Parks Forestry and Recreation is developing a 20-year Facilities Master Plan (FMP) to guide decision-making and investment in parks and recreation facilities such as community centres, ice rinks, weight rooms, and sports fields. A staff report providing an update on the Parks and Recreation Facilities Master Plan was approved by Council's Executive Committee on October 20, 2015.
The first Facilities Master Plan survey launches today. This survey is an opportunity for people to tell us about their experience and use of parks and recreation facilities, and what's important to them. See the survey news release.
We want to hear from people who:
- Use indoor and outdoor facilities to skate, swim, exercise, play sports, permit space or attend programs.
- Live near, or are familiar with any type of indoor or outdoor facility
- Don't use parks and recreation facilities, but have thoughts and ideas to share
We encourage you to complete the survey, and to share it widely with your networks.
Public and stakeholder involvement is essential to develop this plan. The FMP engagement strategy includes multiple opportunities for participation through public surveys, town hall meetings, focus groups and online discussion questions. Details on these activities will be shared in the coming months and will be posted in the project website.
Help Build Toronto's Cycling Network Plan
CYCLING NETWORK PLAN PUBLIC CONSULTATION
The City of Toronto is developing a 10-year plan for expanding and improving the cycling network. Public consultation on the Cycling Network Plan will have two main phases:
- In Phase 1 the City is looking for feedback on the objectives and criteria for selecting the routes that will form the network.
- In Phase 2 consultation will be provide an opportunity to comment on a draft network.
IDENTIFYING CORRIDORS FOR THE CYCLING NETWORK
A draft list of potential network projects will be analyzed against 8 criteria to ensure that investment is focussed where it will have the most impact.
Eight criteria will be used to measure how effective a route would be to:
- Connecting Existing Routes
- Extending Coverage
- Crossing Barriers
- Responding to Population and Employment Density
- Meeting Current Demand
- Recognizing Potential Future Demand
- Improving Road Safety
- Servicing Key Trip Generators.
Read more about each criteria on our project webpage
Which of the eight network criteria do you think are most important for where you live and cycle? Participate in our Phase 1 Survey now to let us know. Phase 1 consultations will take place April - May, 2015.
Phase 2 consultation will be launched in mid-June during Bike Month and will provide an opportunity to comment on a draft network.
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
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.
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]
Our second design meeting for the new city park being planned at Dufferin and Peel took place on May 15th. Prior to the meeting, I posted notes from meeting one and a series of concept designs: "New City Park Meeting #2 Concept Designs".
The minutes from meeting 2 are now available - Meeting 2 Minutes.
Meeting 3 is slated for the end of July and I will post any new draft designs prior to this meeting.
The City of Toronto has launched a new, free smartphone application (app), called Toronto Cycling. This app will enable cyclists to contribute to the future of cycling in Toronto.
"This app will be an effective and inexpensive way for cyclists to provide us with their route information, which is useful for planning the cycling network," said Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong (Ward 34 Don Valley East), Chair of the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee. "It will help us determine what routes in the city are well travelled by cyclists and what linkages may be missing to make cycling trips safer, easier and more convenient."
The Toronto Cycling app uses the GPS (Global Positioning System) system on a smartphone to record a cyclist's trip information, such as the route taken and the length of the trip. These details will form a part of the City's data collection and analysis for developing a new cycling network plan.
The new cycling plan will expand on Toronto's 570-kilometre existing cycling network and will be presented at Toronto City Council in 2015.
The app records real-time stats that include the average speed, maximum speed, distance during a trip, number of calories burned by a cyclist and the greenhouse gas offset as a result of the trip.
The easy-to-use app created for the City by Brisk Synergies can be downloaded on all Apple and Android devices. Cyclists simply press start when they begin their trip and press stop when their trip is completed. Their trip information is then submitted to a database as GPS information for analysis. All information is collected anonymously to protect the user's privacy.
More information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/cyclingapp.
Advanced Circulation: Presentation of New City Park “Design Vignettes”
City Of Toronto, New City Park Design Workshop
Community Meeting 2 of 3, 7:00PM Thursday 15 May 2014
The Carnaby Presentation Centre, 8 Gladstone Avenue, Toronto
At Workshop No. 1, participants requested advance circulation of material for the next meeting to facilitate more constructive response from participants.
As we have discovered from Workshop No. 1, review of background documents and site conditions, there are some questions surrounding a few Major Issues related to the New City Park which require a detailed review and response. This should be completed prior to proceeding fully toward development of Two (2) Conceptual Design Options.
This advanced circulation of New City Park “Design Vignettes” is intended to explain the most significant issues and give an indication of the future Design Concepts that will be developed for presentation at Community Meeting No. 2.
Corban and Goode Landscape Architects intend to post a few “Design Vignettes” for advanced viewing by participants at Community Meeting No. 2. These will be presented and explained fully in the context of Major Issues for review and discussion. We hope to dedicate time to form three breakout groups to overdraw on the plans with bubble diagrams to the DIAGRAM TOOL, add notes and capture thoughts. The format of the Community Meeting will be designed to invite comments and participation.
We look forward to response and direction from participants. This will lead to development of Two (2) City Park Design Concepts in future. The method for receipt of comments on the concepts is to be determined.
Meeting 2 Schedule
6:00PM OPTIONAL ADVANCED VIEWING: NEW CITY PARK “Design Vignettes”
Drawings and sketches will be posted for advanced viewing prior to the presentation.
6:00-7:00PM OPTIONAL SITE WALK-THROUGH
Corban and Goode will host a tour of site from the perimeter sidewalk.
Corban and Goode will present the Major Issues and engage with participants to better understand the community's preferences.
Summary of Considerations from Meeting 1
Bicycle Trail Corridor, Toronto West Rail Path Planning and Design Study
- Consider a broader perspective to understand bicycle path connections, including the south-west corner of Queen Street West and Gladstone Avenue, east and west sides of Dufferin Street.
- There is a perceived conflict with the speed of bicycles through the park and other uses.
- Park is a destination and so parking should be on Rail Path lands or at the south end of the New City Park.
- Ample, safe bicycle parking in good locations to be provided; Question as to how the Metro next door will affect the bike parking; concern about locking bikes for shoppers in the park and damaging the greenery.
- Question of access: Preferred access from railway corridor trail on west side only. Conserve park funds for park use and off-load bike access funds onto other city property to west of Dufferin St.
- General Planning and Design Study for Dufferin and Queen Street West
- Trail Corridor, varying width 3.95-8.5m
- Rail Track Buffer, 7.925m.
- Layout Route Through City Owned Property.
- Future Metrolinx Bridge, Encroachment/Extention
- City Of Toronto Proposals/Initiatives.
- Passive/Active Bicycle Connection to New City Park
- Schedule/Timing/Phasing Future
Existing Bridge Abutment
- General Description.
- Engineering Drawings for Footings, Etc.
- Slopes/Site Grading Impact.
- General Description.
- Dufferin Street slope.
- What is the relationship of the Dufferin Frontage access to the park?
- Barrier-Free Accessibility.
- Visibility from the street.
- Grade differential appx. 3.8m at Peel, 4.6m at West Rail Path.
- Walls, Terraces, Steps and Slopes.
Hydro Metering Station
- Function, Services Layout.
- Existing Location/Site Impact.
- Option to Relocate and related Cost.
- Hide it.
- Some kind of artistic statement to hide it.
Relationship to the Building
- There should be consideration given to creating opportunities to share space on condominium lands with the park. The park is for the neighbourhood as well as the residents of the Condo next door; How to be sure that the park is not catering to the condo owners; Is the condo providing enough amenities for the condo owners so as not to have the park become another amenity for the condo residences?
- Flexible green space preferred over hard-paved space.
- Flexible spaces should be interesting.
- Committed uses such as amphitheatre, basketball are less desirable at the park site.
- Consideration given to the location of green space as well as hard-paved space.
- Non-Residential Space at Ground Floor Open To New City Park.
Buffer area between Dufferin St. and the park
- Strong expression for a green buffer of some kind between Dufferin St. and the New City Park.
- Possibility to make this a “signature” architectural gem for the New City Park.