Thanks to all who attended our 2nd Community Open House last Wednesday – it was a wonderful opportunity to meet more of our neighbors, update everyone on parks progress, and share ideas and feedback on plans for 2012 and 2013. For this Open House, the Friends of Roxton Road Parks presented:
- site plans for the Roxton Road ramp including plans to protect the park and visitors during construction, plus a planting plan indicating how the landscaping would be finished
- the draft proposal for capital upgrades to the park in 2013 with major changes being paving of pathways and renovation of washroom building
- imagery and ideas for potential longer-term upgrades that are eligible for LiveGreen funds available for 2013 (a letter of intent is in the process of being drafted)
Friends of Roxton Road Parks steering committee members Jill Cuthbertson, Melana Janzen, Bob Pritchard, Justine Greenland-Duke, and Shani Parsons were present, along with city representative Marco Bianchi and other community members-at-large. Following are selected reports and impressions from the event:
- The Open House was attended by 19 people plus children. Everyone was pleased with the final ramp plan for this fall. The date for this work to commence is still to be confirmed by City Hall.
- We received great feedback on our proposals for 2013 upgrades and welcome further feedback online prior to more in-depth review of consultant plans which we hope will take place in the new year (see the full proposal here).
- Four more food surveys were completed! (Don’t forget, there are only 5 days left to complete the FoRRP food survey – deadline is September 30th.)
- Of interest, we heard last night that the former Coffee time at College and Ossington is going to become a four-story commercial building.
- I talked to a few people in detail about the ramp. Everyone seemed very pleased, with hopes that the “desire lines” further up Roxton will be able to regrow. No doubters except for residents concerned about any materials that would not be later maintained by the city, or improperly constructed in the first place.
- There was a great conversation about water moving (via hand pump and children’s equipment in part) through the park (from sources in and around the park) and being recycled (for watering plants and trees). I think this is an integral piece of our upcoming application to Live Green.
- I spoke to one resident who was very excited by the idea of a community kitchen, and also about the plans to engage with water in the park. She added that her daughter would love to pump water, and was genuinely thrilled.
- Another attendee raised concerns about the kitchen taking away business from College and Dundas. I explained that most of the traffic would likely be coming from people stationed in the park for the afternoon. There is also the possibility of inviting local businesses to get involved and participate – we went on to speak about the potential for pop-up use of the kitchen, where a chef or restaurant could come in for a limited, highly publicized event – this had everyone visibly excited!
- One resident expressed a strong preference for a central seating area that uses carefully placed boulders, as opposed to the poured in place seating shown in one of our images.
- Feedback was positive and supportive! Suggestions included:
- Keep north side of park open, keep amount of structures to a minimum.
- Ensure that the seating placed in the piazza of the paths looks natural and not long and cement-y. Preferred option 2 of the charrettes created.
- Some trepidation over the presence of food/kitchen in the park. In response to a word of caution about adding a feature that may be seldom used, ie, “Why spend the money on an unused part of the park when it can go to use elsewhere”, it was explained that changes to washroom building will be coming from money that must be used on the washroom building.
- Some dissatisfaction with the workmanship many contractors provide was expressed. Would like to ensure that the work is insured against the elements for as long as possible.
If you were unable to make the Open House and would like to review the 2013 proposal, a PDF is available here.
If you would like to become more involved in this planning, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Special thanks to Jeannine Gagne and the Bellwoods Park House for hosting the event!