Special Family Day at the park Feb. 19

Come to Sorauren Park on Family Day, Monday February 19, for a special Farmers Market, 3 – 7 p.m. The pizza oven will be fired up, there will be free hot cider, and delicious hot chocolate will be sold from an outdoor booth.

If the weather cooperates, the natural ice rink will be open for pleasure skating and shinny. Plus, all the winter Market vendors will be open in the Fieldhouse.

The Market will also be offering a family portrait service and board games. See you at the park!

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Better weather ahead for the rink

Painting of skaters at Sorauren Park by Larissa Mattwich. Monochromatic, snow and pines and ice and skakers

Thanks to Larissa Mattwich for the wonderful painting of skaters at Sorauren Park.

The Sorauren Park Hosers have nursed the rink through a few weeks of up-and-down. Now the patient is looking to make a strong recovery thanks to the tender loving care and a more promising forecast for below-zero temperatures.

Rink conditions are posted more frequently on our SoraurenPark social media feeds, so check often. The rink is closed to protect the surface when temperatures rise above zero.

The new boards this year have done a much better job holding in the water during thaws. That said, the rink does need remedial work to get it back to the excellent conditions we experienced just before and after New Year’s.

Volunteer Hosers flood every night at 9 p.m. when temperatures are below zero and when it is not snowing hard.

Big thanks to our sponsors Scooter Girl Toys, Snap Fitness High Park and Chander Chaddah, whose support enabled the purchase of the new boards. To learn more about the rink and how you can get involved, visit our Ice Rink page.

City Council votes YES to Wabash Community Centre

Birds-eye view drawing of the old brick linseed oil mill building, re-imagined as the Wabash Community Centre

2009 concept plan for Wabash Community Centre by Oleson Worland_Taylor Smyth architects, in joint venture. The plan would use the footprint and exterior of the old linseed oil mill

Toronto City Council has voted to start work this year on the Wabash Community Centre at Sorauren Park.

Work will begin with a modest $50,000 budgeted for pre-engineering. That will be followed by design in 2018 and 2019, with shovels in the ground planned for 2020, towards a 2022 or 2023 opening. Total project budget is $32.4 million.

“After 17 years on the books and many years of community advocacy before that, this is wonderful news,” said Joël Campbell, chair of the all-volunteer Friends of Sorauren Park. “This is a milestone.”

The Friends of Sorauren Park recently concluded its “Unlock the Community Centre” awareness campaign, the latest in a long series of actions to advocate for the centre.

The project is included in Parks, Forestry and Recreation’s capital budget and plan, which City Council approved Wednesday, February 15, 2017, as part of the overall City budget.

The most recent plans for the community centre, prepared as part of a 2009 feasibility study, would convert the abandoned Canada Linseed Oil Mills building next to the park into a 40,000 sq. ft. community hub with a gym (shown above), multipurpose rooms, studios and fitness rooms, youth space, kitchen and third-floor event space with a rooftop terrace.

Follow us on social media @SoraurenPark, our website and this newsletter for updates and news on design consultations.

Friends of Sorauren Park would like to thank Councillor Gord Perks, along with previous Ward 14 councillors Sylvia Watson and Chris Korwin-Kuczynski, who all moved the project along at various stages at City Council.

Most of all, thanks to the community, which has advocated ceaselessly for the community centre since the early 1990s. Never stop believing.

Illustration showing a gym and hallways with light streaming from the top

Artist’s rendering of gym and first floor of community centre

Sorauren Rink open… with a few bumps

Photo of man on natural ice rink holding a hose spraying water. Blue sky, and snow around the rink boards.

Thomas lays down an early-morning flood to build on the work of other Hosers this week

Thanks to the efforts of the all-volunteer Sorauren Park Hosers rink crew, the natural ice rink is now open for pleasure skating (east pad) and shinny (west pad).

Conditions are a little bumpy, especially in the corners, so skate with care. Skating will help improve the surface, as will the many floods to come with this excellent weather. UPDATE: Conditions now good to excellent with repeat flooding and a polar vortex. Dress warm.

Remember the rink closes at 9 p.m. every evening for flooding.

Grab a shovel or bring your shovel if it’s snowing to help keep the rink clear.

Thanks to this year’s rink sponsors:

Chander Chaddah, Sutton Group Associates

Scooter Girl Toys

Snap Fitness High Park – Roncesvalles

Sponsor funding permitted the purchase of new, sturdier rink boards to replace the old plywood. Thanks also to Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation for water, scrapers, equipment storage.

Follow SoraurenPark on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for rink updates.

Rink build this Saturday Dec. 16, join us

Photo of volunteers installing rink boards on snowy baseball diamond

The Sorauren Park Hosers rink crew invite you to join them for the annual rink build this Saturday December 16th.<

The work will start at 9 a.m. on the baseball diamond… which Parks, Forestry and Recreation has  plowed to prepare a clean base for flooding.

Volunteer jobs include:

  • Moving rink boards into position
  • Installing rink boards – bring cordless drill-drivers, hammers​
  • Moving picnic tables
  • Moving goalie nets
  • Helping with pizza and coffee service
  • Stacking a new load of firewood for the pizza oven
  • Tidying up

Chores for all ages!

Forecast looks promising till the end of December. With any luck we’ll have a rink going over the holidays… it takes about a week of below-zero temperatures to get the ice up for skating.

Thanks to everyone who has signed up for a weekly flooding shift. Some spots are still available, sign up with our easy form.

BIG NEWS: Three local businesses have stepped up to sponsor the rink this year: Scooter Girl Toys, Snap Fitness High Park/Roncesvalles, and Chander Chaddah, Sutton Group Associates. Thanks to these sponsors, we’ll be able to invest in upgraded replacement boards, replacement hoses, new signage and other goodies to be announced.