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
About Us and the Park
web search

Search About Us and the Park:
local & up to date but simpler
See Search Page

Department Site Map


Dufferin Grove fundraiser, May/June 2023


Question: Why do we need to fundraise to return longtime programs to Dufferin Grove?

park entrance sign, May 19, 2021

Answer:When city staff launched the NW Corner rink demolition/rebuild and the former rink clubhouse renovation, that part of the park was scheduled to be fenced off during construction. The project was slowed down by the covid-related full lockdowns, followed by partial restrictions. During the two-year hiatus, many park programs were suspended, there was no basketball court, campfires and oven use were prohibited, and signs were posted prominently giving large fines for failure to stay 6 feet apart, etc.

The former park program staff disappeared (all direct recreation program staff are hired and kept as part-time and so it's easy to just de-schedule them). Management staff were transferred to other areas or retired and new management staff came to Dufferin Grove. They brought with them a different understanding of policies or principles of public space. That means that the current rec supervisor says:

  • there must be two part-time rec staff in the park at all times, even in the daytime, for the health and safety of the staff. Neighbours cannot be relied on to cooperate with staff as was the case in the past. That doubles the cost of staffing park programs.
  • the part-time staff cannot be trusted to accept money for pizzas or other outdoor park food, nor can card readers be used outside of a building, in case of theft. So food programs out in the park can no longer charge for outdoor food or even accept donations to cover their costs, nor be used to help pay for e.g. running the adventure playground.
  • the kind of work that developed at Dufferin Grove has no suitable job descriptions, so almost all part-time rec staff jobs, no matter how skilled, are classified at or near minimum wage.
  • the city's goal is to adopt uniform standards across the city. Adventure playgrounds with "loose parts" and construction materials are not available elsewhere and so their program staffing cannot be funded at Dufferin Grove. If there is to be extra staffing, it can only be for two shifts on weekends and with an emphasis on safety, not on enriching play opportunities.

NOTE: The former rink clubhouse is listed as a community centre in city documents and will have a full schedule of registered fee-based summer, holiday, and after-school child care as its main function. The drop-in clubhouse focus is gone.

Money details

City Recreation budget, 2022
Expenditures: $236 million (gross)
Income: $68 million
Expenditures: $168 million (net)


Financial report for this fund


Building materials

May 30, 2016 (diary excerpt)

The Monday of the long-weekend was sunny, high of 25. There were some spare two-by-fours in the storage shed, and 15 minutes after we brought them down, they were in use. Different stuctures rose up all day long.


bridges over rivers

lean-to over a dug-out basement

giant log over a rushing river

June 14: more building supplies: "we're making a shelter"


In the early days, the adventure playground was called the Big Backyard. This was an early program poster, when park friends and city staff worked together.

-- How Dufferin Grove got its sandpit

-- the video of the beginning: The Big Backyard

-- the middle period (2005) history

The how-to slide show

Jutta's park blog

The 2016 newsletter

The maintenance

A small picture gallery

hosted by | powered by pmwiki-2.2.83. Content last modified on May 18, 2023, at 03:00 AM EST