Upgrade to A.I.R. and facilities in the works for Dieppe Park

The Artificial Ice Rink (AIR) and related facilities at Dieppe Park have fallen on hard times.  Built in 1974, the facility is now close to 40 years old and it’s showing.  The City, lead by the spirited Ward 29 Councilor Mary Fragedakis was out last night at the old facility, charts and drawings in hand, so offer us a new vision of what the AIR could be. 

On hand, among others, from Forestry, Parks and Recreation were David Nosella (supervisor of Capital Projects, Landscape and Environment) and Ed Hanna, Senior Project Coordinator, Construction Management, Capital Projects – both working out of Metro Hall.

There were three concept drawings on display and it was the job of the attending public to pick the one they liked most, make a few notes of why they like it and add any suggestions for features or improvement for their choice.  Assistants were on hand to hand out paper and pen and the whole event seemed lighthearted and positive.  I arrived about 7:30 and by the time I left about 8:30.  I estimate about ten to twelve interested parties had made their preferences known and handed in written comments during that time.

The project seems to be divided into two sections; the building and the rink surfaces.  The building improvements tended towards greater openness, more light and larger windows facing the new rink surfaces.  A small office is being suggested so that the space can be programmed during non-skating season.  This programming might take the form of art classes, day camp for children, public meeting space, seniors meeting area, etc.  A barrier free washroom was also shown on the concept drawings.  The space itself will not be enlarged, only modified. The concept drawing also showed a canopy over the east entrance door – a nice touch.   I suggested solar panels for the roof (not within the scope of this project) and skylights (possible).  I’ve attached my comments herein.

Outside on the AIR itself, things were a little different.  The concepts ranged from a minor improvement to the existing ice pads (glass-topped boards replace chain link fence for example) to a complete re-alignment of the ice surfaces and greater separation of the hockey pad and the pleasure skating pad.

Whatever is decided, based on this consultation (and many others going forward I’m sure) I was told that construction is expected to begin once the ice is out in 2013 and completed by the time winter arrives and skating season begins in earnest.

While other members of the public were looking over the designs, asking questions and making comments, I took Daryl Finlayson (executive assistant to Councilor Fragedakis) for a walk over to the picnic bench area under the trees( adjacent to the “snack bar”) for a look at the iron grates that are hampering the trees and creating a tripping hazard for park users.  He took a few photos, expressed concern and said he’d see what can be done about getting them either removed completely (now that they’ve served their initial purpose) or at least having them re-installed properly.  I mentioned that if they were removed completely, Friends of Dieppe Park might be able to plant flowers at the base of the trees, at some point

All the FPR people, Councilor Fragedakis and her executive assistant, as well as the everyone who was helping last night were there well outside of their regular working hours trying to make a difference. The same can be said of the attending members of the public who came out to express their opinions and make their voices heard – many after a long day of work.  Well done!

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One response to this post.

  1. […] been a long time coming, but construction of new Artificial Ice Rink (A.I.R) is underway.  Click here for some background and here for a list of suggested improvements and comments from […]

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