Join the spring clean-up in Berczy and St James Parks

24 Mar

To mark Earth Day on Saturday April 21st, Friends of Berczy Park invites you to help usFOBPphoto perform a quick, spring clean-up in your favourite local parks.  At 9:00am, join our volunteers at Berczy Park by the stage just northeast of the dog fountain. We will collect litter and sweep up Berczy – so it’s ready for visitors during the warmer months ahead.

With quick work made of our small park, we’ll encourage any volunteers with extra energy to follow us to nearby St James Park at 10:00am, to help out at the Old Town Toronto St James Community Clean Up and Pancake Breakfast, which runs all morning till 1:00pm.

Pancake-Final-2018-232x300What’s the reward? All participants can enjoy the free pancake breakfast onsite in St James Park, provided by the St Lawrence Market Neighbourhood BIA, while supplies last. And, you’ll feel great that you made a positive, local impact on Earth Day!

What should I bring? Just yourself, dressed for the weather, plus any personal clean-up supplies you’d like to bring, IMG_3633like gloves, a broom or rake. We’ll have supplies on-site too.

Thanks and see you Saturday April 21 at 9:00am in Berczy Park!


Help track down stolen local dog

19 Mar

593482582001_5753895403001_5753882405001-vs-1-635x357Update: Bella, the dog that went missing while waiting outside a St Lawrence neighbourhood No Frills store, has fortunately been reunited with her owners. See the City News clip.

Friends of Berczy Park members, please be alert for ‘Bella’, a stolen dog in the St Lawrence Market neighbourhood Sunday afternoon, or potentially as far as Bathurst and Dupont Streets. See the linked City TV for details and report anything you know to the police.




Celebrate the holidays in Berczy Park

15 Nov

Old Town Toronto cavalcade of lights 2017

Protecting Berczy Park fountain for the winter

8 Nov

Our new fountain by night.

The City Parks, Forestry & Recreation Dept advises us that, since the new Berczy Park fountain is a large tourist draw, they want to protect the features from potential graffiti, damage and the elements without making it look unsightly. As a result, they are looking into having the individual dogs shrink-wrapped with plastic to provide some form of protection and they will be installing some flat plywood covers within the fountain that will be painted the same colour in order to cover the lights and grates.

In addition, they will be putting up some fast fence around the perimeter of the fountain and dogs to keep the public back. These temporary measures will protect the fountain from the elements and potential off-season damage.

IMG_1566But holiday lights coming…

To brighten the park during the winter months, we can look forward to plans by the St Lawrence Market Neighbourhood Business Improvement Association (BIA) to resume their annual tradition of animating Berczy Park during the holiday season.

For years, the BIA decorated park trees and installed a brilliant lighted tree in the fountain as part of the The Old Town Toronto Cavalcade of Lights. This year, with park renovations completed, the tradition will return, with a fun new installation on the Berczy Park stage.

Join the BIA for an event on Saturday December 2, from 5:30-6:30pm, to light up the new holiday feature, including carol singing and free hot beverages for the community. Visit the BIA website for more details on this and other great Old Town events.

“Jacob’s Ladder” public art/kids play structure arrives in Berczy Park

27 Oct

IMG_4530Berczy Park keeps evolving with the installation – beginning this week – of the new public artwork/kids play structure, “Jacob’s Ladder” in the park green-space.

Designed by Toronto artist Luis Jacob, the artwork encompasses two giant bronze hands, with a rope lattice suspended between the fingers, forming a whimsical  string game. It’s perfect for climbing, swinging, playing, or a backdrop for a casual badminton game or a great ‘selfie’ photo moment.  The installation, including the intricate rope-work, will be completed by late November, with a public unveiling planned for Spring 2018.


Art inspired by the timeless kids’ string game!

The City oversaw a community judging panel – a committee of local residents and art experts – who selected Jacob’s work to bring to life his kid-friendly art concept.

Luis says the concept encompasses an image very familiar to children (the universal ‘string game’), with the hand sculptures designed to create human scale in our rapidly-developing neighbourhood. The string imagery also ties to Toronto art traditions in which rope and string art has been a popular theme over the years, notes Jacob.


Toronto artist Luis Jacob oversees the installation of Jacob’s Ladder in Berczy Park.

Born in Lima, Peru, Jacob is a multimedia artist based in nearby Parkdale. His recent works include ‘Spirits of the Grotto,’ a large-scale metal mosaic panel in the Dufferin & Queen St underpass.

The Berczy Park public artwork was selected as part of the City  arts procurement process, organized by the Cultural Services and the Parks, Forestry and Recreation departments, with the goal of creating a kid-friendly, playful centre piece for the green space in the redesigned Berczy Park.

IMG_4532Park visitors are sure to enjoy this artistic park feature, although smokers are advised that they must not smoke within 9-metres of the artwork, since it is a designated kids play area, and park users must comply with City of Toronto non-smoking regulations.

Halloween Haunted Walk with Friends of Berczy Park on October 25th

13 Oct
Original-HWT-Biden-St.-James-WEB-1024x684Looking for a spooky Halloween activity in our neighbourhood? Want to meet some neighbours in a fun setting? Want to take your pet out and show off their Halloween costume?
Then sign-up ASAP for the special Haunted Walk of the St. Lawrence neighbourhood, arranged for Friends of Berczy Park, led by the ghost story-telling guides from The Haunted Walk tour.
After meeting at 7:15pm sharp on Wednesday October 25th in the Berczy Park gravel mural garden, right behind the Flatiron Bldg, a tour guide from local business The Haunted Walk will lead us on a one-hour walk among some of the scariest sites, including The Hockey Hall of Fame, The Old Courthouse, the King Eddy Hotel, the St. James Cemetery and the famously haunted Mackenzie House.
Wear your walking shoes and dress for the weather.
And, feel free to bring your pet along on this walk (in costume if you like!), since we’ll have some pet treats to share.
The cost for this tour is just $21.75+tax per person and must be paid in advance directly to Haunted Walks. See tickets info below.
fullsizeoutput_1cd7Sounds fun? Then don’t forget to register in advance right away since space is limited. Call Rowena Brook, Toronto Haunted Walk Manager at 416-238-1473 to sign-up and arrange payment. Tell her you want to join the ‘Friends of Berczy Park Haunted Walk on October 25th” 

Cheer for the Marathoners in Berczy Park!

13 Oct

St Lawrence Cheering Section - STWM 2017

As usual, the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon route will run along the northern border of Berczy Park, along Wellington St East.

Join the rambunctious, annual neighbourhood cheering squad (organized by Jamii arts organization, Canada Running Series, The St Lawrence Market and Friends of Berczy Park) on Sunday Oct 22nd, beginning at 10:30am.
Pick your spot along Wellington St East by Berczy Park (between Church and Scott Streets) and enjoy the music and excitement while rooting for these world-class runners as they complete the final kilometre to the City Hall finishline.

And, by simply showing up and contributing your voice or applause to our noisy cheering squad, you can help the St. Lawrence Neighbourhood again win a prize for ‘Best Neighbourhood Cheering Section’ by the Marathon organizers. This award includes prize money from the Marathon sponsor that will be directed to non-profit groups and community activites right in our neighbourhood.

Want to involve your children or pets? Then come out at 9:30am on the 22nd to join the 1Km Family Run. Meet at the St Lawrence Cafe at 248 The Esplanade for a fun run through the community with prizes for the best costume, fastest runner, best four-legged companion, etc.

So, come out to have some fun cheering for the runners and support your local community at the same time!

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