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Ward 18 Parks Conservancy

Ward 18 Parks Conservancy (this did not happen: archive only)

posted October, 2012

Dear park friends,

On Saturday Nov.3 , 2012, between 9 am and 7 pm, CELOS is holding an all-day Open House/Exhibition at the Dufferin Grove rink house and surroundings.

At the Open House, you'll be asked to register your opinion: in December, which programs should be shrunk or let go, and which ones should be preserved?

There will be lots of photo displays and storyboards about the different programs that were developed over the years, with some Parks and Recreation budget and organizational displays as well. There will be three half-hour briefing sessions -- at 11 a.m., 2 pm, and 5 pm, take your pick -- about the four Ward 18 parks at issue. The zamboni cafe will be open, one of the bake ovens will be fired up (with bread samplings), and there are bound to be some lively conversations among neighbours.

This is the next episode in the developments that began with the removal of Tino DeCastro and which then intensified during successive waves of new supervisors. Much of the budget was preserved, with the support of City Councillor Bailao. But in December 2011 an unofficial hiring freeze began (for these parks only), so that by now there are not enough experienced, capable, and mature staff left on the part-time list, to keep the programs going.

Choices have to be made. At Dufferin Rink, there are only enough staff to run the zamboni cafe for two days a week (no evenings) - if the skate lending program is to be preserved. Campbell Rink has insufficient staff support for the pleasure-skating program and the community dinners. Wallace Rink is in better shape, but can no longer operate as part of the three-rink cluster.

This is not the end, but some tough decisions have to be made -- and it will be helpful to have as much community advice as possible -- so put this in your calendar! And please forward to friends who may be affected.

Park enthusiasts have begun working on the creation of a "Ward 18 Parks Conservancy." Something good! Click on our first poster about the conservancy. We know why we want to conserve the liveliness of the parks here, but there's a lot that needs to be figured out about how. What is the "Toronto model" of a parks conservancy? An interesting inquiry...Let the discussion begin. Also: if you have ideas/links/cautions you'd like posted on the "conservancy" web page or on the park bulletin boards, great! E-mail

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