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This rink blog describes and ranks Withrow Rink.
Heavy, wet snow fell in the morning. The rink had been plowed but was still waiting for a zamboni. the rink attendant was chipping out a huge puddle beside the rink house entrance, to get it drain.
9 skaters playing shinny, after the first ice-rain/snowfall of the season, parent and child shinny time. The game is certainly kid-paced: one of those agonizingly slow games with encouragement and reminders "Go for the goal now sweetie!" Of the 9 players, 3 are adults and all are helmeted.
The changeroom is warm, with mats near the benches. Posted on the bulletin board is a schedule of withrow (the city rink pamphlet). The staff room opens into the main changeroom but the door is closed. On the outside of the door is the skating code of conduct and partly covering the code of conduct is a sign encouraging me to knock. I do- apparently too softly for a few minutes until I try the door and find a friendly staff member with a schedule for me and a radio going- not especially loud but too loud for my soft knocking to be heard.
The rink was zambonied before 9am, I am told. So one can imagine that with rain/snow all day it is not in great shape.
The bulletin board outside is locked somehow or frozen shut and has no schedule or information at all.
The ice had not been cleaned that day. The ice is thicker in some places and thicker than other rinks and unevenly thick. Hmmm? No skaters present. There is no schedule for the flying squad but they do visit once a day or so. Helmets are enforced all the time, all ages. The staff explains that people in Riverdale are obedient after the first reminder or two about the policy.
Only the city schedule is posted inside, no schedule particular to Withrow is available. A man who comes asking for one is told to go to Franklin which is up at Danforth a good trudge up the hill.
There is no soap in the ladies' washroom but otherwise things are clean. There are garbages and recycling cans and there are mats. There could more benches outside, though -- since there are none. There is no food. The change room is nice, one room for both men and women, but there is an empty bulletin board and not enough mats. There is no signage like the code of conduct. There is no public phone although staff have one.
Staff do not wear a helmet while on the ice. There are no green shovels at the rink, so when it snows they close. The staff person says that the shinny scene is best in the evenings, and during the holidays it is a mad house. Staff even open up their office to skaters who need to change.