Dufferin Grove Park Improvements

Progress on the improvements to Dufferin Grove Park's Northwest corner have been steady, with a lot of input from the community. Through extensive community consultations dating back to 2016, what began as a 'state of good repair' project evolved into one which addresses not only safety and accessibility, but sustainability and usability of the area.

One of the major renovations is to replace the rink slab and refrigeration equipment, which was originally installed in 1993 and is prone to failure. The new equipment will make the facility more reliable so the community can enjoy this rink throughout the winter season and for years to come. In addition, the renovations will create larger and fully accessible gardening beds, a more functional kitchen, a green roof with a pollinator focus for the Zamboni shed, additional basketball nets, a larger multi-purpose room with a gas fireplace, more bike parking and improved skate storage.

Due to COVID-19, the construction procurement process and tender was extended. Construction is expected to begin in fall 2020 with completion in spring 2022. The ice rink is anticipated to reopen in November 2021.

Thank you to everyone who has been involved in this process. With nearly 300 hours of volunteer time and hundreds of residents participating, it is clear that Dufferin Grove is one of the most beloved parks in Toronto. If you want learn more about this project or get involved, you can do so at: toronto.ca/DufferinGroveRevitalization.


Dufferin Grove Park Northwest Improvements Meeting

As you may know, the City has been working in consultation with the community to develop designs for improvements for the northwest corner of Dufferin Grove Park. Feedback and input from the community has been a central part of this process and many residents have contacted my office about this project. It is important that this feedback continue to be shared with the project team so that it can be incorporated into the work. In order to share your feedback with the team, please email [email protected] or [email protected] or visit https://dufferingrove-northwestrevitalization.ca/contact-us to submit your comments there and find more information on the project, technical reports and previous presentations

The City will be holding the next public meeting on Wednesday April 17, 2019 at St. Helen Catholic School (1196 College St) in order to share design updates and hear from the community on these updates. I look forward to seeing you there as we work collaboratively to improve Dufferin Grove Park!


City of Toronto commemorates the life of Jenna K. Morrison with a Reflexology Footpath in Dufferin Grove Park

Today, Councillor Ana Bailão (Ward 18 Davenport) and City staff joined Darlene Burke, (mother), Florian Schuck (husband), Lucas (son), friends and members of the Dufferin Grove Park community to honour the life of Jenna K. Morrison with the opening of a reflexology footpath with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Jenna Morrison was a loving daughter, mother and devoted wife who passed away suddenly as a result of a traffic accident. Jenna was a yoga instructor, a Thai massage therapist, and a very spiritual person. Her loss was a great blow to her community.

"The tragic loss of a daughter, mother and wife is a devastating experience. The City is proud to honour the life, spirit and work of Jenna K. Morrison with the first Reflexology Foot Path in a public park in Ontario, here in Dufferin Grove Park," said Mayor Rob Ford. "As one walks the path barefoot or in socks, the sole, and therefore acupressure points are massaged which stimulate parts of the foot to improve physical health."

"Jenna Morrison lived her life as an active and well-loved member of our Ward 18 community. Today we celebrate Jenna's life and contributions by opening this reflexology footpath. Together, we have worked to realize Jenna's dream and also provide a permanent public amenity in Dufferin Grove Park." said Councillor Bailão.

Jenna discovered the reflexology footpath many years ago. Based on Chinese medicine, the footpath uses various textures which stimulate points on the feet to improve physical health. Jenna always wanted to build a path like this in Toronto. Today the path becomes a reality.

"I was fully aware from the beginning of this project that I was functioning as an ambassador for Jenna’s vision," said Florian Schuck, her husband. "This path is unique, not only to this park, but as unique as Jenna was to her friends and family and the people she touched."

"The infinity loop design of the path connects us to her and us to ourselves and us to each other with no beginning and no end," said Darlene Burke, Jenna's mother. "It is also emblematic of the spiritual, emotional and mental and physical worlds showing the interconnectedness which surrounds all of humanity."

"It has been an honour to collaborate with Florian and the City on this very unique project. To the best of our knowledge this is the first reflexology path to be installed in an Ontario municipal park and I can’t think of a better place for it. Part memorial, part healing centre and part secret garden, this is a truly one of a kind park amenity for a one of a kind community," said Howard Nauboris, Landscape Architect, Cosburn, Nauboris Ltd.

The path consists of a bed made of concrete in which cobblestones of various shapes and sizes are embedded to various degrees. Some are upright while others are flat, protruding the surface of the concrete at slightly different heights. The path begins simply and progresses to several degrees of difficulty. One does not have to keep moving along the path, but may choose to stay in one place to reap the benefits. Users may also step off the path when the path is too difficult for them and continue to walk along beside the path.

The path features the embedded initials of Jenna K. Morrison, a light standard, a community mosaic wall, a handrail for assistance while walking, boulder accents, native sedge ground cover, upper evergreen ground cover and an asphalt walkway leading to the path. The path is designed to be walked in all directions depending on preference for use. A handrail is provided as support.

The path was designed in the shape of a number eight, the sign of infinity which was a significant symbol to Jenna Morrison.

Funding for the parks was provided by community fundraising and the City of Toronto.

The park is located in the central park area, by the main path of Dufferin Grove Park, 875 Dufferin St.

Toronto is Canada's largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world's most livable cities. Toronto is proud to be the Host City for the 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit www.toronto.ca, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us @TorontoComms.

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Media contact:

Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation media line, 416-560-8726, [email protected]

 


Dufferin Grove reflexology footpath to be unveiled in honour of Jenna Morrison

By Lisa Rainford

It is with a mixture of excitement and disbelief that Florian Shuck will officially unveil Canada’s first-ever public reflexology footpath in Dufferin Grove Park on Saturday afternoon.JMMF_BW_Villager.JPG

He’ll be joined by family and friends of his and late-partner, Jenna Morrison for whom the footpath was created and named.

“At one point, it was just a dream of my wife’s; now, it’s a reality,” Shuck told The Villager a few days before the event on July 26. “It’s quite overwhelming.”

Shuck is at the park regularly to oversee the path’s installation and this week, the finishing touches. Changes are happening daily, he said, and expressed his awe for the landscape architect and construction team’s skill set and compassion for the project.

It was key to create a public memorial for Morrison in the park the couple and their young son frequented, because, Shuck said, “Jenna was always compassionate and seeking to contribute to the greater community she was part of.”

Morrison, a 38-year-old expectant mother, yoga instructor and health practitioner, was riding her bike on her way to pick up her five-year-old son from school when she was struck and killed by a truck at the corner of Dundas Street West and Sterling Road in November 2011.

The reflexology path captures Morrison’s spirit, Shuck has said.

“It relates to our life story.”

On a visit to Seoul, Korea in 2001, Morrison, who lived in the Dundas Street West and Sorauren Avenue area, discovered the widespread popularity of reflexology footpaths throughout Asia. Inspired by this notion, Morrison dreamed of creating such a footpath in one of Toronto’s public parks.

Her dream is about to come true. Shuck said he hopes the path, in Morrison’s honour, will evoke people’s sense of “engagement, compassion and health.”

Asked if the footpath has turned out they way he had hoped, Shuck said, “Absolutely.”

“It has exceeded my expectations as Jenna always did as well. It’s very special.”

The footpath is situated at the south end of the park near Gladstone Avenue and Sylvan Street. With the support of Davenport residents and the City of Toronto, the footpath was built to honour Morrison while also providing a permanent park amenity for all Torontonians to enjoy, according to local councillor Ana Bailao.

“This is a great addition to the neighbourhood,” Bailao said . “It’s great to be able to join the family in this special moment.”

Some of the features of the path include thousands of stones of various sizes and shapes to stimulate and massage the feet as well as a seating area boasting a grove of gingko biloba trees providing a contemplative experience.

The unveiling of the Jenna Morrison Reflexology Footpath takes place Saturday, July 26 at 2 p.m.

[Originally posted on Inside Toronto]


Memorial reflexology footpath in Dufferin Grove Park set to receive first steps by July

Construction set to begin in spring; various community events supported vision

Bloor West Villager
By Lisa Rainford 

Canada’s first-ever public reflexology footpath is set to be built in Dufferin Grove Park this spring.JMMF_BW_Villager.JPG

The city’s Parks, Forestry and Recreation department expects to hire a contractor by April with construction scheduled for May and June and a completion date in July, according to Davenport Councillor Ana Bailao.

The reflexology footpath is being built in memory of Jenna Morrison, a 38-year-old expectant mother, a yoga instructor and health practitioner, who was riding her bike on her way to pick up her five-year-old son from school when she was struck and killed by a truck at the corner of Dundas Street West and Sterling Road in November 2011.

“Jenna was very active in this park. It is the park we most frequented as a family,” her partner Florian Shuck told The Villager.

Designs for the footpath were unveiled at a meeting last month. The meeting was the culmination of a series of events, which included a fundraising kickoff event hosted by Morrison’s family and friends and Bailao’s Ward 18 community barbecue last fall.

“I would like to thank Jenna’s family and friends as well as Parks, Forestry and Recreation staff who helped make this incredibly unique and meaningful project a reality,” said Bailao in a statement.

The footpath will be situated at the south end of the park near Gladstone Avenue and Sylvan Street.

“This is really a park amenity. It’s much more than a memorial,” said landscape architect Howard Nauboris of Cosburn Nauboris Ltd., the firm that won the bid to design the footpath. “Florian does not want a big sign that says ‘Jenna Morrison’.”

This is because Shuck said he would like it to belong to the community, however, it will incorporate Morrison’s initials.

The community, said Nauboris, is “excited” about a new reflexology path in Toronto.

“It was important to me that we found a place in the park that wasn’t disruptive to the other programs in the park,” he said.

The footpath will be 60 feet long and 20 feet wide. Inside each of the two infinity loops, there will be two separate gardens with a handrail around each loop. There will be a rock element that will stand the height of a person.

“This is a very Asian thing to do,” Nauboris said.

Before Nauboris and Shuck embarked on the project together, the two went for a reflexology treatment together. They relied on the expertise of a local reflexologist for advice.

“In Asia, people get together in the mornings in these parks,” Nauboris said.

The reflexology path captures Morrison’s spirit, Shuck said.

“It relates to our life story,” he said.

On a visit to Seoul, Korea in 2001, Morrison, who lived in the Dundas Street West and Sorauren Avenue area, discovered the widespread popularity of reflexology footpaths throughout Asia. Struck by this notion, Morrison dreamed of creating such a footpath in one of Toronto’s public parks.

“For me, my son, it’s a landmark that will help us come to terms with acceptance and loss,” he said.

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Article originally posted on insidetoronto.com


Memorial Reflexology Footpath in Dufferin Grove Park Almost Fully Funded

Avid cyclist, park user Jenna Morrison was killed when a truck struck her while riding her bike

By Lisa Rainford

Florian Shuck couldn’t be more pleased with the City of Toronto’s support and enthusiasm for the creation of the reflexology footpath to be built in memory of his partner, Jenna Morrison.

Morrison, a 38-year-old expectant mother, was a yoga instructor and health practitioner, who was riding her bike on her way to pick up their five-year-old son from school when she was struck and killed by a truck at the corner of Dundas and Sterling November 2011. Since then, Shuck has designed a footpath to be built in Dufferin Grove Park likely in the spring of next year.

“I didn’t have to propose to the city and push this project through,” said Shuck, standing in the south end of the park near Gladstone Avenue and Sylvan Street where the footpath will be constructed. “I was pleasantly surprised, happy, with the support I had immediately.”

According to Davenport Councillor Ana Bailao, the footpath is officially a go and almost completely funded, she announced at her recent community barbecue. Proceeds from the event went toward the footpath as well.

“Jenna was very active in this park. It is the park we most frequented as a family,” said Shuck, who explained that the location within Dufferin Grove was chosen for its flat surface, its distance from Dufferin Street and its proximity to the playground. Although the path will take a loop design, its concept does not demand a particular size.

“It’s fairly flexible,” Shuck said. “I’m thinking 140 feet in length by 60 feet in width.”

It could include benches, possibly a pavilion and a foot-washing element, but this has yet to be determined. The concrete cement walkway with different sizes of cobblestones will massage different pressure points, explained Shuck. The city is in the midst of soliciting bids from different companies and anticipates a two to three-week selection process. Collaborating with a landscape architect, Shuck says he’ll have his vision translated within a few days.

“I hope that by the end of November we’ll have finalized the drawings and then have a company manufacture it in the spring. The aim is to have it implemented in the spring of next year,” he said.

The reflexology path captures Morrison’s spirit, said Shuck.

“It relates to our life story,” he said.

On a visit to Seoul, Korea in 2001, Morrison, who lived in the Dundas Street West and Sorauren Avenue area, discovered the widespread popularity of reflexology footpaths throughout Asia. Struck by this notion, Morrison dreamed of creating such a footpath in one of Toronto’s public parks.

“For me, my son, it’s a landmark that will help us come to terms with acceptance and loss,” Shuck said.

Shuck has no desire to install a memorial plaque on the path, in part because he says he’d like it to belong to the community, however, it will incorporate Morrison’s initials. While he’s not exactly sure how the path will look once completed, he knows one thing’s for sure.

“My son will be the first to walk on it,” he said.

If you would like to make a donation, visit torontoparksandtrees.org/jenna-k.-morrison-memorial

 

Originally Bloor West Villager



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