City of Toronto seeks input to build Cycling Network Plan
The City of Toronto's Transportation Services division is in the process of developing a new 10-year plan for Toronto's Cycling Network. Toronto residents and businesses are being asked to provide their input by commenting on the draft Cycling Network Plan map.
A technical analysis has been undertaken to design the draft map which shows how Toronto's cycling network could be expanded and improved. More than 10,500 individuals from across the city completed the phase one survey and 3,600 individuals used the City's smart phone app to submit data from over 59,000 cycling trips. Input received from phase one consultations has been used to inform the draft map that is now being circulated as part of the second phase of consultations.
The phase two online consultation is now underway, and will be available until July 31 at https://torontocyclingnetwork.metroquest.ca.
The information collected from the online consultation will assist City staff in developing a report to Council on proposed cycling network projects to be implemented over the next 10 years.
On the draft Cycling Network Plan map, some major corridors have been identified as candidates for opportunities to create City-wide cycling connections. On these major corridors (Yonge Street, Bloor Street, Danforth Avenue, Kingston Road, Midland Avenue and Lake Shore Boulevard in Etobicoke) it is recognized that to achieve any cycling network link, a Major Corridor Study would be needed to properly assess traffic impacts and work with all interested stakeholders.
Aside from allowing respondents to rank potential projects identified by the Transportation Services division, the online consultation allows residents to identify which existing cycling routes need upgrades, as well as which routes they think should be added.
The next step for the project is the phase three consultations involving drop-in consultation events, featuring conversations in motion for interested stakeholders who wish to cycle with City staff and discuss specific locations and routes on site.
Information from each phase will assist staff in developing a report to City Council on the proposed Cycling Network projects to be implemented over the next 10 years.
More information about the project is available at http://www.toronto.ca/cyclingnetwork.
My office has been meeting with the Friends of McCormick Park (FOMP) on a regular basis for the past three years and several fantastic improvements have resulted from this continuing partnership and dialogue. I am happy to report that another ground-breaking local project has just been scheduled for installation at McCormick Recreation Centre & Arena, in partnership with the City of Toronto's Renewable Energy office and Toronto Hydro.
Around two years ago, during a FOMP meeting where we were looking and the park and surrounding neighbourhood as part of a master planning process, the friends remarked that the huge open space on top of the arena and community centre would be an ideal space to blanket in solar photovoltaic panels. My office took this grassroots idea and ran with it, contacting Parks staff, the Renewable Energy Office and building the necessary partnerships to bring this project to life.
Last week my office received word that this project will be moving forward in June 2015. The solar PV system will be comprised of approximately 550 solar panels tilted at 10/15 degrees facing south. The total size is 210 kilowatt (kW DC). The system will be connected to the Toronto Hydro electrical grid and the City will receive revenues for 20 years from the sale of electricity generated by the system, through Ontario's Feed-in Tariff program.
This will be the second solar pv project installed on a City-owned building in Ward 18. One year ago we installed another system on the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) building at 760 Dovercourt Road. I look forward to facilitating more of these projects in the future and promoting grassroots community initiatives throughout Ward 18.
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We are very excited to be taking another leap forward in the process of improving Salem & Westmoreland Parkettes.
We have incorporated the feedback from our February 5th public meeting and produced a "final concept plan" (pictured below). This plan builds on elements from Concept A and Concept B that were presented at our meeting, and it incorporates the changes which residents suggested during discussion.
Residents are invited to provide comments and any suggestions for further revision until Wednesday, March 25th, by way of reply to this email or by calling 416-392-7012.
Thank you to everyone who was able to participate in this process and we look forward to having you involved in the months ahead!
The fourth and final public meeting for Dufferin Peel Park brought a handful of residents together to discuss and review the final design concept brought forth by Corban and Goode Landscape Architecture and Urbanism.
“It was pretty exciting from Day 1,” said Garth Goode, the lead landscape architect on the project.
“The Ward 18 community is obviously interested and very passionate about creating a new city park because it’s one of the coolest things you can be a part of. It’s a rare opportunity.”
The meeting, held Tuesday, Nov. 18 at the Streetcar Developments Presentation Centre on Gladstone Avenue, had residents sharing thoughts, ideas and concerns about the park’s design.
The new greenspace is part of the condo development project at 11 Peel Ave., but will be situated to the west side of the site on city-owned land at 405 Dufferin St.
The three previous meetings were held in March, June and July by Ward 18 Davenport Councillor Ana Bailao, the city’s Parks, Forestry and Recreation department and the landscape architects.
The project has a fixed budget of $2.1 million, which was provided by the developer, Streetcar Developments. There is no additional funding provided; therefore the goal of the meeting was to nail down the community’s priorities regarding what aspects in the final design hold more value in the end.
The final concept, a combination of two options presented at the third meeting in July, shows the park, located at the base of the new Carnaby condos currently under construction at Queen and Gladstone, with an abundance of trees, wood-panelled stepped seating, a large green space in the centre and water features, such as jets, misters and fog located in the north end. There’s also grove pocket park, a smaller greenspace within the park, that will have shade pavilions near the north corner, seating and proper lighting throughout the park.
One area resident raised the issue the central green space would be used heavily as a dog park. Her concern was not necessarily about the feces left behind, but the smell of urine that would linger and tarnish the park.
Although Goode agreed it could be an issue, he also conceded that coming up with a solution would be a “tough nut to crack.” But it didn’t seem to bother attendee Joe Boliero, a resident near Dufferin and Dundas Streets.
“It is what it is, we just got to deal with it,” he said. “We can’t prevent people for bringing their dogs out there.”
Boilero, who has been part of the consultation process since its first meeting in March, was more concerned with the empty wall space at the south end that would be the base of a proposed bike path that would run along the West Toronto Rail Path near the wooded seating area and connect to Dufferin Street.
Boilero, along with a couple other residents, doesn’t want it to be used as a “graffiti canvas,” which would ruin the overall look and feel of the park. The group unanimously preferred that a mural or some form of art cover it up.
According to Stewart McIntosh, the project coordinator with the city’s Park, Forestry and Recreation Department, said the bridge is only a proposed concept and has not been approved by the City of Toronto or Metrolinx as yet.
“We’re still in discussion to determine what their needs are as well as staging,” McIntosh said.
“From that they’ll let us know what their needs are and we use that to determine how far we can build the park without compromising the usability and structural underpinnings.”
Cyclists, however, wouldn’t be able to ride their bike into the park with the proposed bridge, instead they would use a bike rail along the side of the seating area to walk their bikes into the park.
The group spent a portion of the meeting choosing which water feature would be best and its potential costs. The room was initially divided when it came to choosing between interactive jets that came up from the floor or misters located on the 2.8-metre high decorative feature wall at the north end of the park.
In the end, jets were chosen because they could be turned to misters as it was just a matter of adjusting a setting.
The shade pavilions, just above the wall, were also a hot topic as the initial design wasn’t well received. Many thought the glass and metal combination made the structure look like a bus stop. Instead wood and stone pavilions were preferred for overall aesthetic reasons.
By the end of the night, residents seemed pleased with what Goode and his team came up with for the future of the Dufferin Peel Park and said they looked forward to its completion, which has a rough, tentative date of September 2015.
“I love the final concept,” Boilero said. “I think they’ve done a fabulous job and they listened to the community. I trust the team now to finish it and put the final touches on the masterpiece.”
Originally published in Parkdale Villager
November 21st, 2014
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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Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation media line, 416-560-8726, [email protected]
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.
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.
by Craig White (Urban Toronto)
Construction has started to bring a new park to the rapidly transforming Queen West Triangle area. Located south of Queen Street between Lisgar and Abell Streets in Toronto's vibrant West Queen West, the green space and public piazza will provide a new neighbourhood focal point with recreation, relaxation, gathering and event space for the many residents who have moved into the area over the past few years, and who continue to arrive as more condominiums are completed on surrounding properties.
Concept Plan for Lisgar Park, image courtesy of Toronto Parks and Recreation
A comparison between the rendering above and the 2012 Apple Maps image below shows the site where the park will be located, currently made up of an underused green space, a Green P Parking lot, and the former site of an early 1900s warehouse now used to store construction equipment.
Aerial view over the Lisgar Park site from 2012, image from Apple Maps
Two condominium projects surrounding the park have been added since the Apple Maps image was created, and can be seen in the panoramic image below. Edge on Triangle Park (completing later this year) is the double-towered project which can be seen behind the green space, while Epic on Triangle Park (completing next year) can be seen behind the fenced off construction storage site at right.
While the Green P parking lot will be relocated to a sheltered location in Epic, Edge will feature the Toronto Media Arts Centre, or TMAC, with front doors directly accessing the new park. The new home for six arts organizations, TMAC represents nearly $10 million worth of 'Section 37' public benefits from Edge and Epic developers Urbancorp and Plaza and will provide exhibition spaces, production facilities, workshops, media archives, and a cinema.
Along with the recently opened Theatre Centre across the street, and the upcoming Workman Arts Theatre at CAMH down the block, TMAC will help cement the area as one of the premier arts hubs in Canada. The nearby Artscape Youngplace and a myriad of galleries, bars, restaurants, and the famous Gladstone and Drake Hotels along Queen and adjacent streets already make this area a major cultural node.
The site and its growing surroundings, image by Craig White
Currently known by the working title "Lisgar Park", local ward 18 Councillor Ana Bailão is asking community members to suggestions for the permanent name via her website. It was Bailão who officially broke ground on May 24 along with representatives of the local arts organizations, community members who participated in the extensive consultations regarding the park, and Active 18, a community group dedicated to ensuring that good urban planning choices are made in their ward.
Groundbreaking for the new park with Councillor Bailão, stakeholders and community members, image by Craig White
The design for the park was worked up by Victor Ford & Associates Inc. in collaboration with Oleson Worland Architects (known for their design of the well-loved Village of Yorkdale Park and Brick Works Park among others) to reflect the creative spirit of the neighbourhood through the incorporation of the community's early industrial heritage with its present artistic and innovative culture.
Amenities will include canopy trees, plenty of sculptural seating and planting areas, and a grid of ‘art poles.’ The poles will be fabricated primarily from structural timbers, salvaged from a recently demolished industrial building adjacent to the park site. The poles will provide park lighting, incorporating event power and cabling for a range of events. Landscaped islands will be surrounded by seating and provide a shady play area for children.
View through the park's market area, image courtesy of Toronto Parks and Recreation
[Originally posted on June 11, 2014 4:55 pm | by Craig White on UrbanToronto.ca]
A top priority for me as Councillor has been expanding the West Toronto Railpath – a linear park that runs along the Georgetown Rail Corridor and an incredible community asset. Over the last 3 years, I have been working hard to secure the funding, approvals and support to keep this important project growing. With much of this now secured, in spring 2013 the enviromental assessment for Phase 2 was awarded. This began a phase of public consultation with residents, stakeholders, businesses and community organizations to determine the preferred route for expansion. The design consultant then incorporated this information into their study.
With the additional construction for the new Pearson Air-Rail Link, however, it has been difficult to negotiate the space needed in this corridor to extend the Railpath south of Dundas Street.
In response, I convened a meeting with the CEO of Metrolinx and local Councillors to reinforce the importance of this City project and am pleased to report that solutions were identified that have increased the space available for Railpath.
With the consultant’s designs being finalized, we are again receiving public feedback on Railpath Phase 2. Please watch for upcoming meetings, call my office or visit my website for more information and to be involved in this exciting project. Whether you walk, run or cycle, I look forward to hearing from you and seeing you on the path!
Friends of McCormick Park look to Scadding Court’s shipping container model to bring healthy food to the community
The Friends of McCormick Park are taking a page out of the Scadding Court Community Centre’s ‘Business in a Box’ book to deliver a much-needed amenity in the 1.5 hectare park near Dufferin and Dundas West streets.
The McCormick Park Shipping Cafe Project will be an experiment in creating a not-for-profit, community-oriented food outlet and activity hub.
“Our McCormick Park Shipping Container Cafe will provide an accessible, open and flexible space to prepare and serve nutritious food for the community,” said Davenport Councillor Ana Bailao in a statement. “This is another example of Ward 18 residents and local organizations working with my office to make our neighbourhood a great place to live, work and play.”
Friends of McCormick Park have been trying for some time to figure out a way to serve food in the park, according to spokesperson Jennifer Cypher.
“We did a survey and that’s what people said they wanted,” she told The Villager.
There is a kitchen in the Mary McCormick Recreation Centre, however, commercial food cannot be prepared there because of a venting issue, Cypher said. The Friends looked into capitalizing on the snack bar at the McCormick arena, but its board wasn’t receptive to the idea.
A few months ago, Bailao approached the group about Scadding Court’s community engagement economic development project that it initiated four years ago.
“We’ve taken shipping containers and modified them into market stalls,” said Kevin Lee, executive director. “We have 17 businesses operating out of shipping containers.”
These businesses at Dundas West and Bathurst streets include retail, food, an inorganic market and many more.
“We rent them out for $11 to $24 a day so people are able to start a business. To try to rent something in Toronto is really expensive. That’s why we set this up,” Lee said.
Scadding Court also hosts community events at its market place, like TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) Talks and movie screenings. It is because of Scadding Court’s success with its market place that the councillor approached Lee to share his expertise. Earlier this month, Lee was instrumental in helping Friends set up a shipping container at McCormick Park to showcase the potential for a shipping container cafe during Bailao’s free compost day.
“We’ve had a number of meetings with Ana Bailao and the Friends of McCormick Park,” Lee said. “We’re looking at installation for September in time for a harvest festival.”
Community members are intrigued, said Cypher, who has lived near the park for the past 10 years and has been a part of Friends of McCormick since its inception in early 2012.
“It has a lot of support,” she said.
The launch of the pilot project will coincide with the completion of the park playground’s retrofit. Construction is set to begin soon. Its footprint is expanding both east and west. There will be a new water-sand play area and a climber for older kids as well as an accessible swing and other accessible play options. Low-impact sport equipment, such as a pull up bar, will be incorporated for adults. A free library, near Brock Avenue, is set to open anytime.
As for the shipping cafe, it will take a number of months to get a sense of what its hours will be and who its customers are, Cypher said.
“We are trying to get local entrepreneurs from marginalized communities involved,” she said. “Like Scadding Court, we’re trying to make this a social enterprise.”
For further details, visit mccormickpark.ca
Innovative 'community-focused' project will activate local park
The McCormick Park Shipping Cafe Project will be an experiment in creating a not-for-profit community-oriented food outlet and activity hub.
Councillor Ana Bailão, the Friends of McCormick Park, the Scadding Court Community Centre, City of Toronto Parks, Forestry & Recreation, Aangen Community Centre and Working Women Community Centre are collaborating on an innovative pilot project that has immense potential to benefit the McCormick Park/Brockton Triangle neighbourhood. This could soon see similar shipping container cafés in parks throughout Toronto.
Showcase Date: Tuesday, June 3rd
Location: Mary McCormick Park, 66 Sheridan Ave (one block west of Dufferin, between Queen and Dundas)
This project, to be implemented later this summer, builds from the successful Market 707 project at Scadding Court Community Centre and will be customized to suit the neighbourhood’s needs of the McCormick area. On June 3rd, a 10' shipping container will be showcased and food will be served in addition to free compost that members of the community can pick-up for their gardens.
“The Friends of McCormick Park are very excited about the potential for this project to offer food for families in the park at an affordable price point. This experiment was generated by the master plan that our group created to guide future improvements in the park and we look forward to seeing this alongside our newly improved playground at the end of this summer.” - Jen Cypher, Friends of McCormick Park
“Our McCormick Park Shipping Container Cafe will provide an accessible, open and flexible space to prepare and serve nutritious food for the community. This is another example of Ward 18 residents and local organizations working with my office to make our neighbourhood a great place to live, work and play. “ - Councillor Ana Bailão
"Through our experience with our shipping container market, Market 707, Scadding Court Community Centre has witnessed how these structures can foster a strong and vibrant community that provides real opportunities for small businesses and public space for community building. Through the simple re-purposing of shipping containers, we have seen our community thrive by providing positive space for economic and social growth. We look forward to continuing to support Councillor Bailao and the McCormick Park community in defining how their own container-based community can flourish and meet the needs of local residents." - Kevin Lee, Executive Director, Scadding Court Community Centre
“We are thankful to the friends of McCormcik Park and Councillor Ana Baliao for putting together this shipping container pilot program where we can bring fresh food and products to the McCormick Park community. Aangen Community Centre is a Toronto-based, self-sustaining volunteer-run not for profit organization. We work with local farmers to bring fresh farm products to our neighbourhood and local cafes, 40% of our net proceeds go back into running our outreach initiatives where we help families in need. ” - Gurbeen Bhasin, Executive Director, Aangen Community Centre
“Working Women Community Centre is proud to embark in this journey that will bring people together. We are committed to providing opportunities for newcomers and immigrants to become more involved in their neighbourhoods and communities, and build on their existing skills, assets and ideas to develop their leadership skills. As communities change a grow our centre works closely to ensure that our holistic approach to community engagement foster new opportunities for residents and users of the McCormick park.” - Marcie Ponte, Executive Director, Working Women Community Centre
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Nicholas Gallant, Special Assistant to Councillor Ana Bailão 416-338-5275, [email protected]
Effie Vlachoyannacos, Manager of Development and Community Engagement, Scadding Court Community Centre, 416-392-0335, [email protected]