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Wallace Emerson Rink Diary 2006 - 2007

March 4 2007

hey Mister TTC

Last family Sunday of the season. The ice was good, a zamboni was on-site (even if it was blocking the public walkway), and lots of people responded to the 100 posters that Corey Chivers put up in the neighbourhood on Friday. There was a campfire with hot dogs and hot chocolate, a snack bar inside, and ice painting. Tempera paints were set out in plastic yoghurt containters. and there was also food colouring in spray bottles. This worked very well, and by the end of the afternoon the rink had more designs than the Air Canada Centre, and the snow banks were sprayed full of pictures too. City Councillor Adam Giambrone came and talked to everybody. Mostly people wanted to talk about the TTC, including kids who wanted advice about lost student TTC ID cards. They made the Councillor show them his City Hall ID, and asked him if he was running for mayor. A very friendly atmosphere.

ice painting at the edge

ice painting in the centre

other side

all along the ex-bench

lively rink

roasting hot dogs

zamboni on the path
Feb.23 2007

Ice maintenance supervisor said he would try to get the crew to give this site one extra flood.

Feb.22 2007

Heavy, wet snow in the morning. Rink reopened by 4 pm, in time for the Regal Road School skating part -- about 100 people. When womens' shinny permit began at 8.30, the ice had gouges down to the cement at center ice -- pylons put up.

Feb.21 2007

Bright sun plus 4 degrees made the ice slushy and soft. Hockey side closed by evening and permits cancelled, Pleasure-skating side can't be closed and was okay.

From recreation staff Mayssan Shuja:

Meeting about rink maintenance problems. Here is a run down of what we discussed.

Zamboni Staff(Brian Green's Staff): Push overflow water/snow from zamboni into trough. Supply a wheelbarrow to rec. staff (to be stored in office?). Provide a shut off valve for the water hose use to fill Zamboni (Roman). Zamboni to be filled only through swing gates next to compressor room

Facilities Staff(on-site Local 416 staff): Maintaining ice on stairs and snow days use of snow blower.

Rec Staff(building attendants):Clear snow from benches Today Rec staff/Facilities and Rink Staff are clearing out trough, clearing piles of snow around rink and clearing snow from behind benches. Squeeges will be used by Rec. Staff and Rink staff to push water off mats leading up to stairs. Shovels have been requested (Facilities providing) on site for snow removal.

Feb.20 2007 10.30 pm

7 skaters on shinny hockey side, two of them talking on cellphones. No one on pleasure-skating side. Twenty youth hanging around and talking under the overhang from the swimming pool, beside the pleasure skating side. Ice is in very good condition -- no gouges, no cement, corners excellent. Because it's a warm night, the mats are free of ice. Interesting to note that some of the new concrete pad is already crumbling. Also the south zamboni gate has a big gap underneath and all the pucks go through there.

Feb.19 2007 11pm

Wallace Rink - lights out, no pleasure skaters, 2 shinny players Mats look like they've been cleared of most snow and ice.

Feb.19 2007 7pm

Wallace Rink - 7 pleasure skaters, 17 shinny players Recreation staff at Wallace see that the mats (newly placed and leading up to the wooden stairs) north of the shinny pad are now covered with ice and snow. Recreation staff asked to clear mats, chip ice and shovel snow.

Feb.19 2007 1pm

Update from Recreation supervisor, Tino DeCastro. Mats have been put north of the shinny pad, in place by Recreation Staff at Wallace Emerson.

Feb.18 2007

dangerous ice from the zamboni hose

There's been a problem since the day the weather turned cold -- the zamboni crew has to fill the hose right across the path where everyone walks, the hose leaks, and so there's slick ice and people slip on it. Mayssan has talked to the maintenance crew quite a few times. They said they'd put mats along the walkway but they didn't. So Mayssan and Jason spent an hour chopping up the ice, digging out rubber mats from under the snow so they could put them overtop of the ice. It was Mayssan's day off. But she didn't want people to fall there.

hot chocolate over the campfire is back

Parks supervisor Peter Leiss gave temporary permission to have the campfire back, fairly near the rink. It's been over three weeks since Mr.Leiss imposed his ban on the Family Sunday campfires, and the big family scene that had begun to build there has dwindled. The rink change room is once again dominated by young loud-mouths a good deal of the time. The main difference from last year is that most of the outdoor skate-changing benches disappeared when the rink was rebuilt. So there's not much choice for families but to change inside. Some of them get out fast, though.

But at 2 pm. today the pot was put on the fire beside the rink, with hot chocolate, and the two picnic tables were unchained and put nearby. Maybe in the two weekends remaining, there will be a bit of a recovery.

Feb.12 2007, from Jutta Mason to Recreation supervisor Tino Decastro

The wooden stairs at Wallace had a big mess of trash nearby....

big mess of trash

Jason cleaned it up

...and Mayssan asked Mario on Saturday to clean it up but he said he doesn't get paid for that. So rink guard Jason cleaned it up on Sunday:

new trash can from Dufferin Rink

...and then we brought over a trash can from Dufferin and let's see if it works. Notice how the sun came out when we brought over the trash can. Coincidence?

Feb.12 2007, from Recreation supervisor Tino DeCastro to Jutta Mason

I will share with this Peter Leiss, as I think it is a Parks issue.

Feb.12 2007, from Parks supervisor Peter Leiss to Recreation supervisor Tino DeCastro

Thanks for your email. I will have a proper Parks waste bin and recycling bin placed in this location.

Feb.12 2007, from City Rinks manager Kevin Bowser to women's shinny convener Deirdre Norman

Thank you for your e-mail regarding various issues at Wallace Emerson Rink.

I can't comment on why, when the rink was renovated, there was not an area for the Zamboni or Olympia to be stored. As you know, the current system in place in the South District is to transport ice resurfacers between rinks. It may have been a financial issue or, perhaps, a design concern. However, I have discussed the possibilities of having an ice resurfacer, perhaps Zamboni, at your rink.

Currently, staff requests any older ice resurfacers that are coming out of the arena program to be transferred to the rink program. Various issues that need to be considered as the ice resurfacers are made available:

- Fuelling of the Zamboni or Olympia machines need to be considered at your rink. I understand we will require a lengthy feed for natural gas, therefore, a gas Zamboni may be more appropriate.

- The shelter installed at High Park is not ideal, however, does eliminate snow and ice build-up on the machine. It's preferable to have an indoor warm location for the ice resurfacers. The unit currently at High Park was purchased from a supplier, Trillium Greenhouse Equipment, at a cost of approx. $1,000. These shelters are available through various suppliers to include Costco, Canadian Tire and other similar retail outlets.

In my discussions with Brian Green, Wallace Emerson is high on the priority list for the next available ice resurfacer. Hopefully, this can be arranged in the near future.

If you should require any further information, please feel free to contact either Brian Green or myself. Good luck with the rest of the skating season.

Feb.10 2007

Ice okay again. Learn-to-skate on the shinny side in mid-afternoon, lots of people in the rink house. There's a big mess of paper trash flying around near the wooden steps, and the rink staff says it's not his job to pick it up, or even to ask the rink guard to pick it up. So some staff from Dufferin Rink will bring over a trash can tomorrow, and they'll pick it up.

Late-evening rink census: at 9.20 there were 17 players on the shinny side (three pucks). The ice was a bit snowy but not bad. There were 2 pleasure skaters. Rink house locked.

Feb.9 2007

Ice still cracked, also soft along the boards, so the hockey side stayed closed in the daytime. The Dovercourt School hockey team practised on the pond side. In the evening Dexter let people go on, so that their skates would scrape off all the shell ice. The youth permit (kids under 13) didn't show at all. When a rink is in bad shape, it loses its users fast.

Letter from women's shinny convener Deirdre Norman to Recreation supervisor Tino DeCastro, Feb.9 2007

High Park Rink zamboni tent

As I am sure you know, I am quite dedicated to the outdoor rink experience and not just for the women I play with but for the community at large. It seems to me a shame that a rink such as Wallace does not have the equipment support to maintain quality ice. This was a concern of mine (and other users) even before the unfortunate circumstances this week which prevented the rink from being open.

I have made enquiries with the staff regarding zambonis, their availability, and the housing concerns. It seems to me that if Wallace had a shed, or tent similar to the one at High Park then a zamboni could be housed on site thus ensuring regular ice maintenance and quality ice.

I am not sure why, especially after the spectacular rebuild of the rink that there isn't one but I, as a member of the shinny-playing community want to contribute by investigating the possibility of having a tent donated to the rink.

I have emailed Brian Green for logistical information; i.e. cost and supplier, who suggested I email City-wide rink manager Kevin Bowser. Having done that and not received a response I am emailing you (I had hoped that I would be able to send you a proposal instead of a request). Could you supply me with that info?

You, in my experience, have always been supportive of improving the rink experience for everyone and I appreciate that.

We, the users, of the rinks are more than just consumers. We care about our parks and our rinks. Whenever it is possible and helpful we want to collaborate with Parks to make it work for all of us.

From City Councillor Adam Giambrone to women's hockey convener Deirdre Norman, Feb.9 2007

Thanks for writing. By copy of this email I am requesting that Kevin Bowser respond to your email below as soon as possible.

Also, feel free to email me more details about your proposal in the future and I will take a look.

Feb.8 2007

Roger hosed the ice and then Dexter did multiple floods but by evening the ice was cracking so badly that the women's shinny permit had to play on the pond side. The women looked very pleased anyway.

Feb.7 2007 from rink staff Manny Silva

went to check ice and pour more water on the ice, the ice is all the way down to the concrete, called Brian green he said that he is sending out the zambomi in one hour and the rink is closed. its now 5pm and no zamboni lots of kid came to play hockey but we had to turn them away. The staff and i chipped some ice around the rink and the path to the stairs.

Feb.6 2007 e-mail from permit holder Andrew T.

The ice was horrible last night. Maybe the cold weather makes it impossible to make the ice perfect, but there was concrete showing through towards the middle of the ice. Needless to say, everyone will have to get their skates sharpened. I am not sure if you can register this with someone at the City, but I have skated in cold weather on an outdoor rink before and never seen a rink's ice recede to reveal the bottom.

Feb.5 2007, from Women's shinny convener Deirdre Norman to City Rinks manager Kevin Bowser

My name is Deirdre Norman. I run the annual The Women of Winter outdoor shinny tournament at Dufferin Grove rink and am, generally, a shinny and outdoor ice fan. I, also, belive in supporting our rinks any way I can. I understand that High Park Rink has a zamboni tent to house their zamboni and I am interested in getting as much information from you as possible re: cost, place of purchase, etc. in order to research the possibility of having one donated to Wallace -Emerson Rink.

I hope you are able to help me with this endeavour.

Jan.26 2007

In the late afternoon it began to snow lightly but steadily. The tractor is frozen and won't start, and the flying squad zamboni is being repaired in the shop, so the recreation staff hand-shovelled the rink with the help of rink users, and the rink youth programming was able to go ahead.

Jan.21 2007

shinny with toboggan hill beside

A very nice day with lots of skaters. Campfire near the side of the rink, done by Alice with help from the Dufferin Rink staff. Lots of people sitting around the fire roasting hot dogs or marshmallows and talking. Lots of people changing skates in the rink change house too -- what a difference from last year, when it was "the dungeon" and families avoided going in there.

Jan.17 2007, 8.30pm

The zamboni was resurfacing the ice. The change room was full of players waiting for their Wednesday night permit to begin. The pleasure-skating side had half a dozen kids taking shots, and another half dozen pleasure skaters standing at the fence waiting for the zamboni to be finished.

Jan.16 2007

7 pm: 15 all ages shinny players, 2 pleasure skaters. 7.45 pm 13 shinny players, 0 pleasure skaters 8.30 pm 12 shinny players, 1 shinny player taking shots on the pleasure side 9.25pm 9 shinny players, 1 pleasure skater.

Jan.14 2007

Rink re-opening celebration.

opening celebration

In late morning a zamboni was brought to the rink for the celebration, and the flying squad parked there and sat in their truck. It began to snow and the hockey players had a hard time moving the puck. Dufferin rink staff were there, getting the campfire going and setting up the tent for the DJ. The zamboni drivers made no move to get out of the truck and use the zamboni to get the snow off the ice.

One of the rink staff asked the zamboni crew if they'd clean the ice, but they said they would do nothing until they got an order from their supervisor. So the rec staff called the supervisor, and soon afterwards, the zamboni driver got out of his truck, turned on the zamboni engine, and cleaned the ice. Then the hockey players were able to play again.

The snow stopped soon afterwards, and then just before the music began, the zamboni was used to clean the ice again. There were a lot of people there all afternoon, and so the borders of the pleasure skating side got mushy and dirty. The cement that abuts the ice was slippery at first, and so the staff put salt on it. But that melted the ice enough that there were big dirty puddles. However, astonishingly, no one hurt themselves by inadvertently skating onto cement. People are fast learners.

Jan.13, 12.30 pm

Saturday skating lessons

Rink very lively, beautiful sunny day, cold. Skating lessons on the hockey side.

Jan.12, 3 to 3.30 pm

16 shinny players, no pleasure skaters. One of the shinny players had brought a folding chair and set it up on top of the former players boxes, now closed up. The new players' bench is mostly ignored but the players sit up on the wood that's nailed overtop of the old boxes.

The rink attendant went out and told the guys to get off the ice because they're too old -- it was age 13-to-17 time. They argued but they left, and then the ice was empty for a little while. Eventually three skaters came.

Women shinny players reported that last night they were booed during the women's shinny time and no staff came out to get rid of the guys who were doing this.

Jan.11 2007

Cc of letter from a women's shinny-hockey player to Tino DeCastro, Recreation supervisor:

At 8:30 (our ice time is 8:30-10:00 pm) I went out to the ice and waited for the staff person to clear the ice. When it became obvious that that wasn't going to happen I went out and yelled "permit time". A few guys left, most didn't. The staff person, who had been playing shinny, came over. I asked him if he was staff and if he would help clear the ice. He didn't say a word but skated over to a couple of guys and then left the ice, leaving me and maybe 15 guys on the ice. Some were saying that they were not going to leave though they eventually did. Once again we had to put up with ongoing remarks and deliberate reluctance to leave the ice. As the women came on the guys continued their commentary.

We are adults and I do not want you to think we are expecting everyone to be nice to us. Our expectations are the same as these young men's. We want to play; without harassment.

Perhaps your staff person was not fully aware of the schedule and his role in clearing the ice of players. Perhaps the well posted schedule wasn't read by the players. I am hoping that you will consider adding an additional staff for at least a Thursday or two. Often with some explanation and understanding these behaviours disappear. Regardless we, as women, should not be threatened or intimidated into leaving the ice.

I am sorry to have to bring this to your attention. I know that you have been supportive of this program and I am sure the issue will be resolved quickly.

Response from Recreation supervisor Tino DeCastro: Sorry for this. I will ensure it gets resolved. Staff will be spoken to, not acceptable at all.

10.45 pm 6 hockey players, four pleasure skaters. One skater was peering at the bulletin board to read the schedule posted on there. Problem is, it's from 2000. Also, although an opening party is planned for Sunday, there were no signs up anywhere.

Ice was good, though.

Jan.10 2007 9.10 pm.

17 hockey players, 5 little kids plus parents playing pond hockey on pleasure-skating side. Change room is open, looks tidy but dreary -- bright fluorescent lights, gray wall, gray benches, that's it. But the hockey is very animated.

Jan.8 2007, 4.20 pm

12 hockey players, one pleasure skater. Pylons still up but nothing else has been done to address the edge danger. Nets have been delivered. Changeroom doors are done now and so is the ledge shelf by the big window. Worker is installing the sprinkler system. No helmets on shinny players.

Jan.7 2007, from Jutta Mason to Recreation supervisor Tino DeCastro

ice to cement with no border

It's the way the ice suddenly turns into concrete all around the pleasure side that alarmed me. Dexter and I talked about it and I know that Brian is aware and has some ideas. What worried me in particular was that people playing hockey on the pleasure side at night would break their necks.

Dexter said they didn't have many pylons up there so I took up seven of the big ones from Dufferin on my bike and put them all around there tonight. We just need them back in time for Wednesday skating lessons.

Two good things:

1. the ice edge is actually MORE visible in the dark, i.e. the streetlights near there seem to make more contrast between the white and the gray, than daylight does.

2. the hockey side was kept unlocked tonight and so the hockey players were over there and not on the pleasure side.

Suggestion: benches and/or picnic tables would be so much nicer around the edge than fencing. We have no extra benches at Dufferin because the rink is so full that all benches inside and out are used for skate-changing. We do have lots of picnic tables, though, so if some of them were taken up to define the edge of the pleasure pad, they'd provide places to sit as well. Or maybe there are some more locker-room benches available?

Maybe the long-term solution would be to make a long 21-inch-high wall around most of that tricky edge, wide enough to be a bench as well. The carpenters have shown they can work fast.....

Jan.6 2007

Wallace Rink re-opened. Ice good, even though it was only made by the rain (no hand-flooding). Change room still under construction, so it's locked. No nets on the hockey rink. The edge of the pleasure-skating rink is dangerous -- it's hard to tell where the ice ends and the concrete begins, and there's no marking or change in the level.

1 pm: rink guard says he's making kids under 18 wear helmets. 6 on hockey side, 12 on pleasure-skating side.

9 pm: 10 hockey players, good ice. No helmets.

From Chris Gallop, assistant to Councillor Adam Giambrone, to Jutta Mason, Jan.5 2007

The compressor is on and the rink will be open to the public tomorrow.

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Content last modified on February 14, 2011, at 07:06 PM EST