police had the key in the summer and fall, since they liked to use the rink changerooms to relax during their breaks when there were special events in the park.
However the key was eventually tracked down, and we took the photographs for use in a bulletin. We made a mock bulletin showing the simple but nice things that could be achieved in the 09/10 rink season. Then we sent them the list of proposals.
Then we had a meeting with the two directors, Andy Koropeski of Parks and Malcolm Bromley of Recreation. However, Mr.Bromley was most concerned with a possible conflict of interest for the recreation staff, who might stand to gain more hours of work if this project went ahead.
Floods have begun and the ice is laying down well. At five pm there were even three kids skating on the thin ice of the hockey side.
There are some repairs that still need to be attended to, though.
The ice is good enough that a full-on hockey game was happening here in the evening, even though the rink is not officially supposed to be open until Saturday.
Wallace was one of the few rinks to open on time on this first official day of the citywide rink season. The ice was brittle, not as good as yesterday, but still there were lots of people on the rink and inside the change room/clubhouse. Sadly, even less of the rubber mats returned this year from the Parks storage area, so getting from the clubhouse to the ice is tricky.
Ice maintenance: once, at (1) 12 noon. Staff and rink users hand-scraped again at 6.30 pm.
The rink was very busy, with lots of enthusiastic "welcome back" greetings. The rink staff said they hadn't intended to enforce the 12-and-under rule for the first Sunday, but so many little kids came with their parents that they changed their minds and took all the older kids off.
Ice maintenance: (1) 12 and (2) 5.45 pm.
An e-mail was sent to Councillor Giambrone, as agreed.
Ice maintenance: (1) 11.50 a.m. and (2) 8 p.m.
There was snow mixed with rain overnight from last night, and the rink was closed all day, without any maintenance.
At 9.30 a.m. the rink was closed with no evidence of maintenance yet -- ice was in very rough shape from the Tuesday night storm, also the nets were frozen in. Resurfacing was done between 10 am and 2 pm, with the hockey pad opening then but the pleasure-skating pad still not able to open despite hand-flooding (lots of chunks missing).
There's a 6-foot high pile of snow right on top of the campfire site, with pieces of trash stuck into it. The rink has a whole lot of trash wood left over from when the BMX park was, not cleared away.
Good news: the rink got more of its mats back, finally. But -- bad news --the Park staff's hand-flooding put lots of water on top of the mats and so they're totally frozen in and covered with a thick layer of ice. Some of those mats are needed to go around the campfire site, and also people will fall on them as they are now.
By 5.30 there had still been no more ice maintenance so some rec programming had to be shared-use of the hockey side. The 12 hockey players on the other half were a little grumpy, but the staff gave everyone free hot chocolate to warm them up, including the 15-year-olds who stayed off the ice because they weren't interested in sharing.
At 6.30 some ice maintenance staff came by to do another hand-flood (no zambonis?) but they left without doing it (apparently because they had no key to the compressor room, to get the hose out).
At 8.30 the Beginner's shinny program started, then 20 minutes later the flying squad came with the zamboni. They scraped the pleasure-skating pad but wouldn't do the hockey pad because the operator said he was too cold. So they left.
Ice maintenance: (1) 11.50 a.m. and (2) 6.30 pm.
Rec staff spent a long time chipping out the mats from the ice.
Tech services came and removed the stub of the broken lamp-post, they say they'll put in a new lamp-post next week, but behind the fence so that the plough won't hit it again.
The program staff showed tech services the malfunction of the hockey gate where the players enter -- the foreman said they could probably fix it next week.
The wooden steps to the west have been repaired.
Ice maintenance: (1) 10.50 a.m. and (2) 6.15 pm
The gates to the hockey rinks never did work very well from the day the rink was rebuilt, and they're getting worse. The zamboni gate swings open and the pucks fly out.
In the evening the kid who is banned came back again. He was told to leave, and some of his friends and cousins argued on his behalf, to no avail. There was an interesting short discussion among the kids, about what kind of behaviour could be expected from a kid. Some people felt that any kind of behaviour was okay if you were still young - "all kids act like that." Other kids, apparently having gone to guidance class, said that this kid "makes bad choices." The kid was walking around with a bandana over his face, which added to his attempts to be noticed.
Ice maintenance: (1) 11.50 scrape only (raining), (2) 5.15 pm.
Ice maintenance: (1) 12 noon s/f both sides, (2) 8pm - s/f hockey - scrape only on pleasure-skating side
Ice maintenance: 12pm and 6:50pm
Ice maintenance: 11.30 am, 6.40 pm
Comparison census, 6.30 pm:
Wallace Rink, 22 shinny hockey players, 10 pleasure-skaters
Giovanni Caboto: 8 shinny hockey players, 5 pleasure-skaters
Ice maintenance: before 9, again at 6 pm
Census and comparison, 2.00 to 2.20 pm:
Dufferin Rink: 15 shinny hockey, 54 pleasure-skaters 27 inside
Wallace Rink: 25 shinny hockey, 21 pleasure-skaters, 7 inside
Giovanni Caboto Rink: 6 shinny hockey, no pleasure-skaters
Census and comparison, 8 pm:
Dufferin Rink: 19 shinny hockey, 34 pleasure-skaters, 28 inside
Wallace Rink: 8 shinny hockey, 0 pleasure-skaters, 6 inside
Giovanni Caboto Rink: 9 shinny hockey, 5 pleasure-skaters
Campbell Rink: 14 shinny hockey, 6 inside
Ice maintenance: 10 am and 5.45 pm
Census and Comparison, 5 pm:
Wallace Rink: 22 shinny hockey, 19 pleasure-skaters, 10 inside
Giovanni Caboto Rink: 10 shinny hockey, 26 pleasure-skaters, 11 inside
Ice maintenance: before 10, 12.30, 5 pm.
This rink is very lively without being congested like Dufferin Rink can be. The only contested turf at Wallace Rink is the shinny hockey side, when the younger kids have the ice reserved for them and their parent(s). Three young guys made a great big fuss when the staff took them off the little-kids' ice, saying "we pay taxes, this is crazy!" One of them was in goalie gear. The staff phoned over to Campbell, and found out there was a good game going on there, that these guys could join. But they didn't have a car. The goalie said -- "how am I going to get all my stuff over there?" It turned out that he'd dragged his goalie bag along the sidewalk all the way from Dufferin and Davenport.
We need a shuttle-bus between Wallace and Campbell.
Repairs have stalled, although there's a hopeful sign for the light standard replacement. The stub of old one that was knocked over by the snowplough a couple of year ago has been dug up out of the ground, and a new pole was a delivered a few weeks ago. It's lying on the ground just awaiting installation. The defective mechanism on the shinny hockey door is still bad, and so is the zamboni gate.
The most frustrating thing today was that the zambonis had dumped even more snow on the campfire site, so the firesite had to be moved. Two years ago, the park supervisor stopped all campfires because he felt the Wallace family-day campfire was killing the trees. The trees show no sign of damage, but the process of restoring the campfire program took so much effort. Now the Parks crew are dumping the snow on the bureaucratically-designated official campfire site, and there's been no response to the request to clear it.
Today there were three ice resurfacings, for the first time this season. That's the good news. The zamboni was even left at the park for a few hours, and people got excited -- did they finally decide to be fair and give Wallace Rink its own machine?
But then it disappeared again. And the bad news was that it looks as though the letter of the law may be followed here, rather than the spirit. The general manager said that Wallace would get three floods a day, eventually -- but two of them will be in the morning, and only one in the evening, when the rink gets so much use.
Meantime, 10 minutes up the hill, there's zamboni driver who has an hour and a half of work in an 8-hour day. Like most of the zamboni staff in the city. Oh dear.
Census and comparison, 12 noon:
Wallace 21 shinny hockey (7 had helmets), 14 pleasure skaters, 6 inside
Giovanni Caboto Rink: 6 shinny hockey (all wearing helmets); 6 pleasure skaters, 5 inside (front doors were unlocked)
Census and comparison, 4-5 pm:
Wallace 24 shinny hockey, 60 pleasure-skaters; 20 inside
Giovanni Caboto: 12 shinny hockey (all wearing helmets), 18 pleasure skaters
Ice maintenance: before 10, 1.45 pm and 5.15 pm.
Census and comparison, 5 pm:
Giovanni Caboto Rink: 16 shinny hockey, 13 pleasure skaters, 9 inside.
Wallace Rink: 13 shinny hockey, 13 pleasure-skating, 20 inside
Dufferin Rink: 19 shinny hockey, 43 pleasure skaters, 27 inside
Census and comparison, 7.30 pm:
Giovanni Caboto Rink: 10 shinny hockey, 17 pleasure skaters, 15 inside
Wallace Rink: 27 shinny hockey, 10 pleasure skaters, 19 inside
Dufferin Rink: 21 shinny hockey, 27 pleasure skaters, 32 inside.
Ice maintenance: 11.30 a.m. (until then the ice was very bad from the night before), 5.30 pm. Skaters had tried to clear off some of the snow by using the benches (on their sides) to push it into piles. So they could (kind of) play shinny hockey on this holiday morning. But with snow piles, there's always a danger that a puck will be buried. Then when the flying crew finally comes with their zamboni, if the hidden puck is sucked up into the augur, that puts the zamboni into the shop for three days. If (when) that happens, the whole operation will be even more behind. Oh dear.
Ice maintenance: before 9 am, 12.30 pm, 7.45 pm.
An evening ice resurfacing happened today, at 7.45 pm - a first for this season, Joy to the world! (the world of the rink)
Click on pictures to enlarge them.
This rink has also had a resurgence of young teenage skaters, like Dufferin Rink, and similarly boosted by the rental skates. And the south-facing windows in the rink change room make it a pleasing place for a rest or a snack or a game of checkers. If the ice maintenance keeps improving, this rink will be set for the winter.
11am: 11 shinny hockey (2 helmets on children) 5 pleasure skaters, 4 inside
2pm 17 pleasure skaters, 20 shinny hockey, 10 inside
3.15 pm 27 pleasure skaters, 12 shinny hockey
9pm 8 pleasure skaters, 10 shinny hockey
Ice maintenance 9.45 scrape and flood, 2.30 scrape only.
2 pm: 7 shinny hockey, 10 pleasure-skaters, 25 inside.
Ice maintenance: on-site rink staff worked with skaters to clear the ice with shovels. This was all done by 1 pm.
Ice maintenance: scrape at 2.30.
Ice maintenance: 9.50 scrape and flood, 5 pm scrape and flood.
Numbers, 11.30 am: 13 shinny hockey (one helmet) 6 inside, 8 pleasure-skaters
Numbers, 2 pm: 22 pleasure-skaters, 25 all-ages shinny hockey, of which 6 have helmets (all young or parents)
Numbers, 4pm: 20 skaters for "12 and under" (11 helmets) 30 pleasure skaters, 20 inside
Numbers, 6.30pm: 27 for all ages shinny hockey (7 helmets), 15 pleasure-skaters
Ice maintenance: 9am scrape and flood, 1:45 scrape and flood hockey side, scrape only on pleasure-skating side, 4:45pm scrape and flood
The zamboni driver went very fast on hockey on side, was asked to slow down, went slower on pleasure-skating side.
Numbers, 2:45pm: 22 shinny hockey, 10 helmets (younger kids only), 24 pleasure-skaters, 2 helmets (kids only); 26 inside
Ice maintenance: pre 10am, 5.15pm scrape and flood. No more because the flying squad has a broken-down flatbed truck and can't move the zamboni.
Number at 4pm: for all-ages shinny hockey there were 30 (only children with helmets), 25 on pleasure-skating side and 30 inside
Numbers at 5.30pm: for the 13-17 time slot there were 20 (kids with helmets) 18 pleasure-skaters (1/2 with helmets), 20 inside.
Skate rental was big every day this week. Lots of passports used as I.D. -- so many newcomers learning how to skate!
Ice maintenance: before 10am, 1pm really a good scrape of both rinks, 7:30pm a scrape of both rinks. The long wait in the middle was tough because there were SO many skaters at the rink today that the ice was really scuffed up. But at least there were no flurries.
Ice maintenance: 10 am, thorough scrape; 3.30 pm thorough scrape.
Rain -- low numbers of skaters. Numbers at 2 pm: 12-and-under shinny hockey 11 (7 helmets, all kids), 3 pleasure skaters, 4 inside