Dieppe Park Field House and Facility Improvements

Dear Councilor Fragedakis;

On behalf of Friends of Dieppe Park, I just wanted to add a few things or make minor changes on the written comments I left at the artificial ice rink (A.I.R.) presentation on Thursday evening. There’s a lot of stuff here and a few of them may require a little more discussion, but it’s a start.

My first suggestion is to start calling the building under discussion “The Field House” for that is what it mostly is for most people. “A building at a sports field where people can change their clothes, have a shower, etc.” OED


  • My preference was for Concept A, the drawing with the “islands” in the pleasure skating rink.
  • By physically seperating the pleasure skating and hockey rinks, the sightlines from the street are dramatically improved. It opens up the park visually and physically, reducing the need to navigate the chainlink fencing of the baseball diamond and parking lot just to get into the park.
  • Please tell me there’s no plan to put up fencing around the pleasure skating rink!
  • Pleasure rink could be promoted for inline skating use during summer. Skateboarders will use it of course.
  • Garden area between rinks is a great idea, but remember to use plants that are interesting in the winter AND summer
  • Benches are important and I see they haven’t been forgotten on the drawings Can area at “top” (south side) of pleasure rink have shading for summer heat relief? Shading need not run whole length of walkway. Hanging plants could be added. I sent Daryl some photos yesterday of the type of structure I’m talking about
  • Perhaps low growing plants could be added just south of the shaded area to visually and physically seperate the (unofficial) dog area from the skating/shaded area.
  • Can a drinking fountain be added on grass area just off walk way at “top” of drawing?
  • Can kids area become “quiet lagoon” during summer to program space for elderly? (kids area was suggested to be the small bay of ice, just outside the west doors)
  • Can spot be found for winter fire pit (permit only) for group skating event.
  • Any plans for picnic table to south of plesure skating pad? (For winter or summer use.)
  • On the hockey pad, I understood that the chain link fencing might be replaced with glass – great idea! It would open up that corner of the park so much.
  • Careful attention will need to be paid to the residents near the hockey rink, as repositioning, as suggested, seems to being it closer to their property.
  • Can we make the “snow dump” area from a porus material such as crushed gravel, limestone screening, interlocking pavers, woodchips – not asphalt? I’m sure the Zamboni can negotiate crushed gravel.
  • Will any foundation planting be done around the Zamboni garage?
  • Can rain barrels be installed on garage?

The “Field House”

  • Think in terms of wheelchair and barrier free access from the parking lot and street.
  • This is a great opportunity to green The Field House and create a facility thats resilient against climate change as much as possible; Low toxicity paints and wall finishes, LED lighting, lots of day light, opening screened windows to reduce reliance on AC, attic fans to extract summer heat, solar water heating on the roof to “pre-heat” hot water for use in facility, etc.
  • The people at Evergreen Brick Works would be thrilled to help with ideas and resources
  • Be careful of asbestos pipe insulation during any Field House work.
  • Skylites in roof to open up the space and add light while reducing dependence on electric lighting – likely on the east side to avoid overheating from direct sunlight in afternoon. No need for them to open.
  • If skylights are too difficult then the tried-and-true Tubular Day-lighting Device (TDD) would also work well for lighting.
  • Can an external water source be incorporated/added on south or SE wall(s) for proposed Adopt-a-tree program?
  • I note than none of the downspouts use a rain barrel. Maybe rain barrels could be used as a source of water for the Friends of Diepe Park Adopt-A-Tree program. That would be a cheap and easy way to get water for plant use almost immediately! While notoriously unreliable, rain is cheap.
  • Is sliding door the best idea for the west entrance? I know from experience the track at the bottom is problematic in a high volume, heavy use situation.
  • I like the idea of an entrance canopy on the east entrance, but could a “deck” be built out from the east wall? There certainly is ample space.
  • Is there any thought to having a portable/automatic defibillator on site? I know they have these at many indoor hockey venues and they have been key in helping players who have collapsed on the ice.
  • Will the walkway between the baseball diamond and the building have the grade/surface improved? It might be nice to have the concrete walkway replaced with a more porous surface like interlocking brick, crushed gravel, etc. It might even wrap west to meet up with the “shaded area” noted in the previous section
  • Can the A.I.R. machinery at the south end of the building be “screened” visually with a more natural fencing material? I see some enterprising individual has encouraged a blooming vine to grow on the fence – very nice.
  • Given that the intent is to program the Field House space (I assume mostly kids summer daycamp stuff) can a “weather station” be installed that gives temperature, relative humidity, barometric pressure, wind speed and direction, etc. This would be a great educational link with the park environment.
  • Are there “naming” opportunities for main room in the field house? Lacking a major sponsor, a prominant family with a history in the area might be used for naming – the Smith family owned the land many years ago for example. East York Historical Society might be of help. I’ll suggest “The Jack Layton Field House” in honour of the late MP serving the Toronto Danforth riding.
  • Are the Bixi Bike people interested in using adjacent outdoor space for their rental bikes? It’s right on the Cosburn Bike Lane with easy access to many other bike lanes and paths
  • Is AutoShare interested in one or two spaces in the parking lot? Might be an income opportunity for the park and allow people to use a car without owning one – another greening idea for the park and related facilities.

It was suggested that the addition of solar panels on the roof was beyond the scope of this project. I’m not sure I understood why. It’s an opportunity to green the park, at no cost to the City as the panels are installed (essentially) for free through the Toronto Hydro program and there is at the least a reduced electrical bill and at best a net return to the City. With TDDs you get free light and with the solar panels you actually generate money be pumping electricity back into the grid – it’s win-win. If the objection is the shape and configuration of the roof, then that’s a different discussion. Like I said, there’s a lot here to chew on and if I can help in any way, just let me know.

Ed Horner

Friends of Dieppe Park,

Toronto friendsofdieppepark@yahoo.com

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One response to this post.

  1. […] 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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