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Rink Stories 2005 - 2006


posted February 3, 2006

In January of 2006, local volunteers used money made at the dufferin snack bar to build a temporary stairway at Wallace Rink. This gets rid of the entrapment at the dead end by the hockey rink retaining wall, and allows easier access to rink parking.

posted February 16, 2006

A couple of weeks after the stairs were built, there was a rumour that there would be a union grievance about them. However, the head of carpentry said that was wrong, that as long as the stairs were not built by paid non-union labour, the carpenters had no objection to them.

Then the building inspector was called. It sounded like the two-tier steps are not okay because they have no railing, so volunteers removed them before they got put in the trash by a city crew. People will have to slide down the hill and jump off the ledges, like they used to. At least there's not much snow this year.

However there's hope for the main stairs that connect the rink area to the parking lot. It sounds like a slight modification to the railing might make those stairs pass inspection. Good, because that's still the main route that most hockey players take to and from the rink.

Here are some pictures:

Community Ideas

posted February 7, 2005

Volunteers from the "Cluster rinks" worked with Councillor Adam Giambrone's office to arrange a number of working group consultations with the community regarding the Wallace Rebuild planned for 2006. The last meeting was Feb. 5th at Wallace Rink. The turn out was modest and below are some of the suggestions that have come out of the community. If you have other suggestions please contact us at [email protected].

Spacious change rooms with more seating (By Jane LowBeer)

Windows and a Cafe in the Change Rooms (By Jane LowBeer)
Patrick Scantlebury wrote:


I was at the open house today. Mike was very patient in dealing with me and answering my questions and directed me to send my comments to this email. My family use the rink both for pleasure skating and shinney. My children are 14 and 11

My comments fall into 2 categories, Design and allocation of extra funds.

Re Design While the new plan looks great I wonder if the second kidney shape pad will deliver the best return on investment from a user standpoint. My sense is that a more than 90% of users play shinny. It may be that pleasure skaters don’t find Wallace attractive and the new design may increase numbers. However, it may be better to have a second rectangular pad that can be sectioned off for a second smaller game of shinny and pleasure skating. ( Recently I took my kids to play shinny but we couldn’t play because there was a permit. There were 8-10 people wanting to play and approx 4 pleasure skaters. As well there are times when the shinny is very competitive and can be very intimidating for inexperienced players). In summary, I would like to see as much ice space as possible.

Re extra funds: I would like to see more skate friendly softscaping covering the concrete. (I have had to put my skates on the berm benches when the rink hut is closed and the other benches are occupied. Unfortunately you have to walk over bare concrete to get to those benches. The ice condition is generally poor at Wallace. I would like to see better maintenance done with existing equipment (this seems to be a management issue related to service standards and getting work done). However in the future I would like to see a Zamboni at Wallace so that staff can easily condition and flood the ice

If, after addressing 1 and 2, money is left over, I would upgrade the interior of the rink house. Low cost options might be new doors with more glass, fresh paint, and better lighting both inside and outside around the pool overhang


Patrick Scantlebury

Kids Shinny Tournament (14 and under) at Wallace Emerson Rink

Saturday, January 7th

| Sports-Photos:skate.jpg | Sports-Photos:skate.jpg |Sports-Photos:skate.jpg |Sports-Photos:skate.jpg |Sports-Photos:skate.jpg | Sports-Photos:skate.jpg | Sports-Photos:skate.jpg

Shinny tournament organised by Wallace Emerson Rink Staff and Dufferin Rink Staff


· Kids must be 14 and under

· Caregivers welcome to referee and help out

· Teams from Dufferin Rink, Wallace Rink or Campbell Rink

Tournament Starts @ 3pm Jan. 7th, Sat.
Wallace Snack Bar will be open!!

Serving – Hotdogs, Mini pizzas, cookies, hot chocolate and drinks!!


posted March 5, 2006

February called the end to the Wallace Snack Bar. Thanks to the staff that helped run the weekly event and to the community that stood with us around the fire roasting thier hotdogs. With the Wallace rink rebuild going ahead, we are not sure there when the rink season is schedule to open, if at all next season. Still, we want to hear your comments and if you liked the idea of food at a rink enought to support something like this next year. Send us an email, tell us your thoughts: [email protected].

posted February 10, 2006

Adult and Tots Open Skating Lessons : to start this February 14 , 2006 To continue till the end of the rink season:

Tuesdays 6-8pm

Look for staff at the Barrel Fire, serving hot chocolate and hotdogs to roast!!! You can ask for the teacher there too!

posted January 30, 2005

Barrel Fire a success!!

First Barrel Fire at Wallace

posted January 2, 2005

Starting in the New Year, January 2006, the Wallace Snack Bar will be open once a week:

Saturdays 12-3pm

While the kids are in Learn To Skate, look for staff out by the rink at the Barrel Fire to grill your own hotdogs!!!

The Snack Bar will be run by both Wallace Rink Staff and Dufferin Rink Staff. Prices will be at cost, purchased mostly from the conviniently placed Price Chopper accross the street. Staff people Amy and Chris put together a cart last week so that they can transport snack bar items back and forth.

The official first day was thursday, Dec. 30th (we made a total of $10.00!!!) and to mark the occassion staff Shannon and Mayssan put up some christmas lights in the rink change rooms. Adequate lighting is a big issue in the change rooms; so the more - the better! We had a little meeting before the opening to discuss our plans for Wallace. Shannon suggested that she take down the summer camp mural in the change room and paint pictures skating related. We also talked of painting the benches that are in really bad condition.

This week staff Daniel brought down a barell to Wallace so that we could light a fire when it gets dark, maybe even put a few hotdogs on sticks and grill them. Something to look for when you come down!!

Hot dogs for sale!

A snack table at Wallace

Fire barrel in winter

Rink Diary 2005 - 2006

Jan.19 2006

Wallace: women's shinny again had only 4 people. If they can't get at least 8 women out next time, we'll try again next year. The zamboni driver tested the compressor room door and found that it can be easily opened without a key. A handy clubhouse, with lots of buttons and switches! He said he'll make sure it gets fixed today.

At 10.30 p.m. both sides of Wallace Rink were full of shinny players. Looked great.

At 11 p.m. Hockey rink got locked up and most shinny players left by the new stairs.

Jan.20 2006

Wallace: Zamboni driver said he did the ice in the morning and it was fine all day (Direct ammonia!). At 4.30p.m. there were a few sections of damp but the many skaters said it was fine to skate and play hockey. Both rinks had a lot of skaters in the evening.

11 p.m.: ice snowy but solid, no puddles, at lock-up time.

Jan.21, 2006

Wallace: At 11 a.m., no staff at the rink, garage door open all the way, rink office door unlocked and unattended. Hockey nets still outside of rink, lift gate up, new stairs with layer of snow. After 10 minutes, in-site rink staff came back from the mall, said zamboni driver had gone to clean Campbell. Snow was cleared off steps.

12.30p.m. skating lessons well-attended, barrel fire with hot dogs, muffins, nice scene. Zamboni driver said this about the missing green rink shovels -- they were used twice, and despite his instruction, people pushed the snow against boards, so he put them back into the compressor room. They have to be chained outside against the fence with one of the locks. Shovels must only be used with proper supervision -- make sure no one at Wallace has that padlock key for now?

10.30 p.m. fast hockey game. They said they would lock the padlock when they left.

Jan.22, 2006

Wallace Rink: no ice maintenance all day (after early morning) because the flying squad trailer was broken. Ice was done by zamboni travelling on the road, about 5.00 p.m.

7.15 p.m. lots of skaters on both sides (18 hockey side, 12 pleasure side, 14 on benches). Some wanted access to washroom (closed early because of Sunday), some didn't care. EVERYONE used the new stairs, coming or going.

11 p.m. only about 7-8 hockey players left.

Jan.23 2006

Wallace Rink -- 10 p.m. The new stairs on the hillside look good (steel risers). Need a railing if it snows, that's all that's left to do with the stairs.

Hockey side was open but empty; permit didn't show up the second week in a row. Fast shinny game on pleasure side -- the guy said they were moving too fast to go over to the hockey side. So it was locked. Lots of snow on the ice -- did it get done by the evening zamboni operators at all?

Jan.24 2006

Wallace Rink: 8.30 p.m. Building Attendant was all by himself the whole shift. He said that the Arena Operator now has school on Tuesday nights too. Poor management: the rink operator shifts are set to suit the operator, not the needs of the rink. The regular operator now has three shifts out of five when he works days, even though the rink needs the operator in the evening. Skaters are reluctant to complain because the rink operator is one of the best on city staff. But the on-site rink staff said that the ice was not cleaned on the evening shift at all, so not very many people came skating, no one on the pleasure-skating side. This is when the green shovels would work out.

11.00 p.m. five people on the hockey side, ice very snowy. The gangster boys were all gathered under a streetlight at the corner of the rink. The stairs have mud on them because the "path" leading up to them is so muddy.

Jan.25 2006

2. Wallace: 10.50 p.m. no one was playing shinny on the hockey side even though it was open -- big shinny game on the pleasure side. One of them told me the game had started there during the Wednesday permit and then it had been going too fast to interrupt everything and move over.

Jan.26 2006

Wallace: 8.30: two women there for open shinny. Zamboni driver had cleaned, and cleared the ice. All the shinny players from before were leaving because there were three people on the pleasure-skating side, and nowhere for them to play. I talked to them about maybe changing the times so they could play on the pleasure-skating side after 9:00, like at Dufferin. They said they'd like that for all permits.

9:00 p.m. 6 women there.

9:15: six more women. Staff let the hockey players onto the pleasure skating side -- (pleasure skaters were leaving anyway).

9.30: three more women including a goalie. More guys came, and just played shinny on the pleasure side.

10.35: still about ten women there.

11.00: light out, about five guys on the hockey side, no women left. They went over to the pleasure side so hockey pad could close up, no argument.

Jan.27 2006

Wallace Rink: 12 noon. on-site meeting of on-site rink staff with Policy and Development staff, Tech Services staff, zamboni supervisor, on-site staff supervisor, Wallace main zamboni driver, two community consultants, the City Councillor and his assistant, and the architectural/design consultant hired by the City to plan the rink-replacement (Totten Sims Hubicki, a very frequent outside consultant for the City on capital projects). Discussion of what needed to be done at Wallace Rink. Basic tenor of discussion was "it probably can't be done at this time," in response to any questions about changes relating to change-room and zamboni garage. The larger question of whether it made sense to replace a high-functioning direct-ammonia rink with a lower-functioning brine-glycol /ammonia rink was raised by several on-site staff but it got no response beyond the general reference to “compliance.”

2.00 a.m. rink had players on both sides, hockey side was an extended family including kids, playing very quietly i.e. not hitting the boards. Pleasure side was the Hockey players whom I'd kicked out from Dufferin Rink (see below). They agreed to try and play without slap shots or yelling.

Jan.28 2006

Wallace Rink, 10.10: permit on the ice, 8 more shiny hockey players on the pleasure side. Ice smooth, had been scraped by zamboni.

Jan.30 2006

Wallace Rink, 10 a.m. An inch of water on the hockey side. Rink staff said that there used to be drain holes for water but the rink ice is so high the drain holes are plugged. So the rain water from Sunday just stays on top, until it freezes even higher. Pleasure skating side is mostly frozen (better drainage) with three shiny hockey players. Zamboni arrives on trailer. Driver leaves hockey side untouched, floods frozen side so that it, too, turns into a lake. Hockey players give up and leave.

Feb.1, 2006

Wallace Rink: not as crowded but tonight there were thirty players on the ice at 8 p.m. There's the usual group of young construction workers, who are still rubbing their eyes from their post-work nap when they get to the rink in the evening. When they fully wake up, they’re really eager to play. The rink supervisor has agreed to try closing the building at 9 p.m. and taking the pressure off the permit groups and women’s shinny players that way, so there won’t be a huge number of unhappy hockey players being kicked off the ice. If the building is closed when the permit starts (as it is at most rinks anyway), the other hockey players can move over to the pleasure-skating side – it’s like being on the pond. So there’s no brawl. Hopefully the women won’t get the stupid comments, either, if they don’t have as many players as the male shinny players they’re displacing on Thursdays. As long as people are allowed to keep on playing, and it’s not too frustrating with the crowds, things stay peaceful.

Feb.2 2006

Wallace Rink 9 p.m. 10 women there for hockey. Two families on the pleasure skating side. 27 shinny hockey players. Rink guard told them they could go on the pleasure-skating side. One family doesn’t mind, say they were leaving anyway. The other one is an off-duty zamboni operator with his three kids – is very angry about the change made after 9 p.m., calls the supervisor, tells the rink guard that I can phone him if I want to change the schedule. Rink guard asks his name but he won’t give it, just says: "she knows who I am." But I don’t know who he is. I guess we’d better post the sign bigger.

Feb.3 2006

11 a.m. Zamboni driver is inside, says that later he’ll get a zamboni to use so he can get the rink in shape. Rink is already very wet from the rain, no drainage holes.

8.30 p.m. I guess the zamboni driver never did get a zamboni, before he left at three. He spent his whole shift without a zamboni. The hockey rink has so much water on it that it’s closed. The rink guard tells me they never opened it all day. People are playing hockey on the pleasure side.

Feb.17 2006

Wallace Rink. The hockey rink was locked all day. The Dufferin Rink staff person said she went over in mid-evening to find the flying squad looking at the padlock to the hockey gate, which was frozen. They said they were just going to leave because the lock wouldn’t open, but she suggested they get some hot water and thaw out the lock. She had to return to Dufferin Rink, but phoned the Wallace Rink office from there to see how it was going. No answer, although she tried repeatedly.

9.10 p.m. Skaters had the nets on the pleasure-skating side. The hockey side was still locked. The hockey ice looked as though it had not been done since yesterday’s rain froze on it. The skaters said the flying squad did get the lock open but said they couldn’t zamboni the ice because it’s too cold, so they left without taking the zamboni off its trailer. Skaters also said that the gangster-boys had gone into the change room with the Wallace staff after the Dufferin staff person left, and appeared to be having a party in there and in the garage. Maybe that’s why they didn’t want to answer the phone.

Feb.19 2006

Wallace Rink, 5.p.m. the ice is so bad, the hockey side’s been closed all day. Not many people on the pleasure-skating side. Although the lore is that direct-ammonia rinks freeze the ice better, it’s not evident this year.

8.30 p.m. Zamboni did a slow scrape and then a flood – then they opened the hockey rink, ice is okay again. Meantime there’s been a meeting with a youth who is really mad about the bullies that hang out at the rink. He says they intimidate the rink guards so much that they even sit in the rink house smoking and drinking. He insisted that the meeting should happen somewhere else than in the rink house, otherwise, he says, the bullies will beat him up later.

February 28 2006

10.10 p.m. Women’s open shinny. The players are cursing when they go around near the net – big gouges and chips in the ice, front and back of the net. Scary.

March 4 2006

Wallace Rink 1.30: ice pretty solid except right at the boards, and shiny. So much for the “opaque” idea. They have about 2-3 inches of dasher boards showing all the way around, not like Dufferin Rink, which has none on the high-ice (north-facing) side. Only about six people on the rink, though. Ice maintenance at noon.

The zamboni driver talked about one night a week ago when the rink lights went off much too early. Was it true that the wires had been cut? He said yes, someone had got into the compressor room – the door can still be forced open – and had cut the wires in the lighting timer box. Maybe they thought if they cut those wires the lights would stay on all night. But instead the lights went off right away, and the electrician had to come and fix them the next day.

Maybe those are the same folks who wrecked the snack bar stove so it can’t be used any more. You have to wonder.

March 7 2006

Wallace Rink: Ice thickness: 3 - 3.5 inches.

Decision to delay Wallace Emerson Rebuild, now reversed...

December 19th, 2005 3:48 PM

Hello Adam,

I just heard about the reversal of Brenda Librecz' promise to delay the Wallace Rink rebuild until the serious planning problems can be addressed (through public consultation). I gather the project is on again in its original form without leaving time for the neighborhood rink users to alter the plans for the better.

I'm guessing that the only person who could get the plan back up is the City Councillor. Can you let me know if you gave the order to do this? I want to check the facts before I let rink users know.

In case you're wondering why I'm interested, this is the year when Tino's three rinks are being treated as a cluster, and the rink user consultations have begun as well. Dufferin Rink is too busy now and it's very much in my interest to help the other two work better, so that more people will want to go there. But they won't go there if the plans are not drastically reworked with the input of rink users.


Adam Giambrone wrote:


I was told by Brenda Librecz that if the renovations were not done, that the money would simply go to another rink and that it might be years before we were on the list again.

The money is ONLY for "state of good repair" and ONLY to change the type of cooling system. I am not an expert on cooling systems, but faced with NO work being done on the Wallace rink for years, I thought it was prudent not to try to block Parks from doing work on the rink since they are required (you can get specifics from Parks and Rec) to replace the cooling systems and as such would only move the money to another rink in the City of which there are many.

There is still time to sit down with the neighbourhood and talk about design changes throughout the first couple of months of the New Year. I would be happy to set up a date in the next few days for sometime in the New Year. I would also be happy to discuss this in more detail with you.

I would ask that you include this email in any communications to people as it is relatively short.

Adam Giambrone

Jutta Mason wrote:

The money is $1.14 million. It is called state of good repair because it only deals with the technical plant. It ignores the danger of the rink design to rink users. If $1.14 million are spent on replicating the design and not fixing any of the mistakes, the rink will continue to be underused -- attendance has been dropping year by year. Less people, more danger – a vicious circle.

'State of good repair' is a category that was not handed down on the tablets of Moses. The money comes from park levy money and loans and it is not properly spent now. The book-keeping for this whole area is highly dubious and there are million-dollar variances between what should be identical figures. My questions about the freedom of information results I got from the city are now lying on Intiaz Ruffudeen's desk (since Nov.20) and he is committed to explaining them -- good luck.

If Brenda tells you the money won't be available for years because Wallace rink users want public consultation, then ask her to change that. Why should prudence be penalized? They need to have a proper public consultation (I mean not one token meeting, but consulting on-site with all sorts of rink users all winter long, a process that's already begun), which will not be possible if the contract is signed in time for their building plans this spring.

We can talk and I can explain more about the issue -- about which I know more than some senior park staff, by now -- but it sounds as though you have already given them the green light. I see no point in talking after the fact.

Here's the scoop: the City is almost $50 billion in debt. It can't afford to throw money out the window. This project is half-baked. Policy and Development accounting is in a mess. Somebody has to counsel financial prudence. Are you prepared to do it?


P.s. the $2000 outlay for an architect to pick the new flooring off the internet for Dufferin Rink was also a "hurry, hurry" 'state of good repair' expense. None of it will play well at election time, maybe.

I already received this e-mail once and I replied to it a few days ago.

The meeting about Wallace Rink was yesterday but I was unable to go because of such short notice (nor was I invited). I just came back from Wallace now, going over the proposals that Marcel heard at the meeting. They are not well-thought-out, although a slight improvement over before. But there are major problems with the new proposals, such as no garage, and other klutzy solutions to complex existing design flaws. That's why this project has to be put on hold until next year. There has to be broad public consultation when $1.14 million is about to be spent. That consultation already began on Dec.10 and continues.

It sounds to me as though no one from your office attended yesterday? The public consultation will happen with you or without you. Are you going solo or are you planning to work in direct cooperation with rink friends?


Councillor Giambrone wrote:

Jutta, I was told by Brenda Librecz that if the renovations were not done, that the money would simply go to another rink and that it might be years before we were on the list again. The money is ONLY for "state of good repair" and ONLY to change the type of cooling system. I am not an expert on cooling systems, but faced with NO work being done on the Wallace rink for years, I thought it was prudent not to try to block Parks from doing work on the rink since they are required (you can get specifics from Parks and Rec) to replace the cooling systems and as such would only move the money to another rink in the City of which there are many. There is still time to sit down with the neighbourhood and talk about design changes throughout the first couple of months of the New Year. I would be happy to set up a date in the next few days for sometime in the New Year. I would also be happy to discuss this in more detail with you. I would ask that you include this email in any communications to people as it is relatively short. Adam Giambrone

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