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A synopsis of some of the experiences we've had with the city about park issues and city-wide issues.

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Dufferin Grove Park Issues | City Issues

Dufferin Grove Park Issues

posted March 15, 2005

The Breastfeeding Crisis, 2005
On January 7, 2005, a volunteer spoke to a woman who appeared to be taking off her shirt in the park's crowded rink clubhouse, as she was preparing to breastfeed her baby. The request the volunteer made led the woman to make a now-well-known human rights complaint to the City, saying her right to breastfeed her baby had been challenged. An email storm broke out, and all kinds of questions arose. Read more >>

posted February 15, 2004

The Inspector Crisis, 2003
On December 18, 2003, three short weeks after the Parks and Rec restructuring plan was announced, and contested, City of Toronto employees arrived to conduct a health and safety inspection of the rink house. Occupational health and safety inspectors Jim Mackay and Danny Neill came to the park and made it evident that there were big problems with the way we use the rink house. They wrote a report asking that the new community kitchen be destroyed and the locks on the garage door be changed so that no one other than the zamboni driver could go in there. They ordered all the giant puppets to be removed from their perch in the garage rafters, and these were carted away to other parts of the city. A sad week!

posted May 17, 2004

Maintenance Issues, Spring 2004
A compendium of issues around the park in the spring of 2004, and more. We couldn't even get grass seed from the city. And the park thoroughfare still hasn't been paved, though it was first proposed in 1925... Read more ..

posted September 4, 2004

Budget Crisis 2004
Faster than we thought possible, the park is back in the black. To recap: It looked grim on August 4, when we found out that the back wages owed to park staff amounted to almost $9000, and that there was not enough money in the city's summer budget for our park to cover this debt, nor even enough to run the park until the end of the summer. Read more >>

Police and Park Safety
A puzzling consistency to a seemingly simple problem: communicating with our local police. We have a story digest of some of the problems we've encountered: A Lesson in the Law; Correspondence with the Ontario Attorney General about handling complaints about the police; Racial Profiling; Mary and Joe and the baby; Wal-Mart Security; "Facts and Arguments" The Globe and Mail July 20 2001; Park Policing Stories from our newsletters. Read more >>

posted June 1, 2004

Dufferin Grove Rink Problems
There were several signs of problems at the Dufferin Park Rink, but we couldn't seem to get the City to look at it seriously. Read more >>. This set of stories includes our candidate for a reality show to rival the British sitcom "Yes Minister": Rink problems - correspondence with the City, May 2004

City Issues

posted August 12, 2004

THE $803,000 LIST: Boondoggle?
The last time city council met, at the end of July, a group of us tried (and failed) to interest city council in stopping a "facility-audit" for Parks and Recreation, that will cost over $800,000. To do an audit, the city gets inspectors to go from place to place checking roofs and walls and wiring and water lines, etc., and writing down what shape everything is in. The inspectors write down what needs repair now and what may need repair or replacement later, up to a period of 25 years, making a separate, detailed report for every facility owned by Parks and Recreation. The last such inventory was ordered by the Policy and Planning Division of the Economic Development and Parks Department in 2001. Read more >>

posted Aug 4, 2004

$800,000 P&R facilities audit passed without debate -- in spite of our warnings, and a promise
My Experience at City Hall: "When I went to the Toronto City Council meeting on July 20th, I arrived there expecting to be confused. I had been to several City Council meetings before, and had generally not had any idea what was going on for most of the time. The first morning of the three day Council meeting met all my expectations, as item after item whizzed by without a real vote, or any debate ever taking place."

posted June 1, 2004

Map of Strategic Planners' Minds: Restructuring City of Toronto Parks and Recreation, May, 2004
Since Toronto and its surrounding municipalities were forced to amalgamate in 1997, the management of the much expanded Parks and Recreation Division has been searching for a way to make it all work. Their ideas have been set out in quite a few reports and papers. The ones we have obtained are shown in the sidebar to the right...What follows is a critical look at the contents of these reports, beginning with the most recent.

posted May 9, 2004

City Playgrounds
Playground removal: For some years now, the playgrounds of Toronto have been removed at a breakneck rate, some to be replaced, some left bare. This virus began with the day cares, moved to the schools, and then began to affect the parks. It is caused by the city's wholesale adoption of the revised playground standards of the Canadian Standards Association.

posted March 1, 2004

Parks and Recreation - Reactivate TO, Spring 2004
Parks and Recreation "Stakeholder Reference Group"; A letter from a neighbour about "ReactivateTO".

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