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Zanetti Report #1, December 10, 2008: PARKS
1. Outdoor rink ice maintenance observations from selective CELOS visits
Compare: Rennie Rink (West): zamboni staff said they began making ice on Nov.20, for opening Nov.29. Rink preparation too long.
Versus Dufferin Rink (South): compressors were turned on Nov.26, ice-making began Nov.27, for opening Nov.29. Cement patches visible all of opening weekend. Rink preparation too short.
Compare: Prince of Wales Rink (West) Dec.7, maintenance staff said they had been preparing the West rinks for two weeks – ice was thick, same with Sir Adam Beck Rink and West Mall. Rink preparation too long.
Versus - Greenwood Rink (South) Dec.6: skater wrote “the ice was anything but safe, there were numerous spots that were uneven and choppy, which caused many skater to repeatedly fall.” Rink preparation too short.
Christie Rink Dec.7: After a family skate event a skater wrote: “The ice condition on the rink was really rough. It was uneven in places and very marked up.” The rink supervisor for South (west region) told this skater that “there are a limited number of ‘qualified’ operators so [we] are training 19 new staff this week.” She reported that he also said there is one zamboni for 5 rinks.
Christie, Campbell, Wallace rinks – only one ice resurfacing a day since Dec.6 opening – all three are popular rinks, one is a double pad
Ramsden Rink double pad – Dec.6, opening day – construction debris all around change-room entryway, no mats out, new boards unpainted
Wallace Rink – potato chip bags frozen into the ice, insufficient mats
Campbell Rink – large quantity of leaves frozen into the ice
Trinity Bellwoods (South) Dec. 2 – last-minute compressor work underway, and the rink was 3 days late opening
High Park Rink – closed for unknown amount of extra time because of delayed Home Depot/Toronto Maple Leafs rink boards arrival
City Hall – opened 5 days late because of delayed underground parking construction
Mel Lastman Square – thick frozen surface but no maintenance until one week after scheduled opening day
The new zamboni driver lead hands showed frustration in not having been told even basic things like the need to open lift gates before resurfacing double pads on Sundays.
In the West District, a lead hand/zamboni driver was not told during training whether he could let skaters on the ice during un-permitted ice times, so he turned them away and kept the rink locked and empty for two hours in the middle of opening day.
2. Communication problems re outdoor ice rinks:
Parks did not tell "City rink hotline" staff about the 5-day delay in opening City Hall rink
“City rink hotline” had last-season messages for many rinks, even after their opening date
Parks did not tell Recreation staff about the delayed opening of College Park and so that rink was opened and staffed on Dec.6, despite the compressors being turned off (with ice from frozen rainwater and a cement border). Change was not posted on the city web site either.
Most of the downtown rinks in South District had wrong-date signage up on the chain link, pertaining to last year.
West District: there were no opening day signage at all, and it showed in the very low (or zero) usage at some very fine rinks when we visited.
South District: Rink user requests for information about ice maintenance schedules in could not be answered, because of an explicit policy of not passing information between rink maintenance workers and rink program staff.