Finally, we’re on Facebook!

20 Mar

imagesFind it easiest to keep up with things on Facebook? At last, Friends of Berczy Park has a page on many people’s favourite social networking site. Go directly to:

Or, search for ‘Friends of Berczy Park’ on Facebook, and Choose “Follow” to see our events and news. And, please ‘like us’ to spread the word among your friends and neighbours.

Kid-friendly public artwork coming to Berczy in Spring 2017

10 Mar

Kids and art-lovers of all ages will be fascinated by one of the finishing touches planned  to appear in Spring 2017 in the recently re-opened Berczy Park – a new public artwork that will rise from the park’s west-end green space.

The City oversaw a community judging panel – a committee of local residents and art experts – who selected the work of highly regarded Toronto artist Luis Jacob to bring to life his kid-friendly art concept.

“Jacob’s Ladder” will encompass a rope lattice suspended between two giant scale bronze hands, 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.

Art inspired by the timeless kids' string game!

Art inspired by the timeless kids’ string game!

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 with Spirits of the Grotto mosaic.

Toronto artist Luis Jacobs with Spirits of the Grotto mosaic.

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.

You asked … about cigarette butts

7 Mar

IMG_2434A community member asks: “It’s sad to see the amount of cigarette butt litter already in the park – any chance of containers?”

We answer: Friends of Berczy Park has also noticed the large number of cigarette butts accumulating in the park, particularly along the temporary fencing by Scott Street. Unfortunately, some smokers  just toss their cigarette litter on the ground without looking for a waste receptacle, creating a dirty landscape for others, including children and pets who can come into contact with this waste.

fullsizeoutput_19adWe have asked the City to add more waste bins around the park including specific cigarette waste receptacles and bylaw signage. We also ask the Management of Great West Life’s 33 Yonge office complex to add more smoking waste bins  along their property line on Scott St, since we imagine that many of the smokers come from that building .

In general, we ask all smokers to be more aware of their actions in the park – and help keep it clean – particularly around the green space near Scott Street, since  a children’s play/art structure will be added in the spring and we want to keep the area cigarette smoke/litter free, as City bylaws require.


You asked …. about skateboarders

16 Jan

a-skateboarder-jumpingA community member asks, “What can be done about skateboarders using the platform by the fountain to skateboard on? Is there a way we can stop it before they damage the wood?”

We answer, “Friends of Berczy Park has already reported this to the City (and we also encourage you to always report any troubling events or park damage by calling 3-11). The Parks, Forestry & Recreation Dept is currently working with the park designer to add a deterrent for skateboarders like a metal rail on the edge of the wooden stage. While it’s great to see youth using the park, we definitely don’t want the wooden structure to be damaged.”


New anti-skateboarding ‘knobs’ added to Berczy platforms.

Update on Feb 15, 2017: The City installed anti-skateboarding guard ‘knobs’ along the wooden platforms. They have been effective in other City parks so hopefully this will resolve the issue.


You asked … about unlit lampposts and salt

15 Dec

Parks dept investigates unlit lamp posts and icy walks in Berczy Park.

A community member asks, “Why are  all the lighting lampposts not working in the evening along Front St in the park?” And, why is no salt being thrown on the Berczy Park plaza to avoid a dangerous sheet of ice for pedestrians?

We answer: The City Parks, Forestry and Recreation Dept says that they have asked Toronto Hydro to turn on those lights and are awaiting a confirmation date from the utility provider. In terms of icy, hazardous walking surfaces, the Parks Dept is now investigating options for snow and ice control in the park.


You asked … “Why no spotlights on Flatiron Bldg?”

14 Dec

Testing spotlight/floodlights on the Flatiron Bldg.

A community member asks, “I am wondering why the lights on the Flatiron Bldg have not been on this past week?”

We answer: Good question, since those floodlights were designed to illuminate the mural and brighten the mural garden/on-leash pet area at night.

The City Parks, Forestry and Recreation Dept tells us that, when the spotlights were tested, there was considerable stray light washing on adjacent residential buildings, which can prompt complaints. Although they tried to re-aim the lights a few weeks ago, they are now working with the manufacturer to resolve these technical issues, hopefully in the new year. In the meantime, the spotlights will be left off to avoid discomfort or annoyance to neighbours.


Partial Park Re-Opening!

2 Dec

First visitors check out the fountain plaza.

Everyone was pleasantly surprised this morning when The City decided to partially re-open Berczy Park despite delays finalizing a few park features. Bright and early, construction crews removed the metal fencing, giving  the public  access to the park pathways, main plaza and the mural garden/on-leash pet area behind the Flatiron Building.

While crews continue to work in the park, everyone can now enjoy the broad, accessible walkways, ample seating, and extensive lighting that will ensure safe nighttime use.


a close-up view of pet-themed fountain, topped with golden bone and 27 dogs/1 cat sculpture.

The City reports that:

  • Some park features are yet to be installed, including some pet sculptures in and around the fountain, plus fountain lighting and paving.
  • Also to be installed in Spring 2017: a dramatic children’s play/art structure, designed by local artist Luis Jacob, will complete the currently-fenced off greenspace bordering Scott St.
  • All landscaped, grassy areas, will be fenced-off/off limits to the public until Spring 2017 to protect the newly laid sod and allow healthy roots to establish.
  • Additional trees will be added around the park border along Wellington St in 2017, following scheduled street repairs.
  • Temporary trash and recycling bins are in place, and more will be added around the park perimeter to help keep the park clean.
  • As a result, the City has postponed the park grand-opening celebration until the Spring, when all park features are in place, including additional moveable furniture around the fountain plaza.

Friends of Berczy Park asks you to:

  • Enjoy the new park, and share your comments and photos on our twitter feed , @friendsofberczy, and here on our blog.
  • Spread the word about our lovely new park, and refer others to our blog for park updates and design information.
  • Help care for our park: Keep it clean and report any problems you see to Friends of Berczy Park or 3-11.
  • And, of special note to pet-owners, please respect the fenced-off landscaped areas, so the grass can settle. Make use of the gravel-surface, on-leash pet area/mural garden behind the Flatiron Bldg when nature calls your pet to the park.
  • Finally, watch for our Friends of Berczy Park’s park-user survey in early 2017, to help us get your feedback on the types of events and activities that may pop-up in Your Berczy Park next year.

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