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October 17, 2018, Community Resource Group (CRG)* meeting: CELOS minutes

City staff who were at the meeting:

Peter Didiano (Capital Projects), Keith Storey, Sofia Olivera, and Cheryl MacDonald (Recreation.)

Consultants at the meeting:

Liz McHardy plus a colleague (Lura), Megan Torza and two colleagues (DTAH).

From City Councillor Ana Bailao:

Brandon Leal (Constuency and Planning Assistant)

The CRG people at the table were:

Chang Liu, Ellen Manney, Anne Freeman, Erella Ganon, Kathryn Scharf, Robin Crombie, David Anderson, Tamara Romanchuk, Ben Hoff.

Observers (not permitted to speak until near the end):

Peter Thillaye, Clement Kent, Andrea Holtslander, Leena Raudwee, Migs Bartula, Thomas Buckland, Jutta Mason, Gail Skikevitch.


Pre-meeting walkabout:

Megan Torza said DTAH staff had a meeting with some staff before the CRG meeting.
Staff told her:
- they want more lighting around ovens, for staff safety
- the garage is cold near the door during the winter

Market members asked for:
- steps from the concrete apron near the garage leading down to the market path
- paths and concrete apron made better for access
- roll-down canopy along west wall of clubhouse (facing Dufferin)

Skateboarder, not on CRG, asked for
- storage for equipment in winter
- resurfacing of rink pad

Other CRG members’ comments:
- they want natural surface, not plastic
- moveable picnic tables and benches for flexibility
- greenhouse
- don’t use armour stone as seats

Megan Torza (DTAH) asked about
- possible skating trail
- alternatives to wood chips for paths
- shade
- two kitchens not connected
- what about removing fence on rink

DTAH presentation: Megan Torza

- “each of you on the CRG represents a user group. Maybe now that it’s been two years since the first meeting, the demographic has changed and it’s time to add some new members.”
“There will be a lot more people moving into this area, so the need for this park to work for increasing numbers of people is a reality.”
“No decisions have been made to date, whether it will be a renovation, an addition, or a reconstruction.”
“Some people say ‘wouldn’t it be great if we could leave well enough alone?’”
“One of the biggest anxiety points is what happens during construction.”
“Having all these meetings is the way we can work together to get a rink and a clubhouse that we can all love.”
“We are constantly coming back to see if we’re doing this right - we are hoping there will be strong preferences vocalized.”

“What we’ve heard”
- People want to maintain the current spirit, want to further activate the park, want more youth cooking in the kitchen, want performance space, want a dog park, want a greenhouse
“Much more detail is on the website.”
The CRG members have provided the park stories to DTAH [where posted?]
The CRG will be asked to give their opinions about everything, ultimately even about the types of door handles and tile colours.
Anyone can get in touch through LURA at any time.

Comments and questions invited from the CRG members:

Comment from CRG member: the space belongs to all of us. Question: where is the money coming from?
Peter Didiano: [answer inaudible]
Megan Torza: won’t start building until summer 2020. Looking to find the preferred approach. Will be constantly coming back to the CRG and the public.
Question from CRG member: Who makes the decision ultimately?
Megan Torza: Depends on whatever is decided – aiming for a kind of synergy of decision-making. Aim is about 80% satisfaction. None of the options are going to be perfect, i.e. satisfy everybody. This will be a “very fluid and iterative process…relying on a kind of consensus to be built.” DTAH hopes that the people who don’t like the end will at least see why it has to be that way.
Question from CRG member: what about the cost of running programs and whether there is money to run programs?
Peter Didiano: capital projects always takes into account how much it will cost to run the programs. Reminds the meeting that $4 million is not a lot of money.
Keith Storey, Ward 18 Rec supervisor, says that Rec is “always looking for trends and exploring new options.”
Megan Torza [or Liz McHardy of LURA?]: “Part of the consultation process is also to look at programming.”
CRG member comment: in the next meeting it would be good to broaden the context, how DG fits in with other green spaces citywide.
Megan Torza: says she agrees, that’s a good idea.
Comments by three CRG members: there is a loss of commitment among staff. Programming is not working in the park right now.
Question from another CRG member: why is the basketball court outside the scope of work?

CRG members invited to “blue sky”:

CRG comment: Having the refrigeration room in the middle of the building interrupts the rink clubhouse, it would be nice if it were put somewhere else.
Megan Torza: one possibility is to move the compressor room to the east end of the rink and combine it with a new zamboni garage. Another possibility is to put the refrigeration equipment on the second floor.
CRG member: wants better accessibility so that people with wheelchairs can shop at the market
Other CRG members say there are already customers in wheelchairs shopping at the market
CRG member: more windows are needed in the clubhouse, to let in more light
CRG member: wants a second floor, also solar heating
Megan Torza: reminds CRG that a second story requires an elevator and two exit staircases.
CRG member: suggestion to put storage space on a second floor
Megan Torza: a possibility, because requirements for access are less stringent if not used by the public
CRG member: wants “visual connectivity,” says you have to start blowing out the walls of the rink house. Wants to “push” the rink over to the “crappy edge” along Dufferin St.
MeganTorza: what is the history of the dead end by the rink house? None of the CRG people know.
CRG member: wants a “youth engagement component”
CRG comment: there should be no differentiation between people who can speak and who can’t – anyone who shows up at the meetings should be able to speak
CRG comment: there should be a “master plan” or a “context plan to provide some inspiration for future decisions” – says now everything is piecemeal
CRG member: don’t put in a designated performance space – they don’t work

Megan Torza, DTAH, where to from here:

The CRG has 8 more meetings scheduled. In addition, four public meetings are scheduled plus four information “pop-ups” in the park, for people who can’t come to the public meetings.
11 TWG (technical working group) meetings are scheduled, ongoing at the same time. Those are all the salaried people. There is no direct channel between the volunteer group and the technical group.



*COMMUNITY RESOURCE GROUP: membership

Megan Torza sometimes referred to them as a focus group, sometimes as a cross-section of the community.
On the city’s website, it says that the Community Resource Group is made up of park and clubhouse users, local residents, community and residents associations, local businesses and institutions and professionals with skills, training or experience in park design, park planning or landscape architecture. The group has been established to provide input, guidance and advice to the project team.

CGR members present at the Oct.17 CRG meeting:
- the farmers’ market manager and her board member, the two artistic co-directors of Clay and Paper Theatre, the moderator of the largest neighbourhood listserv, a tree advocate who comes to the farmers’ market, one resident from Gladstone and one from Havelock, and an urban planner. Two more residents of Havelock, one of whom is an architect, were missing from the last two meetings. Up to now there is no one who uses the playground or the cob café or has young children, no one who plays shinny hockey in winter, uses the rink pad to skateboard or play bike polo or roller hockey the rest of the year, and no one with a visible disability.


Comments on the CELOS meeting notes

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