The final phase of the Ontario Street Parkette refurbishment was completed in May of 2015. We now have a brand new playground and park for families and residents. Area residents continue to keep the park clean and inviting. There is some problems with illegal dumping in the vicinity of the garbage/recycling bins and area resident who use the bins for household garbage. The city has an enforcement officer assigned to the problem and if caught a hefty fine will result.
The final step in completing the park is a small garden area in the north west corner of the park that needs some plants and care. Should anyone be interested in taking on that project let us know.
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 the project to completion.
The final phase included the replacement of the retaining wall lining the treed berm and replacing it with a brick retaining wall. A secondary path along the north perimietr has created a child friendly tricycle circle and better access for dog walkers and pedestrians traveling through the park. We are finding a large number of pedestrians travel down MIlan Street, through the park and the pedestrian laneway to Seaton as part of their daily commute from Regent Park to the financial district.
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 have moved 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, July 20/21, 2013 saw the installation of a new mosaic created by area artist Thomas Dannenberg with the help of many area volunteers who laboured hard and long on this 25 foot long creation. The mosaic has been an instant hit with area residents. Young families with toddlers especially enjoy the art installation along the playground area.
And, just to show what a good time participants had, here are some pictures taken over the course of the 2-day installation.
Or, check out this fabulous You tube presentation: http://youtu.be/8n8SXR9T6Xw Lead by Artist and Seaton resident, Thomas Dannenberg, neighbours in Cabbagetown South came together for weeks to create a mosaic to be installed in the Ontario Street Parkette. This shows the process and final installation with friends and neighbours, working, watching and enjoying hotdogs over a Saturday and Sunday in the summer of 2013. The idea was conceived by Don Purvis, President of Cabbagetown South Resident's' Association. Not only was the end result a beautiful piece of art for our community, we also go to know a lot of folks who reside in this thriving neighbourhood
To read more about the day, have a look at this blog: Website: http://icelandpenny.wordpress.com
We hope to host a community walk with the Lost River Volunteers to officially unveil this new piece of public art for our community.
Here is Thomas's contact information should anyone be interested in some original art work for their home or business. email@example.com or phone 647-284-4020
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 September, the phase 1 rebuild started and in December it was finished! Weed trees have been removed.
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
For comments or questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org