In Toronto’s urban environment, public park space acts as an oasis of grass, trees and plant-life that provide play, walk and enjoy. These public spaces are more than simple greenery, offering a wide assortment of services and programming to the neighbourhood community. Recognizing the enormous contribution park space has on our community, we must not only make efforts to maintain these spaces, but also to improve them. Below are some recent projects designed to expand and improve the services of the parks in our area.
Carlton Park Upgrades
On the morning of Friday June 17, I had the pleasure of meeting with members of the Carlton Park People’s Auxiliary along with City of Toronto Parks and Urban Forestry staff to discuss upgrades for Carlton Park located just North of Edith Avenue, between Franklin and Edwin Avenues. I am looking forward to working closely with City staff on a series of improvements for Carlton Park, which include the addition of more trees, picnic tables and garbage receptacles. I also plan to work closely with staff to upgrade the park design and incorporate separate entrances, pathways, a fire pit and a shelter structure. While we work together to get these upgrades up and running I invite area residents to enjoy the two new picnic tables that have recently been installed in Carlton Park.
Campbell Park Upgrades
For those residents familiar with Campbell park, during the winter this park’s ice rink is well used by skaters and hockey players. Among the most popular and appreciated services are offered by a small kitchen in the rinkhouse, where Hot Chocolate and hotdogs are a welcomed treat after a game of shinny. Unfortunately, the poor facilities of the small kitchenette severely limited the variety and amount of service that could be provided. Working hard with City staff through the winter, we were able to include in the 2011 capital parks projects work to install new sinks and electrical units to support park staff in providing even better food service at Campbell. Residents visiting inside the rinkhouse will also notice the new door which will improve access for Park staff to the kitchen.
These upgrades were recently showcased during a Campbell Park community dinner which had a great turnout. With over 100 residents attending throughout the evening, the event was a huge success. Special thanks to Michael Monastyrskyj, Yo Utano, Ava, Espe, Marina and the many staff who made this event so great. I look forward to many more.
Perth Park Upgrades
With the washrooms repaired, extra garbage and recycling bins, and repairs done to the playground equipment, Perth Park is ready for another summer of fun and enjoyment by residents and families.
McCormack Park Upgrades
As part of an initiative to improve the greenery and tree canopy of McCormack Park, 24 new trees have recently been planted. I will also be working with residents to create a stewardship Council for the park to guide and inform the future improvement of the park.
New Park: Lisgar Park
As part of an agreement with new planning initiatives on Queen Street West, a new public park is coming to the area. Currently called Lisgar Park, this new green space will be a hub for arts, culture and community events for the area.
To ensure that community interests are incorporated into the park design, a Working Group has been created with residents, local business owners, community organizations and City Staff to develop plans for the park.
At the second public meeting on the park design process, residents, business owners, City staff and park designers met to discuss three potential park designs, each offering different opportunities for public use and artistic programming.
Members present then had the opportunity to break into groups and discuss what design characteristics were favoured, and which raised concerns. This information has been taken by by park designers to create new models which preserve these favoured items and modify the less favourable characteristics.
While each park design offered different benefits, all residents believed in the need for ample seating areas, thorough tree and green space planting, and designs which broadly favour social gathering a community connection.
Due to the artistic and cultural nature of the Queen street area surrounding the new park location, a central interest in the creation of this park is to provide opportunities of exhibiting artistic presentations within the park.
The next public meeting will present a park design or designs which merge together the many suggestions of residents from the previous meetings. Residents will then have the opportunity to influence these new designs as the process comes nearer to achieving a final design for the park.