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Heavy, wet snow in the morning covered the ice with snow. The loader had been here hours ago (according to the rink attendant) but the zamboni had not yet come and the ice was too rough to skate on.
This attendant was obviously engrossed in a phone conversation so she didn't tell the visitor much. But she appeared to be at the rink all alone, and this rink is quite remote from houses. Strange that this would be regarded as acceptable (safe) work conditions.
The ice had not been cleaned yet that day. There was one skater playing shinny. The schedule was posted and copies were available without us needing us to ask, just sitting nicely in a stack on the table inside.
The ice is scraped/flooded about 3 or 4 times a week and the staff does not seem able to encourage the senior staff member to ask for a scrape or flood. There are two staff members. There are mats inside and outside, and benches only inside. The men's toilet needs attention. There is no food. The changeroom has a bulletin board with the schedule posted but the signage is lacking otherwise. The code of conduct is not posted.
Reply from Scott Attwood to Jutta Mason, Dec.19 2006, regarding her question to his assistant Linda Mitsuki:
Auto-reply from Scott Atwood, Dec.18 2006
From Jutta Mason to Linda Mitsuki, Dec.18 2006
Thank you again for speaking with me early morning (7:45 am) yesterday. As I explained, weather conditions that we've been experiencing the past few weeks have been playing havoc with our A.I.R. (Artificial Ice Rink) program city wide.
Harbourfront Rink, City Hall, Rennie, and Dufferin Rink were all fine in this weather. Our ice has been exceptionally good, since the sun is low and this is the kind of weather these compressor-powered rinks are designed for. (Central Park in NYC opened its rink Oct.20 and has been doing fine with the same kind of low-sun warm weather, up to 18 degrees; Harbourfront has been open since Nov.19 and doing fine).
The few rinks that are surviving this warm spell, Rennie, Nathan Philips Square (City Hall) and yes, Dufferin, we are fortunate to have both Zamboni and staff stationed at these locations.
Dufferin Rink does not have a zamboni driver stationed here. All those rinks were not just surviving, they were fine, because they had a good base of ice, and regular maintenance -- no need for on-site zamboni staff for good ice.
Weather conditions (snow storms, freezing rain, etc) also result in temperary closures when are A.I.R. program is operating at its best. There is no Zamboni garage storage at the majority of our rink locations and we maintain these locations with a fly crew, which work at servicing these rinks twice daily. These locations include Monarch, Withrow, Riverdale, Regent, to name a few.
The main problem with the rinks like Monarch Park is that they were just starting up and that they hadn't been given enough floods to lay down a good base of ice. As far as I know, those rinks got only two days of floods, maybe less. The rinks are meant to have four days of flooding prior to opening, as used to be the case. Skimping on pre-opening floods (praying for rain) is a false economy, since then the plants are still running and the zamboni crews are still being paid even if the rinks are closed. This needs to change.
Rubber matting will be delivered to Monarch by week's end and the Recreational Lead will look into the issue of additional benches. Please contact me again directly if you have any further questions and/or concerns.
Ms. Bliss, Thank you for contacting Councillor Bussin by e-mail.
Mr. Attwood, Please attend to this matter and advise on actions taken.