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posted January 15, 2005

Stuck in the snow at Dufferin Rink

On the Thursday before Christmas there was a snowstorm that started with 20 cm. of snow and then turned into ice rain. Then it turned very cold. When the city ploughs cleared the little dead-end piece of Dufferin Park Avenue right by the rink, they left a four foot-wide snow bank on the south side of the street next to the rink house, all the way down to the corner light. Five days after that storm, we called City Councillor Adam Giambrone's office. We asked an assistant: Could our Councillor get in touch with Public Works and let them know that the rink is a public facility that gets between 2500 and 3000 visits in during a holiday week? Could he let them know that the snow bank had cut off emergency and maintenance vehicle access to the building all week? Could he arrange for a city plough, so that cars bringing hockey kids and gear would stop getting stuck there?

The councillor's assistant called us back the next day and said that the Public Works supervisor had personally inspected our street and had decided that the snow piles, more compressed by then (from all the stuck cars rocking back and forth) but still reaching four feet into the street, were "up to code." The councillor's assistant said there was nothing more he could do. After we made a fuss, Councillor Giambrone personally left a phone message at the rink, saying that it was unrealistic to expect more help during the holiday week, when most city departments had only a skeleton staff.

Who knew, that city services take the same holidays the school kids take! It's a bit unnerving, though. Surely school holidays are not a time to do second-rate snow clearing so that a family facility like our rink becomes a tough place to get to. And also: how could it be that blocking the way to a well-used winter City facility with a wide snow bank for a week is "up to code" for the snowplough crews…..? (Who devised that code?)

Kevin Beaulieu, who also works in Councillor Giambrone's office, has said he'll try to work something out with Public Works before the next snowstorm. In case that doesn't bring an improvement, the person in charge of City snow removal is Andy Koropeski, Director of South District Transportation Services. His e-mail is akoropes@toronto.ca . Friends of the rink might want to post that address on their fridge.


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