The ice rink at the south end of Robert Street Field, located near Spadina Avenue and Sussex Avenue, is currently being used as storage for garbage cans, and its tennis court has a snow fence for a net.
According to a report by U of T plant cyberinfrastructure and systems biology professor Nicholas Provart, grounds staff have been throwing the trash cans, labeled ‘Ryerson,’ onto the rink since the summer. He also said that the rink, co-owned by the university and the city, has not been operational since the failure of its ice-making equipment in 1998. It has not reopened since, despite the city allocating $1.3 million for repairs in 2009.
The field, currently listed as an outdoor complex by the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education, serves as the practice grounds for the Varsity Blues women’s lacrosse team and the playing space for intramural ultimate frisbee. It also hosts the Blues’ Buddy-up program.
“The tennis courts and rink at the south end of the field would certainly benefit from improvement,” said Althea Blackburn-Evans, Director of Media Relations at U of T. “We look forward to working with the community, our local councillor and the City to improve the area through landscaping and new programming.”
Provart also said that results of a 2011 survey conducted by the Harbord Village Residents Association, which represents people living in the area, voiced the community’s desire to have a “useful green space” at the south end of the field, and that “if U of T feels that it can’t maintain that space then perhaps the city can do a better job of it.”
Blackburn-Evans said that the university expects to improve and expand the playing fields, although a timeline for these changes has not been specified.
Faculty of Kinesiology Public Relations Director Sarah Baker did not respond to The Varsity’s request for comment as of press time.