//Community Updates September 2013

Community Updates September 2013

There is much to catch up on!
Park Renewal

Sasquatch sighting on the berms in the new mulch in Vermont Square Park!


So….construction on and around the playing field has been at a virtual stand still since the beginning of August, save the now infamous and overly generous spreading of mulch over all the berms in the park!

The mulch was a big mistake and is to be removed… The hope is the grass has not suffered too badly having been covered up for this long. Either way, the situation has now, and will continue to be addressed, to ensure the grass grows happily on the berms.

The VSPRC has inquired and is pressing to have it removed ASAP!

Other concerns raised by the VSPRC with our construction partners and Councillor Vaughan’s team:

  • Timing – why the delays and when will construction resume and end! SERIOUSLY!
  • Signage – will new signs indicating the revised construction schedule be placed around the site?
  • Trees and Shrubs – the condition of many trees and shrubs in and around the site indicate die off or intense stress. They are being attended to.
  • Rock “Wall” – Although pleasant, this area is being (re) considered. Discussion points include play potential, landscaping and original design as per community consultation and ongoing conversations with the VSPRC
  • Bocce Courts – currently fenced-in (sorry!), the bocce courts look more like a community garden, and one court is completely unusable. The courts WILL be re-graded and re-surfaced
  • Benches – just south of courts. The benches were spread very far apart. We are hoping to have a set of the benches placed closer together to facilitate conversation. A lot of cigarettes are being put out on the ground leaving much litter….The thought is to put an ash tray/garbage in place. Though….smoking isn’t really allowed in public parks – IDEAS?
  • Playground gates – all gates around the playground have settled leaving them slightly wonky and therefore not closing easily or properly. This will be corrected ASAP.
  • Playground fence – along Palmerston Ave/logged toddler +preschool sand play area : kids are escaping up and over the fence via the logs next to the fence. An extension is going to be added to the fence to keep everyone safely inside the playground.
  • Water shut off – it is noted that the tap is being left on continuously. It is recommended an automatic shut off valve be placed on the tap to prevent the water from staying on too long/in case preoccupied kids forget to shut it off. Is this warranted to address water waste?

·Just installed is the new subsurface irrigation system and new soil

· The new lights will be installed ASAP. All subsurface prep for the light’s installation has been done.

Also being discussed is landscaping within the playground and park/in front of benches.
 Vermont Square Park Little Free library and Community Noticeboard Sign coming to the park this fall!
Little Free library where we can exchange books  with each other!
Traffic and Safety throughout the neighbourhood
The speed and “temperature” of traffic is a longstanding concern for many in the neighbourhood. Whether drivers are confused by the maze of one way streets, or use the neighbourhood as a quick detour from Bathurst, Christie, Dupont or Bloor, or disregard Stop signs throughout the neighbourhood, the safety of everyone is paramount.
No street is immune from these challenges and, amazingly, it seems each one sees specific challenges: Barton is a flow through street, Follis and Palmerston are seeming speedways along which Stop signs are treated as “Stoptional.” Drivers hoping for parking or to access St Albans, Bill Bolton or the park use the intersections along Palmerston as turn-arounds. One way streets mean “whatever” for many as children yell at drivers and cyclists heading the wrong direction on Vermont or London or head into Palmerston Square though it clearly says No Entry. All the streets flowing out to the major arteries, such as Palmerston, Yarmouth, Clinton (north), Barton, and Vermont, see drivers imploding as they make a run for Bloor, Dupont, Christie and Bathurst. Then there’s the light at Wells and Bathurst – an accident waiting to happen as drivers mistakenly turn left onto Wells or rashly spit out onto Bathurst turning right FROM Wells. Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians use laneways to get to their destination (often avoiding the maze). And, there’s much more to discuss…
So what can we do?

Please come to the next SVRA meeting Thursday October 10th

Where: St Albans Boys’ and Girls Club.
Time: 6:30 – 8:30pm
Room: AV Room (upstairs next to the washroom)
Babysitting will be provided!
Please let us know if you’d like us to order pizza (cheese, pepperoni or veggie) ’cause you’d rather come to the meeting than be making yet another meal!
Please feel free to let us know if there is something you’d like added to the Agenda!
I. Traffic and Safety
  • Update: Barton St Staggered parking
  • Identifying the problems: for e.g., speeding, failure to observe signs, signage, alleyways, Uhaul, parking (times)
  • Exploring solutions: painting intersections, Turtle power!, home-made signs, improving traffic signs
  • Re-claiming and animating lane ways: Laneway 5k! and other ideas
Police and Transportation have been invited to the meeting
II.      Seaton Village Lane Naming Project
III.    Park Renewal
IV.    Planning Updates: Bathurst St Study/ 4 Corners/255 Christie St/ Site of Former Childrens’ Storefront/ Metro Development/ICBL and RioCan’s appeal – what you can do!
V.     Other Business
1000-2 Bathurst was approved at the OMB despite the valiant and good fight involving many area neighbours. Thanks to everyone who participated in the process.
Dupont St Study: This was undertaken by Ryerson students and further and specific work is needed to complete the survey. If you are interested in helping gather  and enter information, please send us a message! Further detail will be posted to the website ASAP!

Visioning charrette of the 4 corners of Bloor and Bathurst!

October 5th, 2013 Councillor’s Vaughan and Layton invite you to participate in “Building a community vision for the intersection of our communities”
Bathurst and Bloor is unique.
It is the boundary between municipal wards. It is the dividing line for downtown Toronto. It is the intersection of at least four distinct communities. As such, it is has never been looked at as a whole. This meeting will be the first time we sit down, together, as a community to examine this intersection and the neighbourhoods from London to Lennox and Markham to Albany/Lippincott.
Now that the future of Honest Ed’s and Mirvish Village are up for debate, it is even more important to set out a vision for the four corners of Bathurst and Bloor. There are many sites at this corner that may become development sites in the next decade and we need to be prepared as a community to define how we want our neighbourhoods to grow. The outcomes of this charrette on the Four Corners of Bathurst & Bloor will be included in the Bathurst Street study.
More information on the Bathurst St Study is available online :http://www.toronto.ca/planning/bathurst.htm

******To read, Please see the attached invitation for more information about this event
Palmerston Square “PS” and the Homegrown National Park!
With the launch of an innovative new leadership initiative called the Homegrown National Park, the David Suzuki Foundation is helping to create Toronto’s greenest ward, right in the heart of the city.
Between Bathurst and Dovercourt, stretching from Dupont to the waterfront, the Homegrown National Park is a crowd-sourced “green corridor” that runs along the path of the Garrison Creek, one of the city’s most notable lost rivers. Inspired by authors Richard Louv and Douglas Tallamy, this corridor will enhance, restore and create urban green space, helping to “bring nature home to the city.”
Local Ranger, Anjum Chagpar along with many creative and amazingly energetic Seaton Villagers, have been re-imagining and transforming the way we perceive and use Palmerston Square/PS. The goal is to blur the boundaries between public and private spaces and consider Palmerston Square as a park.
You’ll notice the please-use-me chalk board, impromptu benches and seating, seemingly random acts of planting/gardening and art installations on otherwise utilitarian objects, like the chain link fence around St Mary’s school.
Congrats and THANK YOU to everyone involved in this ongoing community based and led project!
Check out the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/PalmerstonSquare/