The Dundas-St. Clarens Parkette to get $150K makeover (Inside Toronto)

Inside Toronto published an article on December 10, 2016 regarding the Dundas- St. Clarens Parkette makeover. I am pleased that our collaborative efforts with the Dundas West BIA and local residents to update this community space has come to fruition. 

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The Dundas-St. Clarens Parkette to get $150K makeover (Inside Toronto)

Dundas- St.Clarens Parkette

The Dundas- St. Clarens parkette, 1717 Dundas St W, will be transformed into a multi-use park for the community. - Submitted photo


The Dundas West Business Improvement Area's (BIA) vision for the Dundas-St. Clarens Parkette is one step closer to becoming a reality.

Desires to improve the parkette, located at 1717 Dundas St. W., have been swirling around for about three years; but, the ball finally got rolling in the spring after the community was able to secure $150,000 from nearby development projects through Section 42.

The BIA’s co-ordinator, Helder Ramos, is happy to see the final concept come to life.

“It’s a relief for one to know it’s happening, and it’s great that the City of Toronto and the councillor believed it was enough of a priority to get it done now,” Ramos explained.

“It incorporates many of the ideas put forth by residents and BIA members. I think the vision that’s been carried forth is the right one and what we hope is that now people will make use of it.”

The parkette's upgrade is a collaborative effort of the BIA, the surrounding community and the local councillor for Davenport, Ward 18, Ana Bailao.

Construction is expected to begin in 2017. The new parkette will include new curved benches; increased greenery; chess tables; a path from the back of the park to the wider open piazza space, through to the front facing Dundas Street West; and raised planters for a community garden.

“The community gardens (are) important because it creates a reason for people to go to the park, and it creates a space for people who live in apartments to do some gardening,” Ramos said.

“We want to create a gathering space and the community garden is one aspect.”

One thing residents won’t see in the park is the existing playground. Bailao said the idea to remove it comes “totally from the community,” due to the space being limited.

The area is also well-served by neighbouring parks, with playgrounds such as McCormick Park, McGregor Park and the green space at Shirley Street School.

“A lot of the people said they’d like to have this space (Dundas-St. Clarens) for other kinds of activities,” Bailao explained.

Suggested programming ideas for the space include small markets and sidewalk sales, making it a potential central location for activities organized by the BIA. Ramos said he’d like to see various markets and vendors use the space during the Dundas West Fest.

“This space will also be good for people to just hang out in,” Ramos added.

“It creates an inviting meeting space for people. We, as a BIA, just want the park to be used. It’s been abandoned for too long.”

The community is encouraged to email or call Bailao until mid-December with any suggestions to the final concept design posted on her website.

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