8-80 Cities Report on Berczy; Off-leash dog proposal

5 Nov

Friends of Berczy Park (FOBP) notes two community planning updates  that impact Berczy Park:

1. The 8-80 Cities Report on Berczy Park has now been published (This study was sponsored by the St Lawrence Market BIA and will help the City to plan future Berczy Park renovations).

View the report:  8-80 Cities berczy-park-report. Note: specific recommendations begin on p. 25/pdf page 31. FOBP is now reviewing the report and we will soon share our thoughts on the findings, and any details on next steps planned by the BIA and The City. Please share your comments here on our blog.

2. Off-leash dog walking in City parks: City Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong proposed at the November 9th  City Parks & Environment Committee that ALL Toronto parks should allow off-leash dog walking during non-peak hours. That committee is now studying the idea. If you have views on this proposal, we encourage you to communicate with that committee.

View the proposal at: http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/decisionBodyProfile.do?function=doPrepare&decisionBodyId=368#Meeting-2012.PE17

View The Toronto Star article at http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/1281446–do-dogs-deserve-the-off-leash-run-of-our-parks

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3 Responses to “8-80 Cities Report on Berczy; Off-leash dog proposal”

  1. Judith Levkoe November 7, 2012 at 1:24 pm #

    I would like to become involved as a volunteer. Can you let me know what I can do?

    • Friends of Berczy Park Working Group November 7, 2012 at 3:02 pm #

      Hi Judith, FOBP welcomes everyone’s help to make our park better. While the specific activities of our virtual group are sporadic/seasonal (although we do maintain a year-round nine-person working committee of local reps) there are a few things you can do:

      Join our email list to get any updates we post on the blog. Then, take action when requested (Share your comments on the blog, including your thoughts on the 8-80 Report, so that City officials will see them. We might also ask FOBP members to write directly to City officials when issues come up.)
      Write us whenever you see an issue or problem in the park. We can suggest a solution or pass your comments on to the City.
      Tell us if you have a special interest or skill. For example, we may need letter-writers or callers to seek donations, volunteer gardeners, a graphic designer or computer whiz, or just an extra set of hands to help organize a family activity, paint chairs or help clean the park.

      Write us to let us know what interests you, your connection to the park, and how you’d like to get involved.
      Thanks,
      Friends of Berczy Park Working Committee (berczypark@gmail.com)

  2. kenneth smith November 12, 2012 at 9:52 am #

    The report is a welcome addition to civic dialogue and provides a helpful vision for consideration. In the 8-80 report, I note with interest the recommendation simply relating to improving the at times life-and-death pedestrian crossing safety to and from the park at Scott Street intersections, and the highly-desirable recommendation of removing parking spaces along Wellington and Front adjacent to the park, and the recommendation to convert Scott Street into a pedestrian precinct adjacent to the park. Hopefully, these measures can be pushed forward quicky and all be done on a expidited basis. Some of the photos in the report of the park’s sometimes run-down state were shocking. Berczy Park is very small so the concept of expanding its boundaries and what surrounds it is critical to maximize both its scale and its potential. The adjacent exterior and possibly interior spaces at the Sony site and the St. Lawrence Centre should also be protected and enhanced as a cultural precinct contiguous with the park. At the Sony, there is also ample room for bistro table and chair seating on its civic-owned terraces too. A relatively simple step. The city should be proactively advancing the viability of both theatre venues in a decisve coordinated way, now that Toronto’s theatre patrimony — one of its tourism strong points — is under seige. At St. Lawrence Centre the potentially-spectacular upper terrace area overlooking the park, for example, could possibly be open to the public during the day as a community space + cafe and/or shop and/or gallery/exhibit space, lunchtime lectureseries /concert/recital series space. Those responsible should creatively make the most of all our neighbourhood public assets. Friends of Berczy Park should possibly have charitable status. Optimize Old Town Toronto’s attractiveness as a destination and a place to live, and limit the impact of cars racing through its historic streets on their way to the Gardner ramps and Mississauga. Making the most of Berczy Park and its adjacent streets is vital to actualizing Toronto’s civic planning values. City staff have the resources and the skills and the desire to build a truly great City. Let’s all help them make it happen. Creative First Class approaches can help differentiate Toronto as a great city. Ken Smith

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