The Secret of a Great Urban Space: Berczy Park designer Claude Cormier

3 Oct

The inventive Berczy Park designer, Claude Cormier, is profiled in the recent issue of University of Toronto Magazine. Follow the link to discover ‘The secret of a great urban space.’

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Park designer Claude Cormier describes his park vision.

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Berczy Park summer time reading group a success!

24 Sep

fullsizeoutput_224cThis summer, Friends of Berczy Park approached Dulce Gomes of the St. Lawrence Public Library, to see if we could bring adults together for some type of book club in the park. Our idea was to bring adults together in a shared activity, where human connections and relationships are fostered. In our neighborhood, where the population lives in high rise buildings, the park provides a major opportunity for social interaction.

Dulce offered to lead six sessions of a short story reading group; the library would provide print copies of short stories, and participants would take turns reading them out loud with time for discussion when we were finished. Although it took a few weeks for the group to grow and take off, it became a wonderful opportunity for neighbours to meet and learn about each other, and practice our reading/dramatic skills.

Each Tuesday morning we sat around the tables and chairs, grouped together in the shade and enjoyed each story, got to know a little about others in the group, and experienced the wonderful park and the hundreds of people visiting our beautiful new Park.

Were very grateful for the experience which Dulce provided us with, and hope to be able to return to more such mornings in the summer of 2019.

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Participants of our reading club gathered each week in the Berczy Park shade to enjoy short stories and conversation.

Jacob’s Ladder kids play/artwork almost complete in Berczy Park

16 Sep

IMG_0290After installation began last fall, the art structure/kids play structure planned for Berczy Park is now nearing completion!

This weekend, Toronto artist Luis Jacob, and Montreal-based web-maker/artisan Serge, conducted a first fitting of the web-like rope lattice that will connect the two giant bronze hands of the artwork.

The massive hands were placed in the park in October 2017, as part of the planned artwork. Called ‘Jacob’s Ladder,’ with a rope lattice suspended between the fingers, it recreates the whimsical  string game.  Once completed later this fall, the artwork will be perfect for climbing, swinging, playing, or a backdrop for a casual badminton game or a great ‘selfie’ photo moment.  Over the past 12 months, the bronze hands have become a popular photo spot for park visitors and tourists, in addition to the park’s new famous dog fountain.

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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.

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.

IMG_0287The 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. 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.

Park 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.IMG_0285

Dying cork tree to be removed, replaced

20 Aug
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This amur cork tree exhibited a greatly-reduced leaf canopy during summer 2018.

Despite efforts to preserve a number of mature trees from the original Berczy Park, the Urban Forestry Division of Parks, Forestry & Recreation Dept.  advised us that one of these beloved shade trees is dying and must be felled during the dormant season (autumn/winter).

The amur cork (oak) tree found in the centre of the Berczy Park greenspace was assessed by a certified arborist in July 2018 and determined that it cannot be saved. This follows an assessment by LEAF NGO representatives in summer 2017 that found the mature tree to be in fair (vs good, fair, poor or dead) condition, with insect damage and dead branches. The 2018 arborist review indicates that stress, reduced root flair and soil compaction during the park renovation did harm the tree’s root network, despite best efforts by construction crews to minimize impact near the mature trees.

The good news is that The City will plant a replacement tree of the same species in the spring of 2019 and our Friends of Berczy Park Adopt-a-Tree volunteers will assume care and IMG_0140watering of the tree in the spring/summer of 2019, to complement year-round Parks and Forestry Dept inspections, care and maintenance. Anyone interested in joining our eager corps of Adopt-a-Tree volunteers should review our June 2017 blog post on our Adopt-a-Tree program for details on participation and then email us at berczypark@gmail.com.

 

 

Want to report over-flowing garbage bins in Berczy Park?

18 Aug

5r74m3sksiqi11gpumzey95exyydyhvo22dfjcwnyasWant to report overflowing waste/recycling bins in the park or around the City?

Call 3-11, tweet @311Toronto, or, even better, use the The City’s online service request form to do so quickly and efficiently. Or, if the link does not work, go to http://www.Toronto.ca and search for ‘Service requests for Waste Collection’.

Vote for Berczy as ‘best public space’

18 Aug

Berczy Park has been nominated as Toronto’s ‘best public space’ in the Now Magazine

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Readers’ Choice Survey for 2018! Check out the nominees and vote online today!

 

 

 

Street closures near Berczy Park, Aug 10-11

28 Jul

The St. Lawrence Market Neighbourhood BIA is once again hosting the annual Feast of St. Lawrence this summer in Old Town Toronto on August 10 and 11. This community event includes road closures on each day.

Friday, August 10: They will be closing Front Street East from Scott Street to Church Street on Friday August 10thfrom 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. Church Street will still be open to vehicular traffic. The event on Front Street (6 p.m. -11 p.m.) is a ticketed 5 course dinner with wine pairings, featuring local fare from the top restaurants in the neighbourhood.  This event will be licensed so part of the street, as well as a section of sidewalk beside Berczy Park, will be gated off to the general public. The event will include decorations and a live Jazz band. The sidewalks on the south side of Front St. will remain open to accommodate pedestrian traffic.

Saturday, August 11: They will be closing Market Street from Front Street East to Wilton Street on Saturday, August 11thfrom 4:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. (The event runs from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.). Patio furniture will be added and St. Lawrence Market vendors will be set-up on the street.  There will be a music stage at Market and The Esplanade, buskers and children’s activities throughout the day on the street. The closed street will be fully licensed allowing attendees to purchase an alcoholic beverage from restaurants/vendors and walk along the street festival.  At 6 p.m. the intersection at the Esplanade will be re-opened but Market street from Front to The Esplanade will remain closed until the end of the event at 7pm. Paid duty police officers as well as security will be on-site to direct traffic and ensure safety.

For more information about this event please visit their website at www.feastofstlawrence.ca.

If you have any questions, please contact Al Smith or Pam Briz at 416-410-9242 or alsmith@stlawrencmarketbia.ca,pamelabriz@stlawrencemarketbia.ca.

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