For the basics, see
- Website & Privacy Policies
- How To Get Involved
- The Role of the Park

Search options:

up to a month to index new postings
About Us and the Park
web search

Search About Us and the Park:
local & up to date but simpler
See Search Page

Department Site Map

Related sections:


Friends of Dufferin Grove Park: A Thumbnail History 1992 to 2004

See also Summer/Fall/Winter Story.

posted March 15, 2004

1992: Dufferin Mall's proposed expansion meets with hostility from the neighbourhood. Dufferin Mall offers $20,000 to the city for new playground equipment for Dufferin Grove Park, no strings attached. Parks Department calls a community consultation meeting but nobody comes. Mall manager David Hall calls Jutta Mason and asks her to consult neighbours. She calls around the neighbourhood for two days and asks people what they want for the park. Telephone consultation results: people ask for basketball court, adventure playground suitable for older kids, native species gardens, food in the park, more places to sit. Parks department calls community meeting at library. Well-attended meeting confirms this to-do list.

1993 - Big back yard founders
The sandpit

1993: June 15, sandpit is put into playground area, after "Friends of Dufferin Grove Park" is formed. July 5, mayor June Rowlands comes to open adventure playground. Summer drop-in activities, including enriched art program and our first cooking fires in "The Big Backyard." Late summer -- basketball court is built. That same summer the rink was rebuilt (scheduled previously). First children's garden is put in.

1994 -- February: official rink re-opening ceremony (on closing day). Summer -- second year of Big Backyard art activities. City funds film-maker Amnon Buchbinder to make 10-minute BBY movie. Second garden is put in with help from Latino gangsters.

1995: first bake oven is built (with help from the Trillium Foundation, Maytree Foundation, Ontario government "child nutrition grant," Parks and Recreation support). Mayor Barbara Hall comes to open oven. "Clay and Paper Theatre" takes up residence in orphaned park field house; field house vandalism is reduced. Dufferin Mall funds outdoor Sunday summer concerts.

1996 -- rink house is altered by community to allow better visibility -- city pays for installation of eye-level windows. New sign put up by city: "rinkhouse/clubhouse," with city-designed bake-oven logo. Friends of the park receive Canada Trust grant to put in more native species gardens. First summer giant puppet play is performed. Outdoor pizza days begin, for neighbourhood, schools, day camps, at bake oven.

1997 - rink "gangstas"

1997 -- more gardens are put in, near oven. Lieutenant Governor Hilary Weston comes to make pizza and be filmed by a CBC film crew. In winter, Parks and Recreation supervisor hires private security company to respond to calls for help from rink staff, ensure staff/ user safety in rink. More performances: Clay and Paper Theatre's summer puppet play and concerts.

1998 -- collaboration between Parks and Recreation and the "Friends" results in staffing changes at the rink. Park friends get a police-community partnership grant from the Ontario Solicitor General. Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" is performed outdoors in the park. Family Sundays start at rink; private security contract cancelled (not necessary any more).

1998 - Rinkhouse chess
Private security no longer required

1999 - the Marsh Fountain wetland garden is put in by Gene Threndyle, with an Ontario Arts Council grant. Dusk Dances add Dufferin Grove Park as one of their summer performance venues. Clay and Paper Theatre's giant puppet play that summer is about the park: "The Ballad of Garrison Creek." Tours other parks on the creek bed.

2000 - a second bake oven is built as a workshop with city-wide participation. Dusk Dances and puppet plays continue. September 1: a violent incident on basketball court prompts the start of monthly park newsletter.

2001 -- In July, Park gets an international award in NYC as "Great Community Place," along with Chicago (accepted by their mayor), New York's Prospect Park, and Portland Oregon. Park friends begin to raise money by baking bread for Riverdale Farm farmer's market.

2002-- "Friends" apply to city for kitchen grant. Performances, etc, continue. Park farmers' market begins, Nov.7.

2003 -- Friday night suppers begin. "Friends" get Parks and Trees Foundation grant to start web site. Kitchen gets built. December 18: City of Toronto Corporate Services occupational health and safety inspectors arrive and say kitchen has to be destroyed, rink house can't be shared between zamboni and park friends.

2004 -- Zamboni movie made and shown on CBC; kitchen not destroyed. Food-related income reaches $30,000: all put back into extra park programs. "Friends" begin talking about how the funds raised can be processed by the City.

NOTE: none of this could have been done without close collaboration and continuous support from Parks and Recreation. The Friends of Dufferin Grove Park consider themselves an adjunct to Parks and Recreation.

hosted by | powered by pmwiki-2.2.83. Content last modified on February 05, 2012, at 09:27 PM EST