Sunday 7 April 2024

West Shore Skate Spot Clean-up #3

 West Shore Skate Spot Clean-up #3

Over the past 2 clean-up, We'd picked ~300Pounds of waste.

This year we equaled that number.


The First pick happened before the Spot was constructed and after a homeless encampment burned down in the woods near where the spot was to be built. I'm not a fan of encampments because every one I've seen is a big trash pile, but shelters suck too so I have some sympathy. 

Anyways, we cleaned up 2 burnt down tents, found some weird stuff & collected ~200lbs before we were hailed, not rained, out.

Worlds smallest dog muzzle

The second pick netted 97lbs.  I attribute the decrease in waste to an increase in garbage bins. 

I continued to do little picks throughout the year but then in October of 2023, something dumb happened.


The mural left the spot un-rideable due to its slipperiness. The city made a conscious choice to address this problem slowly so I withdrew my janitorial services.

However, I still love this spot and we (skatepark users) still care about the spot and want action on the mural. 

With the biggest crew yet, we cleaned the entire West Shore Skate Spot, Community Centre, Waterfront Trail and Frenchman's Bay vicinity.  

317lbs including 2 tires, lots of poop bags, plastic, a tea pot, 2 wallets (one with ID that was turned in to the police) and a what we think is a dock float barrel.

There's still the issue of the mural to attend to but we skaters are obsessive...

...and some are making their feelings known.

Sunday 31 March 2024

Wellesley Township Recreation Centre Skatepark

 Wellesley Skatepark

Wellesley Township Recreation Centre


Hutchison & Queens Bush Road

Wellesley, ON  N0B 2T0

The new concrete park is complete and accessible. It may not be 'Open' as of April 1, '24 but there are no longer any fences up.  It it, however, surrounded by mud & covered in dirt as the landscaping has not been completed. 

I swept out a run and hit the pole jam.  Can't wait to check out the 'completed' park when it's clean and 'open'.

Sunday 18 February 2024

Frankford, ON

 Frankford, ON

Frankford Tourist Park (Tourist Park Road) is home to brand new park as of summer 2017. It's designed by Spectrum Skateparks and built by skaters.

 There is a bunch of landscaping to be done but the park is open. Bring a broom.
 Bank to barrier and nice mellow quarter pipe.
 Big 2 Block with hubba, step-up and out ledge.
 Ledges and manny pad.  Small 2 flat 3 stair set with rail and hubba.
Step-up Quarters 
 Fine work on the details. 
 Tight mini-ramp that can also be a bank-ledge-bank. Scooter resistant?

Bank to ledge.

 Slappy-able ends to the ledge. Little things like this can really make a park stand out.
 More great craftmanship. Grind smoothly from coping to crete & vice versa.

Tour video.

Spott's travel gear. I always travel with at least one complete in my car. This day I had 2 and used both for different tricks. Camera and phone to document everything. A hat to hold my phone for filming. Water, obviously. Skate shoes. I wear different shoes when I drive and have to walk a dirt path to the park. 
Lastly, My Broom! It's a big broom with a squeegee. The handle is a telescoping handle for a paint roller and it's great for storing in my small car.
Oh yeah. The Rock? I grab a rock from near each park and put it in my rock garden at home.

Friday 17 November 2023

Pickering Skateboard Parks Strategy Update

 Pickering Skateboard Parks Strategy Update

It has been 5 years since the Pickering Skateboard Park Strategy was approved and the West Shore Skate Spot has been proof of the need for action sports facilities. 

While The Strategy has guided the City of Pickering to this point, there is much to be done and several updates that need to be made to The Strategy.

Here's some suggestions for the future.

1 - No More Murals on Skate Surfaces. Put that 50k into the park. The WSSS mural has caused an issue with user traction. The paint and sealant used left the spot too slippery to ride.  The city is addressing the issue slowly. 
Update * While the winter was not a bad one, the mural did not fare that well.  The paint is still very slick and there are areas that have peeled off.  I reached out to the builder prior to painting and he said we needed to remove the concrete sealer with Xylene or the paint would peel. I passed this onto the artist.  It wasn't done.

2 - No Honey Locust Trees near skateparks. They are the worst shedders of leaves and stems. Younger Honey Locust Trees also shed their leaves earlier leaving them looking dead while mature trees, maples, oaks etc. retain their leaves longer.

3 - Faux stone finishes on berms to avoid erosion problems.  Steep berms are difficult to sod, resulting in the dirt being exposed and then being washed onto the park.  These Faux Stone finishes by Transition Construction eliminate the mounds of dirt that have difficulty retaining grass.

4 - Benches.  It took a year but WSSS now has the bench it should have had the day it opened. Without benches, users and spectators end up sitting on the obstacles. Additionally, the 2 new trash cans have decreased the overall litter throughout the Community Centre area.

5 - Proper park transitions.  The West Shore Skate Spot had a parking lot to skate spot transition of crushed gravel. As it was being installed, I contacted the city and was told 'it will be fine'.  I had seen a temporary gravel transition in Arthur and the rocks ended up all over the park.  A year of complaints and abrupt stops (known as rock farts due to the sound before the slam) the city finally agreed to asphalt the transition. 

6. Coloured concrete instead of murals. Markham is 20yrs old and still stands out.

7. Design/Build Contracts.  The West Shore Skate Spot project proved the effectiveness of a design/build contract.  The Project was tendered in December of 2021, consults & designs were conducted through the spring and shovels were in the ground July 4th. The spot opened, as promised, 7 weeks later and has been a hub of activity since. If the park is dry, people use it. I recall a fantastic February session with 7 other skaters.

Moving Forward
Pickering now has 2 skateparks, Pickering Skatepark in Princess Diana Park & The West Shore Skate Spot. These parks reside in Wards 3 & 1 leaving only Ward 2 without an action sports facility. 
Throughout the consultation process for the WSSS, pump tracks were a frequent request. Two of the parks listed in The Strategy within Ward 2, David Farr Memorial Park & the Hydro Corridor - Liverpool Rd North would be perfect for pump tracks.
The remaining Ward 2 location, Kinsmen Bay Ridges Park, is perfect for a skate spot. 

The need for a Community Skatepark still exists with the impending decommission of the Pickering Skatepark. City Staff have been consulting on a new location within the hydro corridor and have requested information on Plaza Style Skateparks.
Back to Ward 1, Mayor Ashe (as a Councillor) mentioned the St Mary's Park might be a good location for a skatepark. I agree and believe a sculptural skate dot would be a perfect addition to the park. See examples below. Additionally, new parks in North Pickering should be planned to include skateparks and spots while older park renovations should consider skate dots (simple ledges or sculptures) that can be skated in the shared public space.

A street spot in Valencia, Spain and concepts based on it. 

Sculptural Ledge Features

Lastly, Page 3 of the Pickering Skateboard Park strategy should be edited to read;

Scott Loyst is a local resident, skateboarder and advocate for additional skateboard parks in Pickering. He serves on the Executive Board of the Pickering West Shore Community Association (PWSCA) which organized a federal grant to hire two summer students to design a sensory garden and a skate spot at the West Shore Community Centre location. 

Scott presented the students work & his work to the PWSCA at the Annual General Meeting which took place on September 13th, 2017. The PWSCA voted to approve a skateboard park for the West Shore Community Centre should the opportunity arise with the development of the Skateboard Park Strategy 2017.

The Skate Spot was unanimously approved by council after public feedback came in at 91% in support.  The spot was constructed in the summer of 2022 and opened to immediate and constant use proving the need for additional action sports facilities in Pickering.