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postings from 2007-2009

Women's Shinny Stories 2007-2009:
Wallace Emerson Rink 2007: Timeslot enforcement and ice maintenance for women's shinny
Jan.12, 2007

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Withrow Rink 2009: Ice maintenance and proper scheduling for women's shinny

January 9 2009, e-mail from M.G. to

"I went to Withrow Park last night in hopes that there would be enough bodies for spirited game of shinny as when I initially drove by there were no skaters on the rink, much to my surprise there were about 10 skaters waiting in the rink house. They weren't allowed to on the ice to skate as there was a couple inches of snow (pond like conditions) and in dire need of a hard scrape/flood. I noticed the frost build-up along the boards is getting bad and could pose a serious problem later in the season if this cold snap continues.

The rink attendants said they dispatched the flying squad at 3pm to service the rink, as of my arrival shortly after 6pm, there was still no call back from city dispatch. This same discussion was being had with the rink staff/patrons as more and more ladies showed up to skate only to be disappointed.

I left the rink at 6:45 after waiting around in vain in hopes of the flying squad making a timely arrival, and there were still MORE women showing up to play, I would say there was at least 20 women turned away. Why are there 2 rink attendants on site getting paid to sit around on the tax payer's dime when the rink apparently hadn't been safe enough to use for AT least 2 days?! Talk about a ridiculous waste of money!

Women only have 2 hours per week allotted for shinny at this rink and apparently this is NOT the first time this season that the rink has fallen into complete disrepair and had to sit idle due to lack of maintenance.

Is there any way we can get the ice to be safe and useable for the rest of this very short outdoor season? Who is the maintenance supervisor?

January 15 2009

E-mail from M.G. to rink supervisor Mark Hawkins

''I was just wondering if you would be able to tell me if the Women's Shinny timeslot (6pm-8pm) at Withrow Park will actually be happening today? I tried to call today but couldn't get a straight answer from anyone, I was given 4 different numbers/people to try, with no luck.''

I also tried 416-338-RINK but that was fruitless for information regarding current ice conditions.

I just don't want to show up & be disappointed or waste my time, like I have the last 2 Thursdays I have showed up to play. Any news would be greatly appreciated.

M.G. said that Mark Hawkins got back to her right away, and that the ice was excellent.

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Content last modified on February 16, 2011, at 11:10 AM EST