For better use and better management. The UNOFFICIAL Website of Toronto's Outdoor Skating Rinks
Over the years, as women's shinny has grown and grown, lots of stories have been sent to cityrinks.ca. Many are about problems and -- often -- their resolution. Reader, if you are trying to get a new game going at your neighbourhood municipal rink, read on to find out what works. And if you need help, e-mail Deirdre Norman and cc us at cityrinks.ca. Chances are, you'll soon have a group of happy skaters -- city staff are on side.
We got these emails from shinny hockey player Sally Bliss, describing what she found in various rinks...
posted February 14, 2006
This email is to follow up on some of my negative skating and shinny experiences at the city rinks at Greenwood, Kew Beach and Monarch Park. I have decided not to file an official complaint with city councillors and Parks and Rec.
Since those experiences, I had the most glorious 2 hour session of women's shinny on perfectly prepared ice at Greenwood Park. Two days later, I had the same experience at Kew Beach.
A week ago Monday, I had to get off the ice again at Kew Beach during women's shinny for the zamboni to clear and flood, but was told that this happens equally to men and women during their time slots. It meant sitting for 10 minutes, which I think is reasonable. Last Friday, my ESL students and I were turned away for a second time from Monarch Park because the ice was soft and there were a few inches of water on the rink. The high those days was 8 & 11 Celcius and I understand the challenge of dealing with unseasonable weather.
What I realize is that I should have made the city aware of my negative experiences right when they happend and not so long after the fact, when it seems that they have now got their act together in maintaining the ice. The main reason, however, is that I'm trying to establish a relationship with the Monarch Park rink people and I don't want to jeopardize that by getting their backs up. I took students twice last week and again yesterday and we've almost always had the ice to ourselves. Yesterday, because nobody else was there, I was able to give my students hockey sticks during the public skating time.
postings from 2007-2009
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.
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.
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.
Women's shinny report: At Greenwood outdoor shinny this Sat AM, some boys came on and gave us a little trouble- I connected with the rink staff staff and a William Coombs , Parks foreperson, gave me his card after intervening on our behalf (told the boys to wait until their turn at noon) and told me to call as soon as it happens next time. We were impressed and felt well treated.
I was just wondering if you know who I can contact about the times for women's shinny at Hodgson. I went today at 6:30pm and the lights were off and it was locked up. Both your website and the City of Toronto website says that on Sundays they have women's shinny from 6:30-8pm. I called 311 before I went and they told me the rink was open and women's shinny was at 6:30. I'm just not sure who else to contact to get info on the right times.
Any ideas who can figure out what's not working here? T.F., that must have been frustrating. I've cc'd Deirdre Norman here too, since she has a big interest in women's shinny citywide.
I do know we had mechanical problems with this rink and were not able to open as planned on November 27th. Perhaps there was another mechanical break down - don't know but we'll find out and report back. Thanks for letting us know about your experience.... ....apparently [a staff member] responded this morning to advise that the Zamboni had mechanical problems.
I get asked a lot of questions about shinny times and when I was at Hodgson the staff and the skating instructor were a little unclear about the schedule. I think there has been some confusion about the end time because players thought it went until 9:30 pm and ice maintenance was happening at 9:00 or 9:15 and then the rink was closing.
So my question is, what time does Hodgson close on Sunday? Is it 9:00 pm? Or is that the end of the program and open shinny goes for another hour?
Adult Beginner Shinny is definitely until 9:30pm on Sundays. Ice maintenance should not happen until after 9:30.
Thanks for that information. As I mentioned the maintenance has been happening at 9:00 or 9:15 and while that isn't a lot of time, every minute counts when it is our outdoor ice!
I agree with you. I'll ensure it doesn't happen again.