Back On The Ice!

Hallelujah! I’m thrilled to report the City has agreed to allow people to keep skating on the outdoor rink behind Summerfield Drive until the first major thaw!

Like anything in life, sometimes compromises need to be made. And in this case it’s no different.

I have talked to some of the neighbours and so far they are more than willing to agree to the few conditions laid out.

View the memo.

Next week, City staff will be reaching out to the neighbourhood to try to figure out future steps.

I think it’s a reasonable solution. It lets kids (and adults!) continue to have fun on this great rink, while balancing the very real safety, liability and other competing neighbourhood concerns at play in this issue.

Again, I’d like to thank staff for stepping up on this issue pronto for the community.

Thanks to all of you for your very vocal, very passionate, very heartfelt comments on the need to support outdoor rinks and healthy outdoor activity for our kids!

I have not skated in 25 years but I intend on trying this rink out soon!


21 responses to “Back On The Ice!”

  1. So Stephen S, if someone disagrees with your opinion than they have an attitude? Last time I looked we still live in a Democracy and have a right to different opinions. It might be popular to support this rink, however there are several issues that quite frankly do not sit well with many residents. Since when is it acceptable to just do what you want without following proper procedure as in why didn’t anyone in the neighborhood actually contact the city and inquire as to if it was okay to build a rink and since there was a bylaw what could be done to permit the rink? Instead, the rink was built and a resident complained under a bylaw (under the law, rightly so) and all proverbial hell breaks loose. The complainant is vilified by “mob mentality reaction”. Second – Why do we have bylaws if the Mayor apparently can step in and so called take the right action? Thirdly – If the Mayor was that influential, that is an issue in itself in every level possible. Fine for you fervent supporters until you disagree with the Mayor. That is why we have a council and proper procedures in place to deal with such issues. Its easy to do what is popular but that doesn’t necessarily mean its what is right.

  2. Thanks Cam, great work.

    Jim Wadleigh, perhaps you should read the memo. Actually you should research before commenting. The reality is, we live in a city that abides by many regulations, that have been reached with many hours of research and evaluation. And not much gets through city hall without a fight, and without great reasoning if it opposes said regulations. Cam hasn’t bullied staff in anyway shape or form, this is what the city has lacked for decades; Reason, common sense, and flexibility.

    We are citizens of the city of Guelph, as well as volunteers inside our community. And as such, we should be able to work with our government to enjoy the space we occupy.

    • Yes we do have rules that help us live in harmony and safety. Some people don’t like the rules and choose to ignore them
      Staff were simply going to enforce some rules, but now will not. The Mayor is taking credit for the change, is celebrating and high giving, and if you read the comments, his supporters seem to feel that the Mayor caused the change in direction.

      I like outdoor rinks, and as it happens, worked five hours clearing snow on one of the City’s best ones yesterday. Our volunteer team follows City regulations, we have a great relationship with City staff, and that’s the way it is supposed to work. No neighbours at that rink complain. They feed us chocolate?
      Populism and easy decisions bite back in the end. Looks like the public conversation as expressed in the press release is now morphing from high fives for defeating the evils of rules last week to a more moderate acknowledgement that there are actually rules for a reason and they apply to all citizens. That’s a good place to go.

      • Please forgive the spelling errors. High FIVES, not High Gives.
        Smartphones and big fingers don’t mix.

  3. Cam,

    I’m glad to see this got resolved…I hope the city is able to allow well organized community efforts such as this one to continue.



  4. thank you Cam!!! Finally a Mayor who does something & stands up for communities, families & kids!!! I tell you I have 7 kids & we built outdoor rinks for years. Kids from all around came to play & have fun. I love watching the kids have fun & play in the fresh air! Now we go on a pond that we plow for all to use. It builds community. It builds good relationships. Fun!!! Thank you so much Cam. You have our vote!! Keep up the great work!!!

  5. As a volunteer who has worked with the City for several years to build and maintain a safe, low impact rink at Exhibition Park, I was dismayed to see the picture in the Merc of the outlaw rink. Seven strapping lads, including the goalie, without a shred of head and face protection, using full size nets, which are banned on legal City outdoor rinks since a child died from a puck to the head. A painful memory. Up until now, the many volunteers who freeze for hours working on these rinks have enjoyed a great relationship of trust and cooperation with City employees. If the Mayor is going to bully City employees into going along with these cowboys, he can expect sinking levels of cooperation building public safety, community well being and respect for . Laws don’t work when they get bent for whoever whines.
    The City at least should enforce the same safety standards that are in place on other rinks, provide the low, pond hockey style nets that are provided at legal City rinks, and request helmets be worn.
    Discouraged volunteer.

    • We need less of a “nanny state” Jim,people are capable of making their own decisions without constant Government input!

      • I don’t think taking reasonable, evidence- based precautions to protect kids makes us a Nanny State. Half of all brain injuries in youth sports are from hockey. Look it up. Teaching kids to play safely also teaches them to look after each other, surely not a bad thing.
        Maybe you are from a country where there is no sense of civil society and public good. If so, welcome to Canada, where we care about each other.
        Values that say it’s wrong for adults to guide kids toward safe ways of being active don’t really make any sense to me. I have a new grandchild as of a day ago. I’m going to do what I can to keep him safe and help him become a caring citizen.

      • So Jim:
        Do you make your kids wear helmets when running around the yard? Far more injuries are from tripping and falling than any organized sport.

        And how about walking down the icy sidewalks to school? Do you require them to wear helmets then? I’ve done far more damage to myself slipping on Guelph sidewalks and tearing muscles and ligaments than I ever have from thirty years of long-distance cycling.

        And how about in the car, Jim? Do you make your kids wear their helmets there too? *VASTLY* more children are seriously injured in car accidents than in any other activity.

        Oh, and the uneven sidewalks…of course, nobody ever trips on those in this town, do they? Best everyone wear helmets, all the time.

        Your concern isn’t public safety, Jim. It’s being a control-freak.

  6. Knew you would have this situation solved very fast in the Cam Guthrie style you exhibited in the 4 years as Ward 4 Councillor and now as the Mayor. Way to go Cam!

    • Just like to say I’m very impressed with Cam’s quick response and solution. Really nice to see someone present and aware in City Hall! Good job.

    • Great job mayor! That is a the knd of true leadership we need in Guelph. I have not personally met you yet but, I will be looking to shake your hand on taking control of this situation and bringing all parties to a great decision. Proud to live in Guelph…. Mike Stultz 31 Jenson. Blvd only 200m away from rink.

    • Ditto !!!! Excellent quick attention to keeping the rink open for kids to get fresh air and exercise…and still working with the community to address their concerns…great resolution and problem solving techniques !!!!! Thank you Mr. Mayor !!! Guelph should be proud !

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