Keeping the Hodgson rink open

Our community’s ice rink at Hodgson Senior Public School is beloved by our local families. It sadly closed this year as a result of ammonia leaks. Components at a facility like Hodgson have a life cycle of 15 to 20 years, and the rink is now more than 30 years old. There is no doubt that the rink’s infrastructure needs to be completely replaced.

To ensure our kids had a place to skate, I worked closely with parents to build a natural ice rink nearby for this season. Although our rink’s been a great success, it’s reliant on weather and can’t replace an artificial rink.

The land on which the rink is located is owned by the Toronto District School Board (TDSB). The city earmarked $2 million for the Hodgson rink in its 2014 capital budget and is ready to begin construction. However, TDSB staff was only willing to commit its property to the rink for 10 years — to keep its options open for future uses — which is insufficient for a capital investment of this size.

I am delighted to report that there has been significant progress made by the city and the TDSB toward an agreement. The city is now moving forward with tendering a contract to refurbish and upgrade the rink. The facility will continue to be located at Hodgson, and, barring any inclement weather, the rink should now be ready for the next winter season.

To the parents and residents who have advocated for our local rink, not only were your voices heard, they were instrumental in what we’ve achieved.

When our community is presented with a challenge, we’ve always successfully faced it together. I look forward to seeing our kids enjoy our local ice rink again.

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