Archive | July, 2017

Help keep Berczy Park beautiful!

30 Jul
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Toronto Free Walking Tours team beautified Berczy on July 22nd.

Want to keep Berczy Park beautiful? Stop by our Berczy Park Clean-up event this Saturday August 5, 10am-noon, and spend a bit of time helping us tidy up the park.  You’ll be amazed what a difference we can make in 30 minutes, an hour, or so!

What to bring? Just bring yourself, but please email us your RSVP if you are likely coming, so we can bring enough supplies, at berczypark@gmail.com . *If you can, do bring some clean-up gloves, a broom, dustpan or garden trowel, and remember any personal care items you might need, like sunblock or water.

IMG_3636This event is inspired by the folks at Toronto Free Walking Tours, who led the first successful clean-up event on July 22nd, when they saw that our new park could use a bit of TLC. Now, Friends of Berczy Park and Toronto Free Walking Tours are working together to host these community clean-ups as needed, to help keep Berczy beautiful.

Can’t make it this time? No problem, but help us help beautify Berczy whenever you can. For example, each time you visit Berczy, pick up one piece of litter, or report poor park conditions to 3-11. Thanks!

You asked … about skateboarders

18 Jul

a-skateboarder-jumpingA community member asks, “I’ve heard that damage has been done to Berczy Park by skateboarders. What is being done to resolve this problem?”

We answer: There have been incidents in which a few skateboarders have aggressively jumped and ‘grinded’ across various park features, causing visible damage. Park visitors also witnessed boarders jumping off the new cast metal dog sculptures, causing damage. These boarders refused to stop when challenged by members of the public. Although most boarders have stopped their actions when challenged by park–users, a small group of boards have behaved defiantly and with apparent intention to cause damage. Fortunately, there have not been reports of this activity in recent weeks.

What is being done?

  • The City has installed ‘no skateboarding’ by-law signage in the park and added various protective ‘skatestoppers’, ‘knobs’ and guards on park stages and the fountain edge to discourage skateboarding.
  • More preventative skatestoppers have been ordered, including ‘speed bumps’ to protect the dog sculptures located outside the fountain rim.
  • The Police and City By-law enforcement officers have been asked to patrol the park more frequently to prevent harmful behaviour by any park visitor, including persons who litter, don’t poop & scoop or leash their dogs, and skateboarders.
  • And, the City will repair the damage done to the dog sculptures and other park features.
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New anti-skateboarding ‘knobs’ added to Berczy platforms.

Naturally, these measures won’t completely eliminate the issue, since skateboarders will continue to ‘discover’ the park and, as mentioned, a few aggressive boarders may ignore the rules from time to time.

So, what can you do?

  1. If you see skateboarders, first, observe their behaviour. Don’t over-react if they are not actually causing damage or interfering with others’ use of the park.
  2. If you do see them doing harm or impacting others, you may try speaking politely with them. Explain how their actions are harmful and ask them to stop. Most boarders will honour your request.
  3. If they won’t respect your request, you should call the 51 Division Police Non-emergency number (416-808-2222) to report the activity and ask for officers to be dispatched. You may take smartphone photos of the boarders from a safe distance, to discourage their action or to serve as evidence for the police. Do not escalate the situation or put yourself in harm’s way.
  4. 10950667_834855399885956_6523870176803578015_nAnd, help develop longer-term solutions: Keep in mind that part of the problem is a lack of approved areas for skateboarders to practice their sport in the City. If skateboarders have appealing, authorized places to gather, they will be less likely to appear in our park. For this reason, Friends of Berczy Park has been in discussion with the Toronto Skateboarding Committee, (on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/torontoskateboarding/) a 13418960_1103847939653366_8528812750073098110_ngroup that is working with various City councillors and Parks’ Dept officials to find solutions, including the creation of dedicated skate parks, improvements to current ones, or the addition of appropriate skateboard features in existing public spaces. We believe it is important to work constructively to find solutions for everyone, including skateboarders, rather than attempting to simply banish a group from the park. Read the Toronto Skateboarding Committee materials and write/email to your City councillor to urge them to focus on developing positive solutions to this issue.

In memory of Deputy Mayor Pam McConnell

7 Jul
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Deputy Mayor Pam McConnell admiring the Berczy fountain on June 28, 2017.

Friends of Berczy Park extends our deepest condolences to the family, friends, colleagues and dedicated staff of Deputy Mayor and City Councillor for Ward 28 Pam McConnell who worked tirelessly to drive the revitalization of Berczy Park.

We understand that the grand re-opening of Berczy Park on June 28th was her last public event and she was determined to leave the hospital to attend the ceremony.

Thanks Pam for helping bring our beautiful new park to life for the community!

Below is text from City Manager Peter Wallace on Pam’s passing: “With sadness, I must inform you that Deputy Mayor Pam McConnell passed away earlier today at the age of 71. Deputy Mayor McConnell served downtown residents for several decades. She was a school teacher before becoming a school trustee in 1982. In 1994, she became a City councillor and spent countless hours working with residents and groups to build healthy communities for all Torontonians. This present term marked Deputy Mayor McConnell’s seventh at Council. She served as Deputy Mayor, South and was selected by Mayor Tory in 2015 as the champion of the City’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. She also served as a member of the Government Management Committee, the Affordable Housing Committee, and the Toronto and East York Community Council as well as several other boards, committees and Business Improvement Areas. Flags at City Hall, Metro Hall and the Toronto civic centres will be lowered to half-mast. They will remain lowered until the end of the day of her funeral. Books of condolence will be available at Toronto City Hall beginning tomorrow for staff and members of the public to express their condolences. An online book of condolence will also be available at http://cityoftorontocondolences.ca beginning tomorrow. Funeral service arrangements will be forthcoming.”

Berczy Park Grand Re-opening moments

4 Jul

DDcXTDkXoAEvohrFive years after the initial idea of a Berczy Park revitalization took hold, Berczy Park celebrated a lively grand re-opening event on June 28, 2017. The event, hosted by The City of Toronto, St Lawrence Market Neighbourhood BIA, Friends of Berczy Park and other community partners, drew well over 500 attendees to unveil the beautiful new $7.2 million park.

Following live music, children’s face-painting and storytelling – and a unique performance art appearance by Les Moutons, actors dressed as shepherd and sheep in the new park green space – speeches were made by Deputy Mayor and Councillor Pam McConnell, Mayor John Tory, and park designers Claude Cormier and Marc Halle of Claude Cormier et associes of Montreal. The crowd gathered for a ribbon cutting ceremony by the whimsical cast iron fountain with 27 dog sculptures (& one cat).

If you missed the event, or want to re-live some of the highlights, enjoy our slideshow below. Thank you to all the photographers who shared these photos on Twitter and Instagram,  including Jon from EstatePhotoArt.

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“Ask our pet trainer” at Pet-lovers Day in Berczy Park on July 8

2 Jul
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Ask our pet trainer to teach Rex a new trick a Pet-Lovers Day on July 8th

Are you ready to teach Rex a new trick? Or struggling to address jumping, barking, recall or other behavioural issues in your dog?

Then definitely join us for our third event on Saturday July 8th to take advantage of our free  “Ask the Pet Trainer” activity. Join Mary Fraser, a certified trick trainer with nearly a decade of experience training dogs & cats in postive reinforcement and motivational training methods. An expert puppy trainer, clicker trainer and groomer, Mary can teach your dog a new trick on the spot, or offer suggestions to help you work through common issues with your pet.

In the meantime, check out these images from our June 3rd event courtesy of our amazing photographer Jon from EstatePhotoArt.com. And, congratulations to our raffle prize winners from that day, Ian M. and Christina L. who picked up great prizes from Park9 and PetValu.

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If these photos have your tail wagging, stop by the park on Saturday July 8 for free coffee from Tim Hortons and pet treats from PetValu. And, register for great raffle prizes, including gourmet pet cookies from Northern Biscuit Bakery, and deluxe pet bath and nail trim gift certificates from Park9!

By the way: Got old pet toys, clothes or supplies you don’t need? Bring them to our event and we’ll donate them to Project Jessie, a rescue and adoption program run by the Animal Alliance of Canada.

So, look for our table in the mural garden/pea gravel on-leash pet area, behind the Flatiron Bldg.

  • Saturday, July 8, 9:30-11:30am
  • Rain date: The Sunday after, from 9:30-11:30am

Special thanks to our sponsors: Northern Biscuit Bakery, Park 9 Urbandog play care in the Distillery District/37 Parliament St; PetValu, 184 Front St E; and Tim Horton’s at 33 Yonge & 55 Front St E.

 

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