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posted December 30, 2006


At night-time after the rink is closed, people eager to play hockey often climb over the fence and play by the light of the “morality lamps” on the side of the building. For two years, the staff left the gate to the pleasure-skating side unlocked at night, so that people could skate (more quietly) on that rink, with less boards to bang a puck off. But the noise of the big groups that came to the rink, sometimes at 3 or 4 in the morning, drove the neighbours crazy. So the staff now lock the rink every night at 11 pm.

But hockey is so popular that people often climb over the fence anyway, late at night. Sometimes the staff notice a car waiting, so they stick around doing extra work, trying to outlast the hockey invaders. The staff also tell the young people about outdoor rinks that are unfenced and not in built-up areas – City Hall, Ryerson, College Park, Rennie, Wallace.

But still the hockey players climb the fence at Dufferin Rink. That’s because Dufferin Rink has more light (those morality lights), and so it’s easier to see the puck. Last year, Jutta Mason tried to get the City to let the on-site staff turn off those lights at night-time, to make the rink less of a draw. But City management said, “liability,” and refused.

Since other rinks don’t have such bright lights, it’s unlikely that there would be a liability issue only at this rink. So rink neighbours who are bothered by the noise should call the City to see if they’ll get a better response than Jutta did. Here are the numbers to call: Ward 18 Councillor Adam Giambrone, 416 392-7012. You can also try the Area Recreation supervisor, Tino DeCastro, at 416 392-0041. (But when he tried to get the morality lights turned off last rink season, he was also unsuccessful.) City Rinks manager Kevin Bowser is at 416-394-2486, although he rarely returns calls. Or you can call his boss, Brenda Librecz, General Manager of Parks, Forestry and Recreation, at 416 392-8207. You can try the community response police, at 416 808-1400, although they don’t usually come to such nuisance calls.

If you’re really stuck and it sounds so bad out there that you can’t sleep, call park lead staff Mayssan Shuja at 416 709-0573. She’ll come even in the middle of the night, and talk to the invaders. That is the park staff emergency number, if something needs a remedy fast. The main thing to remember is to follow up by calling the other management numbers above – keep calling until there’s help, from the people paid to keep things in good order.

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