Parks

Heritage Toronto Legacy Plaque Installation: Helen Sawyer Hogg

As you may know, a new Heritage Toronto plaque has been installed in our ward. This plaque commemorates the home of astronomer Helen Sawyer Hogg (1905-1993) and is located at the entrance to Alexander Muir Memorial Gardens.

Helen, referred to as the “first lady of science” by her former colleague Donald MacRae, lived at 2875 Yonge Street. Her work on variable stars and globular clusters made her an international authority on astronomy and her work continues to be influential.

Her honours and awards include six honorary doctorates, appointment as a Companion of the Order of Canada (1976), and medals from the American Astronomical Society and the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. Further, she was the first Canadian to receive the prestigious Rittenhouse Medal.

For more information on Helen and the Legacy Plaques Program, please visit this link.

Park Updates

Lawrence Park Playground Revitalization

After months of planning and construction, the playground in Lawrence Park (behind the Locke Library) is now complete!

After two years of working to secure the necessary funds and battling water drainage problems in the park, our community is now home to an improved and revitalized green space.

This newly animated park has elements for children of all ages, including swings, slides and picnic tables, as well as a brand new shaded sandbox and improved walkway lighting.

A grand opening celebration and ribbon-cutting will be held next spring.

Lord Seaton Park Playground Revitalization

We have been working closely with city staff over the fall to finalize playground design details.

At this time, they are aiming to begin construction next spring, with full completion expected in summer 2017.

Many of you shared your feedback with me on this project, through a survey and working group, and I wish to thank you for your engagement and participation.

Mossgrove Park Playground Revitalization

Over the next while, we’ll be revitalizing this sprawling park at York Mills and Leslie and improving the playground and green space.

We look forward to working with the community as this project gets underway. Stay tuned for future updates.

Don Mills Trail – Northern Extension

The northern extension of the trail was completed this summer. “Hard” elements of the project such as paving work, stone ground cover and signage was deferred to the fall to help minimize damage to the newly laid asphalt as a result of the summer heat.

The remaining “hard” and “soft” elements – such as landscaping – are expected to be completed by spring 2017.

Don Mills Trail – Southern Extension

I recently facilitated a meeting between senior city staff and local residents.

Despite several setbacks over the years, a very productive brainstorming session took place at City Hall and the working group left the room with a renewed plan to establish this much-needed connection.

Wilket Creek Rehabilitation Project

The Toronto and Region Conservation  Authority, on behalf of the City of Toronto, is currently working on preparations to commence the next phase of this project.

Work for this phase of the project will address sections of the watercourse between the two access routes off of Leslie Street.

Construction is anticipated to start this month pending receipt of all necessary permits and approvals and will carry on through the winter into next year.

Staff will be updating the alternative route map, project information signs and website regularly in order to provide park users and trail enthusiasts with current information on trail closures and the ongoing construction activities.

For more information, please visit the TRCA’s website at www.trca.ca.

Lawrence Park Revitalization

Park-Revitalization-Logo-web.jpg

Update - November 15, 2016

I’m very pleased to announce that the playground renovation in the Lawrence Park (behind the Locke Library) is now complete!

After two years of working to secure the necessary funds and battling water drainage problems in the park, our community is now home to an improved and revitalized park for all ages. This newly animated green space includes swings, slides and picnic tables, as well as a brand new shaded sandbox and improved walkway lighting.

A grand opening community celebration and ribbon-cutting will be held next spring.

Until then, I encourage you to go out and enjoy this incredible new space while the weather is still nice!

Update - May 30, 2014

After a series of meetings with senior Parks staff, I am pleased to announce we are making progress on the revitalization of Lawrence Park (at the southeast corner of Yonge and Lawrence behind Locke Library).

Sta have finalized their drainage solution and work will be completed this summer.

Parks staff are also in the process of hiring a landscape architect to complete the designs for the new park, including a new playground and landscaping.

I’ll be holding a public meeting to give the community a chance to have input into the design! Stay tuned for further information about a neighbourhood meeting in my upcoming newsletters!

August 27, 2013

I am pleased to announce that the revitalization of Lawrence Park (at the southeast corner of Yonge and Lawrence behind Locke Library) is well underway!

As you may have noticed, Mother Nature is trying to recapture the section of Lawrence Park behind Locke Library. Due to the park’s location in a natural bowl, there are substantial flooding and drainage  issues when it rains.

While we need to address these drainage issues, this is a fantastic opportunity to revitalize the playground and surrounding park.

We have already started to brainstorm different ways to deal with the flooding problem, and this month I will be meeting with senior city staff and residents to finalize an environmentally-friendly and sustainable solution. As soon as the drainage problems are addressed, we can design and install a new playground and revitalize the entire area!

Jo’Ann Alderson, Erin Nella and Elaine Newman deserve special thanks for taking the lead on this project and forming the Lawrence Park Ravine Revitalization Committee. I encourage you to visit their website, submit your ideas and get involved!

Park Updates

Tournament Park Tennis Court

As those who have already hit the courts will know, the city recently completed a State of Good Repair rehabilitation project at the Tournament Park tennis courts. The newly installed lighting system gives residents the opportunity to play tennis later into the evening.

Sunnybrook Park

As part of Urban Forestry’s continued efforts to rebuild our city’s tree canopy following the emerald ash borer, city staff planted new trees and shrubs in Sunnybrook Park this spring.

Yonge & Lawrence Playground Revitalization

Notices have sprung up in the playground behind the Locke Library. City staff have been working closely with the contractor on the construction schedule – weather permitting, work is expected to begin in early summer and wrap up by the fall!

Wilket Creek Rehabilitation Project

Update - February 19, 2016

As you may know, the City of Toronto – in partnership with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) – has been studying the geomorphic systems and habitat of the Wilket Creek subwatershed in order to better understand the erosion that threatens municipal land and infrastructure within Wilket Creek Park.

The restoration is part of a Master Plan that is being carried out according to the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment process.

I’m pleased to share that work at Site 3 (part of Phase 2) wrapped up in late 2015 and included the protection of approximately 125m of existing sanitary sewer infrastructure as well as 400m of channel improvements along the watercourse.

This spring, crews will finish bank restoration in conjunction with trail paving and restorative plantings.

In addition, Parks and TRCA are in the process of developing designs for the next phase of work which will see the installation of a new pedestrian bridge to reconnect the main trail to the staircase leading up to the playing fields and stables.

Work is scheduled to begin this summer and will extend into fall.

June 19, 2017

In partnership with the city, the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) has undertaken an environmental assessment to develop a long-term plan to stabilize Wilket Creek.

This spring, a number of residents reached out to my office with concerns about the project and the environmental impact of recent work in the area surrounding the creek. I immediately reached out to the TRCA and pulled together a meeting to address the issues. At the meeting, TRCA staff committed to taking any and all measures to reduce the footprint of the work and provided key contacts for residents.

I also attended the most recent public meeting where TRCA staff reviewed the different options for creek stabilization and discussed preferred solutions. If you would like more information about this study or want to receive updates, please contact Patricia Newland, Project Manager, at (416) 392-9690 or pnewland@trca.on.ca.

Park Updates

Yonge & Lawrence Playground Revitalization (Behind Locke Library)
City staff and the design team have been hard at work this summer on the playground’s final designs.

At this stage, the Toronto Region Conservation Authority is carefully reviewing the project details to ensure that the new playground fits within the park’s natural setting.

Mossgrove Park and Lord Seaton Park
Playground improvements are coming to both of these great parks in 2016!

Public input is key and consultations will be held later this year to discuss the community’s vision – stay tuned!

Lawrence Walkway
Improvements are underway on the Lawrence Walkway in Don Mills! As this newsletter was wrapping up, city staff advised that asphalt installation was well underway.

Tournament Park
Later this year, the tennis courts in Tournament Park will be getting a new lighting system and surface repairs.

Irving Paisley Park
The actively used basketball court behind the York Mills Arena is sporting brand new nets, backboards and posts.

Sunnybrook Park
A new and improved bridge has opened in Sunnybrook Park providing an updated connection to Serena Gundy Park.

Bond Park Baseball Diamond
The backstop on diamond #3 will be completely replaced this summer – a much needed upgrade!

Don Mills Park: Grand Opening
Many thanks to everyone who attended the Don Mills Park opening in May!

The park includes a full playground, shaded area, walking paths, seating and plenty of green space.

Trees in Toronto Panel Discussion

Please mark off the evening of Thursday, February 13 for an exciting discussion about the impacts of extreme weather events on our city and, in particular, our tree canopy! I will be moderating an all-star panel of expert gardener and well-known author Mark Cullen, LEAF Executive Director Janet McKay and University of Toronto cultural anthropology professor Hilary Cunningham.

Ward 25er Peter Jones is taking the lead and organizing the event and deserves thanks for all of his efforts to date! Peter is one of the founders of For Our Grandchildren, a non-profit that aims to connect and empower grandparents concerned about the impending effects of climate change. Discussion will centre around the damage sustained during the ice storm as well as what steps can be taken so that we are better prepared for the next extreme weather event.

The event is set for 7:30-9 p.m. on Thursday, February 13 at the Lawrence Park Community Church (2180 Bayview Avenue), and you can register online here. I encourage you to attend!

 

Don Mills Trail Update

Update - August 18, 2014

As I mentioned in my June eNewsletter, the contract for construction of the northern portion of the Don Mills Trail was awarded this Spring and work has started!

Construction of the northern Don Mills Trail will be done as part of a larger two-year rehabilitation project on the York Mills Road bridge, just east of Scarlet Road. As part of the rehabilitation project, crews will be repairing the bridge deck and installing new asphalt as well as replacing lighting, walls and sidewalks. Construction has just started and is expected to be completed by fall 2015.

Construction of the trail will be completed within six weeks before 2015. The northern part of the trail will run south from York Mills Road through Bond Park to Bond Avenue.

Please note that during construction, the trail will remain closed to the public at Bond Avenue. There will also be lane restrictions during construction. For more details, please see the construction notice below.

Scanned0012-791x1024.jpg

Update - May 30, 2014

The northern extension of the Don Mills Trail will soon be underway!

The construction tender closed earlier this month and the work will be completed this year.

Unfortunately, despite years of good faith discussions, a completed environmental assessment and a general agreement, the southern extension has been delayed because the local property owner pulled out of negotiations with the city.

This means that we will need to find an alternate route for the much needed southern extension.

Currently, I am pulling together an emergency meeting of senior city staff and stakeholders to identify a new route and get the southern extension back on track.

October 3, 2013

I am pleased to report city staff advised me the northern extension of the Don Mills Trails project is out to tender and construction should begin soon.

In 2012, I intervened to break a long-standing delay and negotiated an easement for the city over the Metrus property, making the southern extension possible.

Before the easement can be granted, the province is now requiring the city to carry out an Environmental Assessment (EA) of the land in question. It is an unfortunate delay, but one that is beyond the city’s control – it is mandated by the province.

I am pleased to report the first phase of the environmental assessment for the southern extension of the Don Mills Trail is complete.

The second phase, which began this spring, is nearly complete and city staff expects the assessment to be completed this fall.

The city has already completed its portion of the EA and the province is evaluating the city’s work. If the province concludes that the site is in good condition, work on the southern extension can begin as early as fall 2013.

Northern Don Mills Trail Construction Underway!

As I mentioned in my June eNewsletter, the contract for construction of the northern portion of the Don Mills Trail was awarded this Spring and work has started!

Construction of the northern Don Mills Trail will be done as part of a larger two-year rehabilitation project on the York Mills Road bridge, just east of Scarlet Road. As part of the rehabilitation project, crews will be repairing the bridge deck and installing new asphalt as well as replacing lighting, walls and sidewalks. Construction has just started and is expected to be completed by fall 2015.

Construction of the trail will be completed within six weeks before 2015. The northern part of the trail will run south from York Mills Road through Bond Park to Bond Avenue.

Please note that during construction, the trail will remain closed to the public at Bond Avenue. There will also be lane restrictions during construction

West Don River Valley Rehabilitation

The City of Toronto will be restoring the West Don River valley underneath the Bayview Avenue Bridge after it was disturbed during last year’s bridge rehabilitation project.

Work will take place in the valley beneath the bridge located north of Lawrence Avenue East and south of Post Road (see map below for more detail). Crews will be repairing erosion in the valley, installing erosion protection measures, stabilizing the wall along the West Don River and planting trees.

Please note that while the work is taking place, pedestrian access to the valley will be restricted. For more information, please see the construction notice below.

14SE-05S-Construction-Notice-FINAL1-791x1024.png

Wilket Creek Project

In partnership with the city, the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) has undertaken an environmental assessment to develop a long-term plan to stabilize Wilket Creek.

This spring, a number of residents reached out to my office with concerns about the project and the environmental impact of recent work in the area surrounding the creek. I immediately reached out to the TRCA and pulled together a meeting to address the issues. At the meeting, TRCA staff committed to taking any and all measures to reduce the footprint of the work and provided key contacts for residents.

I also attended the most recent public meeting where TRCA staff reviewed the different options for creek stabilization and discussed preferred solutions. If you would like more information about this study or want to receive updates, please contact Patricia Newland, Project Manager, at (416) 392-9690 or pnewland@trca.on.ca.

Friends of Banbury Park

Ward 25 has its first Park People Group! In the spirit of giving back to the community where they grew up, Denna Berg and Daphne Cheung recently founded the Friends of Banbury Park.

On Saturday, June 21, the Friends are organizing a guided nature walk from 10 a.m. to noon, beginning in Banbury Park. For more information about this event, see the poster below and to get involved with the Friends of Banbury Park, check them out on Twitter at @BanburyFriends or on Facebook.

Jolly Miller Park Now Open!

DSC00981.jpg

On May 24, I organized the opening of the new Jolly Miller Park in Hoggs Hollow with the York Mills Valley Association as well as Parks, Forestry and Recreation and the Toronto Parking Authority.

As a Councillor, I’m a huge proponent of preserving and beautifying Ward 25’s green spaces, which is why I am particularly excited about this new park.

This time, we didn’t pave paradise. We actually took down a parking lot, so we could put up a beautiful park!

This park is the product of a collaborative project by the York Mills Valley Association, the Toronto Parking Authority and Parks, Forestry and Recreation that has been in the works for many years. With its completion, the city, TPA and YMVA have delivered on a long-standing promise to return part of the historic Jolly Miller lands to the city and transform it into a park.

DSC00871.jpg

The space is designed to be a community hub and a gathering point for the Hoggs Hollow neighbourhood with built-in seating, lighting, beautiful planting beds. Its design also reflects the community’s unique history. In consultation with the YMVA, Parks staff designed the park to include a Miller’s Cottage ruin in recognition of the Grist Mill cottages that once dotted the Don River.

The park’s name also reflects Hoggs Hollow history, commemorating the former Jolly Miller Tavern, a watering hole for mill workers named after a happy local mill owner.

Many thanks to all who joined us for this celebration and special thanks to the YMVA, TPA and Parks for making it possible!

If you’re in the Yonge and York Mills area, please check out the new park and let me know what you think!

Share Your Feedback on Upcoming Playground Enhancements

Councillor Robinson is working on exciting playground enhancements in Lord Seaton Park and Mossgrove Park!

Parks staff designed a number of options for each playground and you’re invited to provide feedback on the concepts by completing the survey in the link below:

https://cityoftoronto.fluidsurveys.com/s/Ward25_park_enhancement/

Please note that the images used in the survey are only intended to illustrate the concepts. Final equipment selection, colour and placement may differ from what is shown based on site conditions, availability and final budget.

If you have questions about either project or the survey, please contact Ruthanne Henry, Senior Project Coordinator with Parks, at either rhenry@toronto.ca or 416-395-0142.

Town Crier: Push on to extend Don Mills Trail

By Eric Emin Wood
The Town Crier
January 12, 2014

Starting just south of York Mills Road and running parallel to Leslie Street, Don Mills Trail is picturesque, popular with nearby families and seniors, who use it as a walking trail — and is abruptly stopped by a fence surrounding commercial property north of Eglinton Avenue East.

Since being elected in 2010, Ward 25 councillor Jaye Robinson has been trying to extend the trail from York Mills to Eglinton, notably by negotiating with the commercial property owners to allow visitors through.

Robinson’s efforts may finally be coming to fruition, as the trail’s northern section is being put to tender this month, after which the city can determine development costs for extending the trail and plan a schedule around them.

The trail’s southern section is more complex: Robinson spent a year securing land use rights from the commercial property owners, after which city staff discovered the soil might be contaminated.

Following an environmental assessment, which was forwarded to the province, a city staff report outlining cleanup costs is expected soon.

“It’s not overly contaminated,” Robinson said, indicating clean-up is not expected to be extensive or expensive.

Once the report is delivered, Robinson’s staff will hire a consultant to design the trail.

Construction, which will include embedding soil, planting trees and laying paths, will begin in spring or summer.

“It’s all kind of good news,” Robinson said. “It’s just been unfolding very slowly.”

 

Read the full story here.

Bond Park Tennis Lights

Update – February 2014

Work to improve tennis court lighting in Bond Park is underway. I pushed hard to make sure this project was on the books for 2014 and I’m happy to see that work has begun. City staff have already determined the scope of the project and reviewed drawings with a tennis club representative. Construction is scheduled to begin September 2 and finish October 18!

November 2013

I am pleased to report that work will soon be underway to improve the tennis court lighting at Bond Park early next year!

City staff have already met with representatives from the tennis club to review the scope of the project, hired a consultant and started work on a preliminary design.

Soon, city staff will be reaching out to stakeholders with design updates and to coordinate the schedule and impact of construction.

Stay tuned for updates!