posted November 16, 2010
Campbell rink like the park it sits in is a public facility funded by the taxes the city collects from residents. Like other municipal amenities it is maintained and operated by City of Toronto employees. While Campbell staff are city employees, they are sometimes assisted by contract workers from a community group called CELOS.
Unlike most other rinks Campbell has a small snack bar and cheap skate rentals. Used skates that were donated by members of the community can be rented for $2. Money earned from skate rentals and the sale of food, drinks, pucks and hockey tape are put back into the rink. They help pay for things like the firewood used during the Saturday and Sunday rink-side campfires.
There is no charge for skating or playing hockey at Campbell. And why would there be? If you live in Toronto, you already pay for the rink every time you pay a municipal tax.
In Toronto some rinks like the ones at Wallace-Emerson and Dufferin are double pads where there are separate ice surfaces for hockey and pleasure-skating. Campbell, on the other hand, is a single pad rink which means hockey players and pleasure skaters usually take turns using the ice according to a schedule created by city recreation staff. (Skaters and hockey players do share the ice during the unsupervised shared use time periods.)
Until a few years ago Campbell was a hockey rink with little or no pleasure skating, but that has started to slowly change as new people, including parents with young children, have moved into the Junction Triangle. Rink staff have been diligent in enforcing the Saturday 4-6pm pleasure-skating hours and turnout has gone up considerably. On the last Saturday of the 2009-2010 rink season, more than a hundred people showed up to skate and chat with friends while drinking hot chocolate and warming themselves next to the campfire.
In 2009-2010, staff added two hours of weekday pleasure-skating Mondays 3:30-5:30pm after parents from Perth Public School said they wanted to take their children skating after school. This season, 2010-2011, staff have responded to community requests for more pleasure-skating by adding two hours (1-3pm) to the Sunday schedule. This means there are now six hours of pleasure-skating on the schedule: Saturday 4-6pm, Sunday 1-3pm and Monday 3:30-5:30pm.
However, hockey players don't need to worry. Most of the schedule is still All Ages shinny. If you are a looking for a fast-paced game of pick-up hockey, Campbell is still the place to be. Unlike nearby Wallace-Emerson and Dufferin, there are no hockey age groups, though that is something that could change depending on what the community wants.