Comments?

playground@ dufferinpark.ca


For the basics, see
- Website & Privacy Policies
- How To Get Involved
- The Role of the Park

Search options:

up to a month to index new postings
Google
Playground
dufferinpark.ca
web search

Search Playground:
local & up to date but simpler
See Search Page

Department Site Map

Custodians:
News 2007

(click to open)

Quick Page Table of Contents

Scanning...

Playground News 2007

Wading Pool Plans Finalized

Concrete pad stays, all other plans implemented

Councillor Giambrone circulated the following email throughout the community:

September 17, 2007

Dear residents,

I am writing to update you on the proposed wading pool renovation project for Dufferin Grove Park. At my request, Parks staff have now completed their review of all the feedback that people provided over the last few weeks. Thank you to everyone who took the time to contact my office to share your thoughts about this project.

Over recent weeks I've heard from people on both sides of this issue. To summarize, on the one hand some people thought the project should not go ahead at this time because they were very concerned about the potential impact of the construction on the health of the existing trees around the pool. Some people were also concerned that this capital expediture was not a good use of taxpayer money. On the other hand, some people thought this investment in the park should go ahead to ensure the pool would be in good working order for the children of our community. Some also wanted to make sure we didn't miss the opportunity to make some other improvements to the park, such as a new drinking fountain, asphalt paths, improved lighting, natural stone seat wall, new benches, a footwashing station, improved drainage and and additional tree planting.

Having now completed their review of everyone's feedback, Parks staff advise that, instead of completely replacing the concrete pad of the wading pool, another option would be to refurbish it. This would involve treating the concrete surface with a topical coating that would act both as waterproofing and give the entire slab a fresh uniform look. All other work on the pipes and the other features of the project could also go ahead as proposed. You can see the proposed layout for the project at www.adamgiambrone.ca/downloads/doc_00000075.pdf.

This change to the project would:

-eliminate the risk of any damage to the trees from the concrete replacement work -reduce the costs -ensure the pool stays in working order for our community's children -ensure the other features of the project can still go ahead

Parks staff also advise that the placement of the asphalt paths would be as far as possible from any existing trees to further minimize the risk to them. Furthermore, the Tree Protection Plan demanded by our Forestry staff would be in place throughout the project, with a trained arborist on site at all times.

If the community supports this option, at this point the City could begin the work in the late fall of this year and would likely complete the project in the spring of 2008, as soon as the weather permits.

Please don't hesitate to share this email with any of your neighbours who might be interested so as many people as possible can be informed. I look forward to hearing back from you with your comments on this option, either at councillor_giambrone@toronto.ca or by phone at 416-392-7012.

Yours truly,

Adam

Adam Giambrone Toronto City Councillor Ward 18 Davenport Chair, Toronto Transit Commission (TTC)

Toronto City Hall, Suite C42 100 Queen Street West Toronto ON M5H 2N2

(416) 392-7012
www.adamgiambrone.ca

From the September 2007 Newsletter:

GETTING THE WADING POOL INTO A STATE OF GOOD REPAIR

In June Councillor Adam Giambrone got a surprise message from the Parks building projects staff (a branch called “capital projects”): they had designed a brand new wading pool for Dufferin Grove Park, and there was $250,000 in the budget to build it, this fall. Everyone was surprised, including the park wading pool staff – no one had been around to talk to them about the project. The councillor called a meeting in early July, down by the wading pool. City staff and the architect were there with the plans, which looked nice and also included a long-awaited plumbing repair. (Wading pool staff have been asking about the rusty and stiff plumbing set-up in the “pit” for ten years.) Some small project changes were suggested and the architect incorporated most of them.


Dufferin Park Wading Pool

Then near the end of July a City forester came to meet with park tree-watering volunteers. He dropped a bombshell: the Forestry report for the wading pool project had warned that ripping out the wading pool concrete could damage the big Norway maples that shade the pool and the playground. Shade and kids go together -- that's why most city wading pools have few users especially during heat waves -- no shade.

But it sounded like the state-of-good-repair project was all or nothing – take it now or wait for 10 or 15 years, or forever, to repair any problems that come up in future. So Councillor Giambrone asked for public opinion, and lots of people called his office or e-mailed him. That led to some fresh ideas.

Another look at the wading pool made it evident that the concrete surface of the pool actually looks very solid. With many people insisting that shade was of the utmost importance but that the needed plumbing repairs should not be postponed, the councillor’s staff went back to the capital project staff for a rethinking. It began to sound as though the "all or nothing" proposition might not be so ironclad as it first appeared. Discussions of how to repair the pool without removing the concrete surface that would compromise the tree roots, are now underway. Updates: www.dufferinpark.ca.

For a summary of the information reports available about the wading pool, see Wading Pool Reconstruction Reports and reactions.

Wading Pool Reconstruction Information

posted August 28, 2007

Please send your opinion to Councillor Giambrone:

There is a proposal by the City's Parks Forestry and Recreation department to do a reconstruction of the wading pool in September 2007. It will cost about $250,000 and was set to go to tender despite the budget crisis. But then it emerged that the shade trees at the wading pool and playground may be damaged if the current wading pool surface is torn up. The concrete pad and the trees were put in at the same time (50 years ago) and they may have established a little eco-system together. If the very solid concrete is removed, some of the trees may die too. No one can know until it's tried. Should the project be postponed until the wading pool cement shows signs of deterioration? Or will Dufferin Grove lose its place in the capital projects line if the work is not done right now?

Here are the documents related to this project:

Other information:

posted on August 27, 2007

Wading Pool Pamphlet distributed

Wading Pool Feedback Wanted!

By: Jutta Mason
Published: August 2007

Councillor Giambrone is looking for more feedback from people about the proposed wading pool reconstruction and pool design changes for Dufferin Grove Park. Please let him know your thoughts by phone at 416-392-7012 or by email at councillor_giambrone@toronto.ca.

Read more >>

See also Problems 2007.Wading Pool Reconstruction

From the August 2007 Newsletter:

posted August 20, 2007

WADING POOL TREE ALERT

The city’s budget emergency has not seemed to stop the city from borrowing more money to build, and the Dufferin Grove wading pool is on the list for this fall, to be replaced for $250,000. However, there’s a new issue. City foresters say they can’t guarantee that the big trees shading the pool won’t be damaged by the jackhammers digging up the concrete around the roots. The four giants located right beside the pool pavement are what make the Dufferin Grove wading pool so unusually pleasant in the summer. The construction company is willing to replace these giant maples with new trees, but it would take about fifty years to get the shade back.

Councillor Giambrone has been informed of this issue and his office has suspended construction plans until more is known about the trees. The funds for this kind of project come from “state of good repair” allocations. Happily, the wading pool is still in quite odd repair except for fairly minor plumbing work in the “pit,” so there’s no need to fix what isn’t broken. Preserving one of the handful of shaded wading pools seems like a good project.

SAND PIT ETIQUETTE

The park staff have been reminding people this summer that the sandpit is an adventure playground built for older children. Although little ones are not barred, when it’s crowded with older kids intent on their projects, caregivers need to move their smaller charges over to the more protected sandbox inside the playground fence.

Shovels: A word about kids using real shovels to build their rivers and dams and shelters: After 14 years of using such shovels, there have been far fewer injuries than, for example, on the monkey bars in the playground. Why metal shovels? Because they work better when kids are trying to build something. Plastic shovels either break right away if they’re cheap (and broken plastic can hurt kids) or they are prohibitively expensive if heavy-duty. Occasionally there’s a child who seems unaware that s/he mustn’t swing shovels behind them. Once in a long while a child actually threatens another child with a shovel. In either of those cases, any nearby adult or older child should (and usually does) try to stop the child from using the shovel in that way. The next step is to call over a park staff and ask them to deal with the concern. (Note that in any such situation, the snack bar staff will gladly leave the snack bar immediately and attend to the child, together with the caregiver.)

Water: It took three or four years after the playground sand pit was put in, for the kids to teach adults the importance of water play. Then the adults gave in and let the kids use the hose from the park water supply. Water is fascinating to humans of any age, and when kids have a chance to make rivers and dams they can spend hours learning how water works. The more collaboration between kids, the better the water systems work – and that’s one way kids build friendships at the park.

There’s been some concern about wasting water when kids play in this way. And it would certainly be wonderful to make the kids’ little rivers available to the park trees rather than running that water down the sewer. All suggestions of how to divert the sand pit water are welcome: please bring them to the park staff. Maybe it’s also possible to think of a way of using some of the wading pool water to water the trees instead of draining that huge amount of water into the sewer at the end of every day. Ideas? Practical help? A challenge for this summer...

THE “PEE TREE” – NOTE FROM THE PARK STAFF

From park staff Lea Ambros:

“We have great compassion for the little ones who cannot quite make it to the far-away washrooms and especially for their strapped caregivers who often have multiple charges who all have to be brought across the entire park for one child’s impending disaster. That being said, we would like all park users to keep in mind that a "pee tree" should only be used in emergencies. The wading pool staff always have extra swim diapers on hand that can be bought for $1 if a child can’t cover the distance to the toilet. If an emergency does occur please ask the staff for a bucket of water so that you can at least swab down the ground.”

From the July 2007 Newsletter

COMMUNITY WADING POOL CONSULTATION:

Wednesday July 11 2007, 7 pm

The Dufferin Grove wading pool was built around 1950. Some of the pipes are still the original ones – and they sure are rusty! The City of Toronto has a budget fund called “state of good repair,” and the wading pool’s number has come up. City Councillor Adam Giambrone says that around $250,000 (!) is earmarked to rebuild the pool from scratch. The city has already hired a consultant to create a design (see the end of this article for the drawings).

Now city staff and the architect are ready to consult wading pool users for their thoughts on the plan. The drawings are posted by the pool. On July 11 City of Toronto capital development staff and the architect will explain the plans and give park users a chance to respond. Recreation staff will keep the pool and the snack bar open during the first part of that meeting, to make it easier for wading pool users to attend.

Wading pool staff will also take down comments and suggestions from wading pool users who are not able to make it to the meeting. Or you can e-mail comments to mail@dufferinpark.ca (specify if you don’t want them to be posted on the web).

For the existing pool plans see WadingPool213-L-01-2007-06-22ext.pdf. For the plans for the new wading pool see WadingPool213-L-01_2007-06-22rev1.pdf.

Email from Jutta Mason after the meeting:

I think this meeting was pretty good and interesting. Afterwards the landscape architect went around with the wading pool staff and they got into some operational details that will also help.

Sounds like the double asphalt access will be reduced to a single path, and they're going to cost out another wheelchair access path from the entrance on Havelock.

Sounds like the tap for sandy feet will be no problem.

Some months ago there was a concern about water being wasted at the sandpit: the architect said that the drain for the foot washing station can double as a drain for the sandpit run-off, involving a French drain and even weeping tile to disperse the water toward the trees.

And going one better: the wading pool puts an even greater amount of water down the drain every day (than the sandpit). So the architect is going to check out a capped diversion drain that could be hooked up to an underground storage tank when the provincial wastewater regulations change (soon). That would mean we'd have the capacity to use ALL the wading pool water to run hoses to the trees.

So there is some real ecological innovation involved here. The councillor said the revised plan will be made public within weeks.

Jutta

SAND PIT ETIQUETTE

Age limits: A park friend writes: “I am a mother of a 5 and 9 year old. They LOVE the sandpit! I cannot get them out of it. In the park web site it says the sandpit is for older children but younger ones can play as well with supervision of a caregiver close by. I always am close by to supervise both my children but I find that people in the past have said that my 9 year old may be too old to play there. There's so much to do for little ones at the park but for the older ones the sandpit is extreme fun where their imagination soars and they feel good. Is there an age limit? “

The park staff will be reminding people this summer that the sandpit is an adventure playground built for older children. Although little ones are not barred, when it’s crowded with older kids intent on their projects, caregivers need to move their smaller charges over to the more protected sandbox inside the playground fence.

Shovels: A word about kids using real shovels to build their rivers and dams and shelters: After 14 years of using such shovels, there have been far fewer injuries than, for example, on the monkey bars in the playground. Why metal shovels? Because they work better when kids are trying to build something. Plastic shovels either break right away if they’re cheap (and broken plastic can hurt kids) or they are prohibitively expensive if heavy-duty. Occasionally there’s a child who seems unaware that s/he mustn’t swing shovels behind them. Once in a long while a child actually threatens another child with a shovel. In either of those cases, any nearby adult or older child should (and usually does) try to stop the child from using the shovel in that way. The next step is to call over a park staff and ask them to deal with the concern. (Note that in any such situation, the snack bar staff will gladly leave the snack bar immediately and attend to the child, together with the caregiver.)

Water: It took three or four years after the playground sand pit was put in, for the kids to teach adults the importance of water play. Then the adults gave in and let the kids use the hose from the park water supply. Water is fascinating to humans of any age, and when kids have a chance to make rivers and dams they can spend hours learning how water works. The more collaboration between kids, the better the water systems work – and that’s one way kids build friendships at the park.

There’s been some concern about wasting water when kids play in this way. And it would certainly be wonderful to make the kids’ little rivers available to the park trees rather than running that water down the sewer. All suggestions of how to divert the sand pit water are welcome: please bring them to the park staff. Maybe it’s also possible to think of a way of using some of the wading pool water to water the trees instead of draining that huge amount of water into the sewer at the end of every day. Ideas? Practical help? A challenge for this summer……

First Summer Pool Play

posted May 25, 2007

From Park Staff Member Mayssan Shuja, to the dufferingrovefriends mail list, May 24, 2007:

Normally Dufferin Park's early opening procedure has been to open the wading pool during extreme heat waves, i.e., when the temperature is going to remain over 28 degrees for a few days. Recently park staff met with the new aquatics branch, supervisor and his staff, to discuss this. It was agreed that Dufferin would follow this procedure this year as well. Wading pool training was booked for staff this week, anticipating the heat. Scheduling fell through and we're trying again for next week. I've been checking the forecasts and although it does say that it will go up to 30 degrees today, the forecast says that its not expected to last through out the week. So probably, we'll have the sprinkler going today and tomorrow and there will be a staff person in that area monitoring the temperatures. Thankfully we have lots of tree shade around the playground so we should be able to stay cool. Our email address for staff at the park is staff@dufferinpark.ca See you at the park!

Mayssan Shuja
Dufferin Park Staff
416-392-0913
Emergency number: 416-896-8942

From Lea Ambros, May 25, 2007:

We turned the sprinkler on yesterday and attracted many children. If all goes according to plan we will be able to open the full wading pool on extreme heat days starting next wednesday. (The staff have to get recertified.) Here are a couple of pictures:

 

hosted by parkcommons.ca | powered by pmwiki-2.2.83. Content last modified on March 10, 2008, at 01:53 PM EST