parks

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.

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!

Have Your Say on Toronto’s Ravines

The city has been working with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) and consulting with the public since early 2015 to develop a strategy on Toronto’s ravines.

 

Ravines provide many important ecological benefits and recreation opportunities and are crucial to the functioning of the city. They are also a fragile resource. With population growth, new development and climate change putting increased pressure on ravines, a strategy to guide their future management, use, enhancement and protection is critical.

The strategy will aim to navigate the fine line between protection and use, and identify the actions and investments needed to ensure Toronto’s ravines remain resilient and can be enjoyed and celebrated for years to come.

Developed by Parks, Forestry and Recreation, together with City Planning and Toronto Water and in consultation with other City divisions, TRCA, the public and a wide range of stakeholders, this strategy is scheduled to be completed in April 2017.

For additional information, please click here.

To date, a vision and set of principles and actions have been developed to represent the core ideas and values that will guide the city in future decision-making related to ravines and address the challenges and opportunities in the ravine system. Before finalizing the principles and recommendations, city staff would like to hear from the public.

You’re invited to provide input by participating in the upcoming Ravine Strategy pop-up consultations, detailed below:

North York District:

  • Saturday, July 2 from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Northwood Park (behind the community centre on the north side of the asphalt path), 15 Clubhouse Ct.
  • Friday, July 8 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Edithvale Community Centre, 131 Finch Ave. W.

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.

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

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.

Taking Action on Dust Suppression

I’m pleased to report that the Parks and Environment Committee unanimously passed my motion to take action on dust suppression!

Dust – from stone, rock, concrete and tile cutting, among other things – can be a major neighbourhood nuisance. It also has an environmental and health impact, especially for vulnerable residents.

My motion directs city staff to report in the first quarter of next year with an action plan to tackle dust pollution, including the extent of the city’s authority to regulate dust suppression as well as concrete recommendations to improve dust suppression, including amendments to the Municipal Code.

You can find the full text of my motion here.

Jolly Miller Park Now Open!

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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.

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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!

Strengthening Toronto’s Tree Canopy

I am pleased to report that the Parks and Environment Committee voted to support and approve my motion to strengthen Toronto’s tree canopy – which suffered real damage from the ice storm.

My motion directs Urban Forestry staff to bring forward recommendations to improve Toronto’s tree protection bylaw, including, among other things:

  • A communications strategy to ensure that the public is aware of the ins and outs of our tree protection policies;
  • Better integration of any and all tree-related considerations in the planning and development process;
  • Improvements to the manner and form of public notice required by the bylaw;
  • Uniform and consistent criteria to define what constitutes a tree in “healthy condition” and “poor condition;” and,
  • Information on the impacts of soil volume on the health and longevity of replacement trees.

These points grew directly from your feedback and my street-by-street experience working on tree issues in Ward 25!

Alongside improvements on the enforcement end, these changes will make the tree protection bylaw stronger and more effective.

Post City Column: Upholding Bayview’s tree canopy

By Jaye Robinson
Post City Magazine — Bayview Edition
March 2014

Ward 25 has one of the largest tree canopies in the city with over 50 per cent forest cover. It is one of the main reasons our neighbourhoods are such desirable places to live.

I have been a long-standing advocate for trees, working alongside residents to save trees in Ward 25. That’s why it is devastating to see how many trees were damaged as a result of the December ice storm. Ours was one of the hardest hit. Many mature trees were heavily damaged and have been removed.

Some estimate that as much as 20 per cent of Toronto’s tree canopy was lost. This is a big setback for the city as it moves forward with a plan to increase Toronto’s tree canopy.

One way to achieve our goal is through Toronto’s tree protection bylaw, which could use a bit of fine tuning to make it more effective. That’s why I will be moving a number of motions to strengthen the protection bylaw and make it more transparent.

I will be requesting that the city improve the public notice and consultation process around applications as well as develop a communications strategy to ensure the public knows on what grounds applications are approved or refused.

My aim is to break down the silos at city hall between the planning and forestry departments and ensure tree protection is considered as early as possible in development and planning applications.

I will be introducing these motions to the parks and environ-ment committee this month.

If you have suggestions on how we can improve tree protection, please feel free to email me at Councillor_Robinson@toronto.ca, or give me a call at 416-395-6408.

Park Permit Review

Parks, Forestry and Recreation is doing a review of the park permit process that will examine the process for obtaining permits in parks, as well as the costs of permits and insurance.

This review is part of the Parks Plan 2013 – 2017. It also responds to a request made by the City’s Parks and Environment Committee on January 16, 2014 to review permitting procedures and identify opportunities to streamline the issuing of park permits.

Residents can provide feedback either at a public meeting on Monday, March 24 at 6:30 p.m, at Metro Hall(55 John St., Room 308) or online from March 4-April 4 through the Park Permit Survey.

Information from the survey and public meeting will be included in a Spring 2014 report to the Parks and Environment Committee.

For more information, please visit http://bit.ly/P9NJIo.

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.

Storm Update 2.0

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Dear Friends and Neighbours,

City staff are working around the clock to evaluate damage and cleanup and restore services following Monday’s unprecedented storm.

Toronto Water has received over 3,000 basement flooding calls and staff are working as quickly as possible to get to people’s homes. Due to the high volume of calls – which continues to rise – response times are significantly longer than usual. We appreciate your patience as Toronto Water works as quickly as possible.

Earlier today, I spoke to the head of Toronto Water and identified as priorities the flooding and storm-related issues that you have brought to my attention.

In the mean time, here is a helpful guide to basement flooding with tips on what to do and when to call for professional help.

If you have flood-damaged material – carpeting, furniture, etc. – please note that there will be special garbage collection starting this Saturday, July 13 and continuing on Sunday and Monday, if necessary. Here is more information on this special garbage collection and how to dispose of damaged materials.

Finally, Toronto Hydro continues to ask customers to conserve electricity as much as possible while they work to restore full service. Hydro One is still repairing Manby Station and this has made the city’s electricity system much more vulnerable.

Please consider turning off your air conditioning or setting it at a higher temperature – 26 degrees. Turn off all non-essential lighting. Close curtains and blinds to keep out the sun and limit the use of major appliances, such as dishwashers. Find more energy-saving tips here.

Thank you again for your patience as we work to recover and cleanup from the storm. I appreciate that it has not been easy for those who were without power or suffered basement flooding.

You should also never hesitate to contact my office by phone at (416) 395-6408 or by email at Councillor_Robinson@toronto.ca for any and all assistance.

For the latest updates, please check my  Facebook page and Twitter.

Warm regards,

Jaye

Jaye Robinson
City Councillor Ward 25 – Don Valley West