Want to report a non-violent crime in Berczy Park?

4 Jul

Did you see a crime, vandalism or disturbing behaviour occur in Berczy Park or Old Town and did not know what to do? If it was a non-life threatening event (that would have justified calling 9-11), or it happened and ended faster than you could act, IT IS STILL WORTH REPORTING IT TO POLICE, so that 51-Division has the data to plan for more frequent patrols or added police resources.

To report a crime after the fact, use this form provided below by 51 Division Police, and help make our park and community safer for everyone. thank you!

Or , to report an active, current incident:

  • To report a life-threatening incident, medical emergency, or crime in progress: Call 9-11;
  • To report a crime where no person is in immediate danger (theft, vandalism, disruptive or aggressive behaviour etc): Call 51 Division Police non-emergency line at 416-808-2222, or 416-808-5100. Or e-mail the Waterfront Community Policing Team at  waterfront@torontopolice.on.ca  * To easily report this sort of crime after the fact, to help nudge the police to patrol more often, please fill out this 51-Division crime reporting form: https://www.torontopolice.on.ca/community-complaints/

*Note: We no longer recommend contacting the 45 The Esplanade/Homes First Shelter Community Safety Team, as recommended earlier in 2021, since this team is now largely focused on on-property safety and incidents. You may call upon their patrols for assistance however if you see them in the community.

Community Policing Complaint Form

Online Pilot Project

By filling out and sending in this form, you can help identify and solve community problems or concerns. All information contained on this form will be reviewed by the Community Response Unit.

If your complaint is of a criminal nature, and you wish to remain anonymous, please visit the Crime Stoppers Torontowebsite and click on “Submit a Tip” button.

Mark Canada Day in our Old Town parks

26 Jun

Not sure how to mark Canada Day this year? Join your community in our wonderful Old Town parks, including Berczy Park, for socially-distanced entertainment on this national day of recognition and reflection.

The St. Lawrence Neighbourhood Association, in collaboration with local arts organization Jamii will be jointly co-hosting this year’s unique Canada Day celebration on July 1 (see tentative schedule below).

To ensure a safe Canada Day celebration that meets COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, we encourage residents to enjoy a physically distanced walk around the neighbourhood, especially in the areas surrounding David Crombie Park, St James Park and Berczy Park where brief presentations and musical performances will be taking place (but there will be no gatherings).

The intent is to encourage residents to experience each of our beautiful parks, and to punctuate their walks with “live arts experiences” that celebrate Canada’s indigenous history, our multicultural communities, diversity, and local talent.

Canada Day celebration Partners include: The Friends of St. James ParkBank of Montreal (BMO) at 101 King St. East – the King and Church BranchFriends of Berczy ParkOur Canada Day Celebration Partners have kindly agreed to sponsor this special program with their support.

As is our tradition, we have invited our local elected representatives to bring greetings to our community and we are pleased to confirm the participation of MP Marci Ien and MPP Chris Glover.

Tentative Schedule (Artists will be announced closer to Canada Day):

*NOTE: there will be no gatherings and we encourage walking through the community while keeping physcially distanced from others.

10:30 am: Parliament Square Park – SLNA and Jamii Opening Remarks and Artist Performance

11 am: Parliament Square Park – (performance)

11:30 am: Crombie Park – Esplanade & George St. – (performance)

12 noon: Crombie Park – Esplanade & George St. – Greetings from MP Marci Ien & Artist performance

1 pm: Berczy Park –Greetings from MPP Chris Glover & Artist performance

1:30 pm: Berczy Park – (performance)2 pm: Berczy Park – (performance)

2:30 pm: St James Park- (performance)

3 pm: St James Park – (performance)

3:30 pm: St James Park – (performance)Please note that this event will also be recorded onto video and shared at a later date on social media so that the experience can be enjoyed by more people online.

The cat will come back!

21 Jun

For anyone who notices the missing cat sculpture on the Berczy Park fountain (one very tolerant cat among 27 water-shooting dog statues) please do not call the police, 3-11 or an animal shelter, lol. The cat sculpture was removed by The City this weekend when it reportedly came loose, after a park visitor attempted to sit on the slightly-built sculpture.

Although our Berczy Park cat can take a lot – including patiently taking part in hundreds of photo selfies, wearing Pride, Canada Day and Raptors playoff accessories, etc – it was removed for some much-deserved R&R, or perhaps repair or replacement.

In fact, a tweet from an unverified twitter account @PamMcCat noted that “I’m fine, they’re taking good care of me. Thanks for your concerns. Meow.” Sources say the Berczy Park cat sculpture is nicknamed ‘Pam’ in honour of the late City Councillor and Berczy Park champion Pam McConnell.

Stay tuned for the cat’s return as soon as possible.

The Berczy Park cat in happier times, celebrating Canada Day festivities.
Park visitors noticed the absence of the Berczy Park cat sculpture over the June 19-20 weekend, later learning it was removed for repairs by City crews.

Join St Lawrence Clean-up day, in Berczy and beyond

20 Mar

Join our safe-distance volunteer clean-up activity on Saturday March 27, 10am-noon. Come to our meet-up spot in the Berczy mural garden (gravel area behind the Flatiron Bldg) and help us collect litter, sweep, scrub and meet a few neighbours at a safe social distance. We’ll provide rubber gloves and waste bags but feel free to bring your favorite garden gloves or a spare grocery bag for easy litter collection. We ask everyone to follow Public Health guidelines so wear a mask, keep a safe distance, and report any hazards to our site coordinator.

This is part of a same-day multi-park clean up cohosted with Friends of St James Park, St Lawrence Neighbourhood Association and the Old Town BIA.

Safety concern in Berczy Park?

18 Feb

Starting February 22, 2021, anyone witnessing disruptive or aggressive behaviours in Berczy Park has a new resource to call upon. If you observe such behaviour, used drug needles that require safe removal, or homeless persons requiring outreach or intervention, you may call the 24/7 Community Safety Team at 647-333-0478.

This team is assigned to the new temporary Homes First homeless shelter at 45 The Esplanade (the Novotel Hotel) and can respond to concerns in the park and neighbourhood and escalate to the Toronto police or other City services as required.

In summary:

  • To report disruptive or aggressive behaviour or used drug paraphelia for safe disposal: Call the Community Safety Team at 647-333-0478;
  • To report a life-threatening incident, medical emergency, or crime in progress: Call 9-11;
  • To report a crime where no person is in immediate danger (theft, vandalism, etc): Call 51 Division Police non- emergency line at 416-808-2222.

PS: Friends of Berczy Park welcomes your feedback on the effectiveness of the above safety resources in our park. Please email us at berczypark@gmail.com if you would like to comment on your experience with the above groups in responding to any incidents you report.

Taking the ‘brrrrr’ out of Berczy

8 Dec

The Berczy Park dog sculptures are again dressed warmly for the holidays, thanks to some local seniors who knit warm scarves to decorate our famous fountain. Members of our drop-in seniors’ knitting group once again prepared the scarves, which were installed with help from the landscaping crew from Old Town Toronto (St Lawrence Market Neighbourhood Business Improvement Association).

This is the third year the ladies have decorated the dogs to weather the long winter months. Most recently they knit masks for the dogs to promote mask-wearing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Friends of Berczy Park has also dressed up the dog sculptures for occasions like Canada Day, Pride Toronto and Raptors NBA playoff games.

So that the dogs are not the only ones with warm clothes, we washed and donated last year’s crimson scarves to a local homeless shelter winter clothing drive.

Thank you to our knitting ladies and the Old Town Toronto crew who came out in the cold to dress the dogs.

Berczy Park dogs don masks to promote community safety during COVID-19

10 Sep

The dogs of the Berczy Park fountain remind everyone to wear your masks for a healthy community.

With the help of members of our summer-time knitting group (local seniors who meet weekly to knit year-round), six of the Berczy brood are outfitted with customized masks, safely installed by staff from the Old Town Toronto BIA.Our Berczy dogs are well-known for dressing up for important Toronto occasions, including the holiday festival of lights, Raptors playoffs, Canada Day and Pride celebrations.

Thanks to the volunteers and knitters and local BIA staff who created this important community health reminder.

Heat wave in Berczy Park

2 Jul
Berczy looking a bit dry on these hot summer days?


Parks Dept hopes to turn on our famous fountain soon.

We are told by the City of Toronto Parks, Forestry & Recreation Dept that, aligned with provincial orders and public health advisories relating to COVID-19, they aim to turn on the fountain in the coming weeks. Their first priority is outdoor splash pads, wading and public pools to help communities cool off during the current heat wave.

The Parks Dept is also increasing the timing and frequency of Bercy Park lawn watering, and will apply quick release fertilizer in the coming days, to help bolster the heat-ravaged lawns.

Storytime Under the Tree

15 Jun

7F34365D-156E-4B54-948A-3BE65D94E937Miss our family storytime in the park this summer due to COVID-19 public gathering restrictions?

Then check out Storytime Under the Tree,  short, narrated video storytimes curated together by Friends of St James Park & Friends of Berczy Park. These stories narrated by members of our community will bring the fun of the park to your tablet, computer or phone, conveniently and safely, at home. Or, bring your device and your little ones to the park and view them under a tree together!

Story #4 & 5, features volunteer Tegan reading two of her favourite stories, “WE FOUND Tegan Thumbnail_2A HAT” by author and illustrator Jon Klassen and ANNA’S RAIN” by Fred Burstein and illustrated by Harvey Stevenson. Enjoy this double storytime treat!


Story #3, features community members Jon & Bruce reading “The Bad Seed” and “I am so Thumbnail Jon New CompleteBrave.” Have fun!

Story #2, features author Faiza Venzant reading her own book “My Mama Wants to Eat 104990766_945824699191998_463770725402107129_oMe Up!” and illustrated by Patrick Girouard. Enjoy here.


104297925_940838146357320_8999074812157053214_nStory #1, “Just Because”, narrated by Maranatha of Toronto Public Library St Lawrence Branch:120F7053-5341-48D5-A0A3-D9876728F320


Please show some ‘love’ for Berczy Park

2 Jun
3AF70459-C385-43CD-969B-BE32F8F98558With the COVID-19 pandemic reminding us how important parks and public spaces are, here are some tips to enjoy Berczy Park safely and responsibly this summer:
>  Care for the park and each other: Honour safe physical distancing of 2 metres or more in the park. And, leave no waste in the park. This is especially important since the City Parks Dept is providing only essential cleaning and maintenance at this time, including weekly mowing, clean-up crews to search for needles or other hazards, and regular emptying of waste bins.
> Pet-owners, be mindful of others in the park: We ask pet-owners to be sensitive to the need to share the park with others. This means honouring poop & scoop bylaws, since more people wish to sit, picnic and play on clean lawns. Please also be sure to control your pets, particularly keeping them on-leash so they don’t disturb others who may be uncomfortable with animals nearby. The gravel mural garden at the base of the Flatiron Bldg is designed as a pet-relief area, with a green bin/organic waste bin for used poop bags.
> Help us keep the park clean: While we cannot yet hold our volunteer park clean-up or adopt-a-tree activities due to Public Health rules, our FOBP Working Committee representatives perform daily cleaning of the movable tables & chairs for everyone’s enjoyment.  Please help us out, by picking up a piece of litter you see when you visit the park. You can do this safely by using a plastic bag or clean poop bag as a ‘mitten’ and sanitize your hands right after.
> Smoke breaks in the park: If you wish to have a smoke in the park, please don’t discard cigarette butts on the ground. This is never encouraged, since the butts are a litter, and it’s especially true now that cigarette butts represent a hygiene risk to others.
> See a crime or disruptive behaviour? If you have a safety or security complaint in the park or witness dangerous behaviour, please immediately call the Police 51 Division non-emergency line (at 416-808-2222). Even if the police cannot respond immediately, your call will be added to City reports, which can prompt more frequent patrols and inspections. Remember, it may be helpful to take and send a photo of the disturbing act, if it is safe for you to do so.
*And, only call 9-11 for emergency or  life endangering situations.  Please see the About page on our blog for details on reporting these and other incidents.
> Events in Berczy Park: We hope that someday soon we can resume our community activities, like the library children’s storytime, book-lovers group,  knitting group, as well as the cultural events hosted by the St Lawrence Market Neighbourhood Business Improvement Association (BIA). Watch for our emails, our blog  facebook or twitter (@FriendsofBerczy)  for updates. We also welcome your images on Instagram at Berczy.park.
When does the fountain turn on? Finally, the big question on many of our minds. Presently, the City does not have a date set to reactivate city fountains, due to COVID-19. They will do so when advised it is safe and recommended by Public Health.
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