I opened the rink on January 16 from 4-8pm after four days of flooding. It wasn’t perfect but it was good enough. I was quite curious to see how it held up when I headed over to the park at 8pm for the evening maintenance. Newman and I were the only volunteers that night and the skaters had not brought shovels and therefore had not scraped the ice before they left. It is important that the ice is scraped, preferably with a heavy metal shovel, after skating and before resurfacing, otherwise a pebbly surface will result from the skate shavings floating on top of the water. It took Newman and me about 20 minutes to scrape the ice. Lara and Joe donated three 30 inch wide metal shovels for the rink. Last year we had two 18 inch wide ones. Even though the rink is about 60% bigger it takes about the same amount of time to scrape as last year with the bigger shovels.
As we scrape we fill in any holes in the ice with the shavings. Then we do a light spray over the whole surface to fill in small cracks and cuts and lock in the shavings filling the holes. We wait 10-30 minutes for that to freeze (depending on the temperature) and then spray again with more water. Early in the season we do many layers each time we do maintenance to continue building up the thickness. Here’s Newman doing the first pass.
Even though we spent two hours scraping, repairing and resurfacing we were quite pleased with how the rink held up. We finished up by putting up the rink closed sign and blocking the entrance.
The entire diamond is fenced other than one small opening into each dugout and a larger opening just big enough to allow a truck to enter. I asked the City to put lockable gates on the three openings, but was told that it is against policy as it creates a safety issue in that someone could become trapped within the area and also might encourage dog owners to use it as an off leash area. The second activity already happens and I don’t have much sympathy for someone climbing into a fenced off area and becoming trapped. Unfortunately, it’s not up to me. Last year we had a lot of problems with people going on the ice when it wasn’t stable. So far this year (four days) it hasn’t been a problem. I am hoping by connecting more with people through my Facebook page and group that I set up for the rink, and by speaking to people when I am at the rink, I can encourage better behavior this year.
No one had volunteered to come out Saturday morning so I enlisted the help of Trystan and Owen. We had to clear a light snowfall. Once that was done, I let them go home and then flooded a couple times before taking Trystan to a skating lesson at Jim Archdekin.
On our way back I stopped at the dollar store to get a whiteboard to use for notices for those that don’t use Facebook. By the time I put it out there was a lively game of hockey going on.
For several years now we have given Lara and Joe and my dad a night out of dinner and a stand-up comedy show. This year we met at the Pickle Barrel at Bramalea City Centre, and my dad brought his girlfriend Doreen, then we walked over to the Lester B. Pearson Theatre in the Civic Centre for Crack Me Up Comedy Festival. The show is very dependent on the comedians involved and some years are better than others. This year was pretty good.
The day before the show I got an email stating that the headliner was ill and “If you do not ask for a refund and hold on to your ticket you receive a free ticket to a future show with Mike MacDonald later this year. Two shows for the price of one. ” Since the evening had been planed for a month I figured we had nothing to lose and an extra show to gain.
The weather warmed up over the day on Saturday to three degrees above zero and stayed there overnight, with rain and warm temperatures forecast for Sunday, which meant we couldn’t do rink maintenance on Saturday night. I closed the rink once the temperature hit zero and announced that it would stay closed until Monday as it wasn’t thick enough yet to withstand skating on a warm day.
I was unable to put up the Rink Closed sign due to being at the theatre and no one was on the rink when we arrived home so I waited until Sunday morning to put up the sign and move the barrier. I was shocked at what I saw when I arrived at the rink.
Yes, that’s right. Someone had driven a motor vehicle into the park, down a pathway, not a road, more than 100 metres, and onto the ice leaving salt and grit marks all over the rink.
There was also litter all over the place from the rink users on Saturday even though there is a garbage can just steps from the dugout where people put on their skates. Most of the people in the community are very appreciative, and helpful, but there are always those that just don’t care about anyone but themselves. It’s so frustrating. The sand and salt are now a permanent part of the rink: due to the warm weather I couldn’t shovel or sweep it off. On sunny days it will attract the heat and cause more melting than would otherwise happen.
Overnight Sunday the temperature plummeted again and I was able to flood on Monday, which was a professional development day. I took Trystan and Owen, and my nephews Jason and Ryan, to a new indoor Trampoline park in Brampton called Aerosports. We had previously been to another indoor trampoline park in Mississauga called Skyzone which we enjoyed, but we all agreed that Aerosports, in addition to being closer to home, was a little better.
In the afternoon the five of us headed out for some shinny at the rink.