Refurbish Ontario Street Parkette
It was a welcome early Christmas present to our community! The first phase of the Ontario Street Parkette refurbishment was completed in December. We now have a brand new playground for families.
There is new playground equipment, new decorative cement retaining walls have replaced the rotted railway ties and a super safe playground surface has been installed. Thanks to Parks Staff and Councilor Pam McConnell's office for moving this phase of the project to completion.
The second phase involving removal of weed trees along the boundary fences, removal of further rotted retaining walls, regrading of the middle berm and the extension of the new footpath surface, will be completed next spring.
So if you have a free moment, or need to walk off some calories, take a stroll, bring the dog, an energetic child or significant other and check out the new park and seasonal decorations.
Some time ago, Cabbagetown South Residents' Association was awarded a small grant and then set aside some additional funds for further improvement projects in the park. Now that we know the reconstruction plan, we can move ahead with that project. A very long time ago, a branch of the Crookshank Creek flowed through land that is now the parkette and recognition of that, the current thinking is to complete a "Lost River Installation".
We have recently approached Parks and Rec staff with a draft plan for a mosaic along the cement retaining wall in the playground area. The photo left is a rendering of a mosaic illustrating the lost river and some child friendly fish. We are awaiting clarification on the approval process from park staff and once finalized will proceed with our Beautificaton Project. We have an area artist with experience in mosaic installation intersted in leading the project this spring. Volunteers interested in helping with the mosaic will be most welcome.
So, to recap, 2012 was a very busy year.
· For perhaps 10 years, our Association has worked to have this parkette refurbished. Finally, we were advised that the refurbishment would begin in 2012. Since it is to be funded out of the operations (not a capital) budget, the work will have to be phased in over 2 to 3 years.
· On Feb. 24, we received a revised plan for the parkette, this following a meeting which included Parks, Forestry and Recreation personnel, and representatives from the Councillor's office, the landscape consulting firm and of this association.
· On Mar. 20, an on site meeting was held to discuss the plan's proposed improvements and suggestions.
· In April, in light of the phased approach being taken, our members surveyed neighbours and developed a tasks priority list with an eye to seeing tangible improvements in 2012.
· On May 9, the iron fence as painted! It looks wonderful.
· On May 9, Parks Planner Bob Duguid presented a Park/Playground Design Concept to the neighbourhood at our monthly association meeting. Click here to see it.
· On July 24,we had a final site meeting with interested neighbours to finalize playground equipment and placement.
· In Sep. the phase 1 rebuild started and in December it was finished!
For some interesting information about new ideas for public art and appropriate trees for new parks and streetscape check out this website about the West Donlands Neighbourhood's Underpass park. Click this link.http://www.waterfrontoronto.ca/explore_projects2/west_don_lands/underpass_park
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