Monday, January 12, 2009

Toronto Trip - Finally Home

After battling a raging snowstorm between London, Ontario an Dayton, Ohio and taking the wrath of a US Customs agent at the border who clearly hates people, I am finally home from a great trip.

The trip had great highlights: Maple Leafs game, Bulldogs game, and the trip to the Zamboni factory in Brantford, Ontario.

The Zamboni factory is their final production plant for the model 400-series Zamboni. These are smaller machines geared toward studio rinks and single-sheet arenas. They ordinally don't do factory tours, but I did get a pretty good look at the place. It was more like the shop at Orange County Choppers (without the attitudes and rampant swearing); nothing pretentious, just a place to get things done.

The best part about it was the "graveyard" of Olympia machines out back that were taken in trade and will be scrapped.

Here is a pic of Wayne Gretzky Parkway in Brantford:

Here's the sign out front of the Zamboni factory:

Here I am by a historic Model J Zamboni in the lobby of the Factory:

This model was designed to be small and maneuver through tight corners, and is based on the old paddle-and-chain original technology.

Here I am by a Model K machine:

This one came along after the current enclosed auger style but was designed for arenas that did not have the clearance for a machine that lifts the tank to dump. It was improved technology like the auger-based dumping machines, but used the paddle-and-chain.

The paddle-and-chain machines had to be shoveled out after use, or melted with a stream of water through a drain in the bottom of the tank.

Both of these machines have been meticulously restored to original condition and they are fully functional.

Here is the snowstorm we drove through coming home. We were driving through snow for about 300 miles of the trip. This is on the 401 Highway between London and Windsor:

Stand by for the next blog entry, comparing the value we get from ECHL hockey compared to the AHL and NHL.


Anonymous Stacey T. said...

Welcome Home!! Glad you had a safe trip!

2:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you have anymore ZAMBONI pictures. I would enjoy seeing then

1:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In a million years, I would never have dreamed that those Stingers games would have lead to this. Good job, son!!!!

7:20 PM  

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