Category Archives: Park Renewal

Vermont Square Park Field Refurbishment work: May 2018

Members of the SVRA, Vermont Square Park Dog Off-Leash Association (DOA), City Staff from DOLA (Nancy Aranha and Tara Coley), our Park Supervisor, Brian Green, Nadia Blackburn (General Supervisor, Parks TEY), Bob Duguid and Gord Dol (Dol Turf Specialists) met in Vermont Square Park on April 26, 2018 to view existing conditions and discuss a plan to address issues of concern specific to the central field.


Those issues include: grading, drainage, sub surface soil conditions (the compacted soil and ways to improve those conditions) viable field covers and conditions around the stage including pronounced irrigation heads (tripping hazards).



  • the high/heavy use of the field by humans and dogs,
  • The intense compaction /conditions of the earth in the field area
  • the effects of dog urine on grass,
  • the impact of uses including dog activity on the field after a (heavy) rain and during the Spring thaw that damages plant root systems

A variety of field covers beyond sod (Kentucky Blue Grass) and grass were discussed along with the preference to ensure as much access to the field as possible during the spring and summer months.


Historically, although grass is the original ground cover for much of the southern portion of the park/the central field, it has never been successful over time//with heavy use of the central field (although it does grow elsewhere with relative success.) Instead, several native species such as Chickweed, Camomile and Plantain have established in the field and elsewhere with relative success.  Unfortunately, since 2015, the ground/soil in the park’s central field has become incredibly compacted allowing the perfect conditions for Knotweed to take root. Knotweed is a highly invasive and noxious species that the City of Toronto strives to eliminate. It muscles out other species. It is an annual, meaning, the plant goes to seed then dies back in the fall and re-emerges in the spring leaving the area bare during the shoulder seasons.


The group decided the following plan for the Spring/May 2018

Beginning the week of May 14, 2018, Dol Turf Specialists will:

  1. Excavate around the stage and install 4″ depth of limestone screenings,
  2. Lower east CB frame and grate by 2″ / one ring,
  3. Grade out ponding areas and make adjustments to grade in the existing swales to ensure drainage flow to CB’s. Remove surplus excavated material from site,
  4. Core aerate the field to 6″ depth
  5. Seed with 3 way Ryegrass
  6. Fertilize
  7. Set up “barriers” in area to be protected, not the entire field.
  8. Perform second round of aeration and slit seeding with ryegrass at future date 2018
  9. Every two weeks, Parks and/or community reps, or both, will relocate barriers to protect another section of field, and rotate the protection area around the field. This will gradually open up increasingly more field area within weeks of the start date.

***Top soil will be added if/as required

The main stage are and adjacent field area will be available for OPEN TUNING Festival 2018  use on June 9, 2018

PLEASE NOTE: During this time, the treed area east of the playground/stage and south of Bill Bolton Arena will be available for any off-leash activity.

The SVRA and VSP DOA will ensure messaging to the community is consistent and accurate. Signs will be posted at the park/on the fences around the site, email blasts, information on the SVRA website and Seaton Village and the Dog People Facebook group pages will be updated.


Other notes: future field upkeep and care is essential to the long-term success of the field. The SVRA and DOA + Park Staff will endeavour to find ways to curtail use of the field during the spring thaw, wet seasons, and after a (heavy rain.)

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Filed under Park Renewal, Parks, Planning, Uncategorized, VSP DOA - Dog Owner Association

SVRA Meeting April 10, 2018 FOCUS: Vermont Square Park field work + area park updates

SVRA meeting Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Time: 7:00 – 8:30

Location: Vermont Square Longterm Care facility, lower level rec room (914 Bathurst St @ Barton Ave)


  • Discussion of current state of field + revised field improvement option + tentative schedule;
  • DOA – Dog Owner Association VSP – new!
  • Monsignor Fraser + Green Line implementation Plan – Public Meeting April 23, 2018
  • April 28: Community Cleanup – Dennis Lee Playground + Ward 20 Compost drop
  • Update: May AGM (rescheduled date)
  • Other business

History: The central field in Vermont Square Park is enjoyed as both dog off-leash park + for a wide variety of other activities.

In 2015, the field renovation work was completed after a lengthy park renovation process that included the Dennis Lee Playground, installation of the bench, games tables and seating throughout the park + new pathways and hard-surface rec area off the Bill Bolton service road/beside the arena.

Several problematic issues have impacted the field since it was re-opened in 2015, including highly compacted earth, pooling or “ponding” along the swale, soil erosion etc.

Councillor Cressy’s office has allocated funds to assist with field improvements. Bob Duguid, Sr Project Coordinator with PFR Construction Management and Capital Projects is working with the community to ensure the best option is selected to insure meaningful improvements to the soil, drainage system and field ground cover.

We are in discussion with Bob Duguid and Dol Turf Specialists + our Park Supervisor, Brian Green, to modify and customize the action plan for the field.

We encourage you to come to the meeting, learn about the possible revised option(s) and participate in the discussions.

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Filed under Community Events, Monsignor Fraser School, Park Renewal, Parks, Uncategorized, VSP DOA - Dog Owner Association

Vermont Square Park + Bill Bolton Arena Spring and Summer 2018 Construction projects

Vermont Square Park Improvements 2018

 The Central field in Vermont Square Park was renovated in 2015. The process to complete the work was involved and long. Unfortunately, what we’ve discovered since, is that the subsurface earth is so compacted that nothing is able to grow very successfully whether it be knotweed or, preferably, grass. This leaves the field a muddy mess or bare during the shoulder months. In summer the field is reduced to a dust bowl.

 Options, including alternatives to grass, have been explored with the City; for example, mulch, pea gravel or an asphalt aggregate. None of these options would allow for the variety of activities currently enjoyed on the central field.

 At the March 15th SVRA meeting, City Parks Senior Project Coordinator, Bob Duguid described options to remedy problems affecting the turf, with grading issues and water ponding on the central field. Please see the SVRA Meeting Minutes March 15 2018_ VSP_DOA FINAL for a full description.

Funds are being made available from the Ward 20 budget. In the October 2018 municipal elections we will become a part of Ward 19. There is no guarantee funds will be made available from the Ward 19 office budget. Community members at the March 15, 2018 SVRA meeting unanimously opted for a complete field makeover.

This will result in the closure of the main field for 3 – 4 months starting this Spring.

 We’d like to hear from others in the community so we can answer any questions you might have and respond to comments.

Questions and comments can be sent to the SVRA from Wednesday March 28, 2018 – Sunday April 8, 2018     email:

A SVRA meeting to discuss the upcoming field work will take place on April 10, 2018

Time 7:00 – 8:30

Location: Vermont Square Long Term Care facility (914 Bathurst St.)


Bill Bolton Arena

The SVRA has just learned details of the major facility/rink construction work scheduled at Bill Bolton Arena during the Spring and Summer months.

This work will result in parts of the playground and the north east corner of the field being sectioned off to provide contractor staging, storage and parking areas.

The wading pool and playground south of the wading pool will remain open throughout the summer.

 Please view the official construction notice: FLYER-BOLTON-CAPITAL-WORKS from the City of Toronto for more information on this project and to see impacts to the playground and park.

  • Updates will be provided by the SVRA, BBA and the City of Toronto as these projects move forward.

 We do appreciate the frustration caused by the inconvenience of playground and field closures during these parallel construction projects in Vermont Square Park.

 Many thanks to Councillor Cressy for allocating funds to make these much needed improvements to our community amenities and to City of Toronto Parks staff for their ongoing work.

Monsignor Fraser College – Annex: A New Urban Green Space!

On 9 January, 2018, TDCSB Trustee Jo-Ann Davis and Councillor Joe Cressy held a joint TCDSB / City of Toronto Open House at Monsignor Fraser College – Annex Campus, to inform the local community of an exciting new partnership that will see the current fence-enclosed asphalt playground on Markham St turned into an urban green space with areas for both student programming and the wider Seaton Village community.

Work is expected to start at the end of June, 2018, and to take approximately 3 months to complete.  The City of Toronto has committed approximately $300,000 to the project, and well as to the ongoing maintenance of the site, which will see the southern portion of the Monsignor Fraser College site transformed into a shared use urban green space.  Read more


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Filed under Community Events, Monsignor Fraser School, Park Renewal, Parks, Planning, Uncategorized

VSP Central field uses and improvements meeting March 15, 2018

Please join the Seaton village Residents’ Association (SVRA) and guests from the City of Toronto Parks Department and DOLA – Dogs Off Leash Areas  – to begin discussions regarding Vermont Square Parks’ central field, its uses (including off-leash dog park and playing field) and current condition.

Vermont Square

Guests include:

  • Park Standards and Innovations Unit: Program Standards & Development Office (Dog Off-Leash) Nancy Aranha and Project Coordinator – Landscape Architect, Tara Coley
  • Operations: Brian Green, Park Supervisor for Wards 19 and 20
  • Construction Management and Capital Projects, Sr Project Coordinator, Bob Duguid
  • Colin Burns, Constituency Assistance for Ward 20 Councillor Joe Cressy

Date: Thursday, March 15 2018

Time: Part 1.) 6:30pm – 7:30pm (DOLA + field discussion) + Part 2.) 7:30 – 8:00 other agenda items

Place: Vermont Square Park – main stage in central field + St Albans Boys and Girls Club: 843 Palmerston Ave, Toronto, ON M6G 2R8

Meeting format: We will gather at 6:30pm at the stage in the park to view existing conditions and begin discussions. Just before 7:00pm, we will relocate the meeting to the AV room St Albans Boys and Girls Club (because it’ll be getting a bit dark and probably pretty chilly!!!)


In 2008, the neighbourhood endeavoured upon a lengthy park renewal consultation process. During that time, community members decided to leave the field as is and not create a fenced dog area to replace the grandfathered off-leash dog park that currently exists. It has been 10 years since the first VSP renewal community consultation, so the SVRA decided it time to review how things are working and explore use options.
  • Please see this site to learn more about the Vermont Square Park, including the Dennis Lee playground, renewal  process that was completed in 2015
  • DOLA : what is DOLA? Establish VSP DOLA committee
  • The Issues: use, safety, playground access, field conditions
  • Functionality: current function + means to enhance functionality
  • East boundary barrier feature
  • Other business

Please note:

The AV room is not very large and can only accommodate up to 35 people “comfortably.” We apologize in advance for any inconvenience. Meeting notes will be available on this website + subsequent meeting(s) will be scheduled.

The AV room is on the second floor of St Albans. It is about mid-way down and the room entrance is to the right off the hallway (next to the washrooms.)

IF it is too cold outside, we will move into St Albans sooner. So, if we aren’t in the park, latecomers can join the meeting in the AV room.


We really look forward to the discussions to improve the park and continue to build relationships and community with all VSP users. We realize there exists contention with some of the uses. The SVRA hopes for a cordial and productive meeting. Thanks!

***Comments and or questions can be directed to

READ THE SVRA Meeting Minutes March 15 2018_ VSP_DOA!



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Filed under Meetings, Park Renewal, Parks, Uncategorized

SVRA Meeting March 6 – postponed to Thursday, March 15, 2018

We are very sorry for the late notice!

The meeting is rescheduled for Thursday, March 15 beginning at 6:30…in Vermont Square Park!

Details to follow!

Our sincere apologies for any inconvenience

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Filed under Community Events, Meetings, Park Renewal, Parks, Uncategorized

Seaton Village Residents’ Association Meeting May 4

Please join the SVRA and community members for an upcoming meeting

Wednesday May 4, 2016

Time: 7:00 – 8:30pm

Location: Christ the Saviour Church, 823 Manning Ave, Toronto, ON M6G 2W7 (we apologize, but this is not a fully accessible facility)



  • Dupont St mediated outcomes
  • Dupont and Palmerston request for cross walk– gg to Council May 10th
  • Seaton Village Urban Design and Visioning
  • Vermont Square Park – field conditions, public consultations and steps for remediation
  • Fringe Festival Request to consider Monsignor Fraser College for 2017 season – strategies for neighbourhood consultation – May 11 Meeting scheduled (details TBA)
  • Other business: Bike Lanes on Bloor update + Westbank development updates + Rail Safety Town Hall brief

The SVRA welcomes you to bring your neighbourhood concerns and great ideas to the meeting!

Volunteers always needed and wanted – please attend to learn ways to participate


Note: Vermont Square Park + Playground community clean up: Saturday May 7 from 10am – 12:30pm

Come to the park and learn more about the STOP’s YIMBY program and Karma Co-op, located in Seaton Village!

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Filed under Community Events, Dupont St, Honest Ed's Mirvish Village Redevelopment, Meetings, Park Renewal, Parks, Planning, Seaton Village Visioning, Uncategorized

Rail Safety Town Halls + local road closures, including park renewal impacts on Palmerston Ave

Rail Safety and the CN/CP lines running north of Dupont St


As you may be aware, there has been a steady wave of increased interest in, awareness of, and activitiy involving the CN/CP Rail line that runs along the northern border of our community (and others!)


Several groups have been advocating for greater rail safety, including:

Recently, area MP’s (Adam Vaughan, Chrystia Freeland, Carolyn Bennett) have been hosting a number of meetings to raise attention and awareness of this very important issue. Ward 19 and 20 Councillors Joe Cressy and Mike Layton are a part of a group of city Councillors who represent wards that are traversed by the CP Rail Line. They have signed and sent a rail safety letter to Transportation Minister Lisa Raitt. It is also signed by the Mayor.

Councillor Cressy assures us that rail safety is an important issue and a matter of great concern for him and his staff. The Ward 20 office will continue to advocate with the Federal government, especially regarding the transportation of dangerous goods along the rail line. Joe and other Councillors sent this letter to request that the Federal Government listen to our community’s concerns and work with us to ensure that the relevant information is given to us, and that residents are protected. That letter is attached below.



Over the next few weeks, there are several Town Hall Meetings devoted to this important issue.


Wednesday May 27th: Rail Safety First

Time: 7:00pm

Location: U of T Auditorium – UTS/Sociology/OISE Building – St. George Campus 371 Bloor St West Toronto, ON M5S 2R7


Friday June 12, 2015: Safe Rail Communities: Public Town Hall with Special Guest and Moderator Naomi Klein

Time: 7:00- 9:30pm

Location: Toronto Central Grosvenor St. YMCA Centre

20 Grosvenor Street




Road Resurfacing on Manning Avenue from Bloor Street West to Dupont Street

Contract: 14TE-110TR

Start Date:May 12 2015

End Date: June 16, 2015

*Timeline is subject to change due to unforeseen events.

The City of Toronto will resurface Manning Avenue from Bloor Street West to Dupont Street starting the week of May 12. Sections of damaged curb and sidewalks will also be replaced. This work will improve both the road and sidewalk conditions along your street.

This work is part of the City’s comprehensive and coordinated strategy to rehabilitate and upgrade our roads for current and future needs. The project is part of the Council-approved 2014 Capital Works Program.


If you have questions about the upcoming work, please contact the City and quote Contract #.14TE-110TR

City Inspector : Enzo Falcetta 416 579 334

TTY Hearing Impaired Service: 416-338-0889 (Daily 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, closed holidays)

General Info: 311



Park Renewal May 2015

Underway are the improvements to the service road and hard-surface play area in between Bill Bolton Arena and the playground. Soon coming is an amazing ping pong table and continued landscaping in this area, including improvements to the fencing, to be done as soon as the newly poured concrete has cured and hardened. Looks like heavy vehicles will be able to access the area early next week to get started on installing these features.

We will have an update, including a revised schedule, for this construction especially as it has (unexpectedly) been impacting access along Palmerston Ave and the east sidewalk of Palmerston along the park.

Thank you for your ongoing patience while this is underway!


Questions? Concerns? Please send us a message:


All the best,


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Filed under Community Events, Meetings, Park Renewal, Planning, Safety, Uncategorized