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Rink diaries from earlier years:
Opened: Nov.28, 2018
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 1 p.m. it was again listed as open.
This rink is now listed as open.
This rink is still marked as closed for construction on the city's website. However the machinery is running. There are no signs but perhaps city workers feel that it's self-explanatory -- the front entry path is not paved yet. This rink has entrances from two sides as well as the front, but evidently the people who run the rink feel that nothing can begin until the front walkway is done.
There is a vast parking lot, and also room to park on a small street nearby.
This rink was scheduled to open on Nov.24, but the city's website says it's "closed for construction." The schedule tab shows it opening on Nov.27.
The rink has been open since Dec.2, but is now closed again for "ice conditions."
This rink has been closed more than open so far. "Mechanical problems" maybe? But the web site only says it's closed for "ice conditions."
The rink was scheduled to open on Nov.25, 2017, but was not consistently open until early December.
Despite a sign taped over the metal schedule near the front door saying the rink would be closed although the ice pad would be open, the rink building was also open -- warm and clean, with skaters' belongings in little bundles on the benches. At 10.15, the zamboni driver was just walking into the building. He seemed surprised to see the sign that said the rink was closed, but agreed that a happy surprise is better than an unhappy one. There were four skaters.
This rink was scheduled to stay open until March 20, but it closed for the season today.
8 p.m.: Temp. 3 degrees, rink listed as closed.
This rink has been listed as closed since Dec.24.
The rink was closed. There was no response at first to a knock on the door, then a staff person came out and said that the ice was too thin. He said that they had been flooding the rink since Monday, every evening from 6 pm to 2 am, but still not enough ice.
Note: the city's compressor list names this system as "good." So why couldn't it open on time?
The rink opened Nov.29, closed Nov.30, reopened Dec.2.
At 4.20 pm, the rink was just being resurfaced, by a tractor/champion combo. 11 skaters (youth) were waiting in the change room, to go and play shinny hockey. They said that they always have to wear helmets, even when there's no rink guard -- the zamboni driver enforces the rule.
What is the policy regarding parent-child shinny 8 and under on outdoor rinks in Toronto?
Should there be adults on the ice who are there with no kids? Should there be adults and teens playing a game but none of them are 8 or under? If there are more adults than kids, is it ok for the person in charge to allow the adults to use one half of the rink and the parent/child 8 and under to use the other half?
West Way every Saturday same issues.
Our staff are expected to follow the posted schedule, we will review with the particular staff to correct this anomaly.
I received an e-mail first thing this morning and then spoke to a supervisor, I believe its all been worked out OK now.
At 3.30 the rink had no skaters. The zamboni driver says the kids will come soon for drop-in shinny, but later on it's solid permits. He says he has very little drop-in, since the rink is so near the main roads and everybody knows about it. It's always booked. He says the kids from the neighbourhood come around sometimes to see if by any chance a permit has cancelled and they can skate.
I asked the dad who wrote in about the parent-child schedule, if everything was going well in that program now. He sent back this message: Oh yah its great now lots of fun.
10:40am The ice has been cleared of last night's snow and is in good shape. A permit group is playing a vigorous game of shinny.
5:20pm There are half a dozen shinny players on the ice, all wearing helmets. The ice looks reasonably good, but is rough near the boards. The operator says the rink was able to open on time this morning despite yesterday's snowstorm. He says last night while it was still snowing he cleared the ice 5-6 times so that when the roving crew came in the morning there wasn't much snow to clear. Asked about nearby Valleyfield which was still covered in snow, he says in Etobicoke the priority are the 'majors' (larger rinks with boards and changerooms). Once the big rinks are cleaned, the roving crews go to the minors - smaller pads like Valleyfield and Buttonwood. He said a roving crew had taken Westway's snowblowing equipment and was out cleaning the smaller pads as we spoke. When it was pointed out that Sunnydale Acres, a 'major', was still covered in snow, the operator says there was an equipment problem there, but he didn't know the details. Three young men are inside the staff office along with the rink operator. They may have been rink guards.
It turns out the phone message was a false alarm. The rink ice was a bit thin toward the boards, but really not bad, and the hockey players said the ice was fine. The zamboni driver said he hadn't heard anything about the rink being closed.
The city's rink information line 338-RINK, outdoor section, seems to have lost all of its information. At midnight on Friday, it had only an announcement that Westway, West Mall and Sunnydale are closed "due to the unseasonable temperatures...The remaining outdoor rinks in Etobicoke/York will have skateable ice.....except Humber Valley." Then it says to call back on Monday. If you stay on the line, the same message repeats, and if you still stay on the line, you get transferred to a PFR office that says they're closed for the weekend.
Second problem is that the other city rinks didn't lose their ice, although they all had the same weather -- so why did those three? And why will it take all weekend to restore it, when the nights are this cold? This sounds like a maintenance issue, not a weather issue.