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Where does the money and effort go?

broken bench

muddy path

cob courtyard - a success

posted December 12, 2005

Andre Carrel launches website

A steadfast e-friend of the park, Andre Carrel, who lives in the interior of B.C., has written a good deal about practical, everyday democracy. He's also given us good advice whenever we sought it. He just sent us a link to his new web site: Toronto magazine about the "urban landscape".

(:redirect FrontPage:)

Research (CELOS) (Main)

On this page:

About Celos | Storylines

posted September 09, 2007

We've Moved!!

CELOS now has its own website at


posted June 1, 2004

The Centre for Local Research into Public Space

This is our research arm. (Centre for Local research into Public Space, pronounced "cee-loss.") We picked that acronym because we wanted it to sound like CIDOC, the "research by people" institute of our friend, historian and philosopher Ivan Illich, which existed in Mexico in the 1960's and 70's.

Started in 1999, CELOS put out two publications: the Cooking with Fire in Public Space and a 2002 park budget booklet. It also curated an international food cart picture display and was involved in the original version of the current park web site. Then it went dormant for a year. In 2003 it revived. A small group of legal and public policy researchers began to:

1. Study legislation that affects public space
2. Monitor what's happening to the parks department


The relationship between the City, and its parks and communities is quite complex, but we're trying to sort it out. For now, we group our reports into two general subject areas: Management & Transparency, and Spending & Programs

Management & Transparency

City: Access to Information

July 25, 2005

First Batch of City's Playgrounds Secrets are Safe With Them

June 24, 2005

CELOS publishes its presentations to provincial Access To Information Adjudicator

May 11, 2005

Snakes and Ladders: City Secrets Game about City Playground expenditures

April 27, 2005

City Parks and Rec Department has trouble accounting for large expenditures

November 18, 2004

List of requests

See the Access To Information Page

City: Management

February 16, 2006

Parks, Forestry & Rec's current plans, 2005-2006 priorities, and strategic plans including community engagement

August 10, 2005

Diary: Parks and Rec New Functional Management Approach

July 25, 2005

Parks and Recreation Revolution

June 2004

Commentary on the 2004 Strategic Plan Document: Toward a Healthy, Active Future

October 24, 2005

Parks Forestry and Recreation Managers (pdf): Who to talk to?

See the City Management Page

June 1, 2004

Map of Strategic Planners' Minds: Restructuring City of Toronto Parks and Recreation, May, 2004

June 2004

Parks and Recreation run like a business: Reality Chack

June 1, 2004

An interesting paper about stewardship (definition) in the public service by Jim Armstrong, with reference to the thought of Jane Jacobs. Read more >>

Insights into the City

October 23, 2005

Quotes from the MFP Report (pdf): A litany of problems in the bureacracy

September 16, 2005

MFP Inquiry Notes (pdf)

March 1, 2004

Mayor David Miller's Inaugural Speech, December 2, 2003

Community Management Boards for Rinks, or Parks?

February 20, 2006

Editorial: Does Anyone Have a Broom? The system for maintaining most city rinks is a shambles.

posted February 19, 2006

A Clash of Cultures: Recent events at Dufferin Grove Park leading to the contemplation of a Management Board for the rink again raise the question: why is there a serious "crisis" -- a conflict with the city -- once or twice a year?

posted February 18, 2006

Thoughts About Parks: Doing More With Less. Itís time to clear up a few things about Dufferin Grove Park and our taxes.

posted on February 16, 2006

Fact sheet on City of Toronto community Boards of Management

posted February 16, 2006

Outdoor Rink Reports. Here's a look at the rough-and-tumble world of running some of Toronto's outdoor rinks.

posted Feburary 15, 2006

Ice Thickness. Each time the ice surface is flooded, the ice slab increases in thickness. While this increase is minimal, there is an additive effect throughout the rink season.

posted Feburary 11, 2006

Report of Community Meeting about Rink Management Board Proposal

posted February 6, 2006

Letter to the general manager of Parks, Forestry and Recreation

posted February 1, 2006

Why a Management Board for City Outdoor Rinks? The City's management of outdoor compressor-run ice rinks isnít working.

posted January 24, 2006

Editorial: The Upside Down World of City Rinks

posted Feburary 15, 2006

Refrigerant Safety Issues. According to its thermodynamic qualities, ammonia is one of the best refrigerants presently known.

Spending & Programs

Dufferin Grove Park: How much to run it?

In 2001-2002 we spent many weeks trying to find answers to the question: how much tax money is spent to run Dufferin Grove Park? Here are the (somewhat rough) notes we gathered, to do the calculations.

2002 Park Costs Notebook

Dufferin Grove Park: what staff do

In February 2006, the Parks, Forestry and Recreation Director questioned the park budget. Here's a summary of what on-site park staff do, for $166,000 a year total.

2005 Park Staff Work

Cinergy: $10M Contract

A conditional $10M Parks & Rec contract to reduce energy use in rinkhouses. And it appears the contractor (Cinergy) gets to say whether it's working. We're very concerned about this project.

September 13, 2005

What's the matter with the $10.3 million rink energy retrofit contract?

December 3, 2005

Cinergy Correspondence Diary

October 25, 2005

The agreement between CINERGY SOLUTIONS and the City of Toronto: excerpts

City: Spending

posted November 22, 2005

Park levies questions: The City collects levies on new development. How much? And where does it go?

November 2, 2005

City Audit Committee calls City debt levels "unsustainable"

September 13, 2005

Sample Retraining Costs (pdf) obtained through access to information

November 18, 2004

City secrets: Parks and Rec Consultants Fees

June 7, 2005

A city document - list of Parks and Rec consultant fees (pdf)

November 21, 2004

City's Ontario Works Funds

August 12, 2004

THE $803,000 LIST: Boondoggle?

August 4, 2004

$800,000 P&R facilities audit passed...

See the City Spending Page

Insurance and Lawsuits

October 12, 2005

Legal Claims against the city for injuries in parks: answers so far (pdf)

October 12, 2005

City Insurance: Freedom of Information requests and the answers we got so far (pdf)

City Playground Removals

See the City Playgrounds Page

The issues:

October 24, 2005

Playground Destruction: Why we're concerned

November 9, 2004

Editorial: Making the Playground Safe

August 5, 2004

Playground Removal, May 2004 Newsletter

Playground Issues Digest

Database of playgrounds:

December 6, 2004

City Playgrounds Database: a Wiki of the City's 1999 survey, plans and pictures for about 780 playgrounds

December 6, 2004

City Playgrounds Survey, 1999, Summaries

Fighting to get information:

August 9, 2005

Freedom Of Information: We Get a Surprising Answer About Playground Injuries

August 6, 2005

Analysis of CELOSíS Appeal with the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner

May 11, 2005

Snakes and Ladders: City Secrets Game about City Playground expenditures

City: Policies and Programs

November 2, 2005

Parks & Rec Advisory Council Terms of Reference (pdf): Could be applied to Dufferin Grove Park

April 14, 2005

Celos Launches EMERGENCY PLANS research

March 15, 2005

Breastfeeding and Human Rights in Public Spaces

March 8, 2005

OHRC Breastfeeding Letter

March 8, 2005

Parks GM Breastfeeding Letter

March 8, 2005

City CAO Breastfeeding Letter

July 29, 2004

A Visit With the Judge

See the Policies and Programs Page

Community & The Law

August 6, 2005

Analysis of CELOSíS Appeal with the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner

posted on February 16, 2006

Fact sheet on City of Toronto community Boards of Management

posted on July 5, 2005

Adjudicator's ruling on Freedom Of Information Appeal to get information about spending of playground budget.

July 29, 2004

A Visit With the Judge

Breastfeeding Case Law

Breastfeeding Legal Literature Review

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