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Dufferin Grove Park re-design: out with the old, in with the new?

The city's Dufferin Grove Park design website is here. When the site was first put up, it had a paragraph about the possibility of removing the rink clubhouse and putting up a new one. That text was later removed. So it seems like a good idea to keep a separate record of the various discussions, minutes, and other material as they appear, including any community comments park users may want to add to the discussion, but that may not find their way onto the city's site. A pro-and-con page has been started here.

Rink clubhouse: a serviceable, plain brick structure, built 1993

Nov.10, 2016: the city hired LURA Consulting, a company specializing “in both market-based solutions and community-based behaviour change mechanisms.” LURA will be helping city staff to work on

"an opportunity to improve the north-west corner of the park where the clubhouse, ice rink, Zamboni garage, community garden and bake oven are located.”

In her newsletter, Ward 18 city councillor Ana Bailao announced a public meeting on the issue, scheduled for Nov.24.

Nov.24, 2016: community meeting minutes, prepared by LURA Consulting.

Jan.17, 2017: Community Resource Group membership finalized. Terms of reference here.

Feb.27, 2017: First meeting of the Community Resource Group.

March 10, 2017: Request by Jutta to city capital projects staff Katy Aminian, to see a rumoured 2015 Dufferin Grove Park rink house "Feasibility study" which addressed Employee Health and Safety issues, Accessibility, Building Code etc. Response was that staff would get back to me.

March 15, 2017: Community Resource Group #1 meeting minutes. Also: extracts (compiled by Jutta) from the city's Dufferin Grove Park northwest corner Draft Scope of Work.

April 10, 2017: The city says that the "Feasibility Study" that prompted the "Northwest Corner Revitalization Project" cannot be shown to the public now. It will be blacked out more

May 17, 2017: A second meeting of the Community Resource group was held at the Dovercourt Boys' and Girls' club today.

multiple posters went up in June

May 24, 2017: The city posted the capital staff's powerpoint presentation on the official "North-west Corner & Clubhouse Improvements" website today. So far there's no account of what else was said at the meeting.

May 25, 2017: Jutta's non-participant observer account of the May 17 community resource meeting is here. Several comments from CRG members are added.

June 2, 2017: The city's official website has a longer and more complete account of what was said here. The account includes critical comments about the project by some group members.

June 9, 2017: The city's June 2015 Feasibility Study (done by the Bortolotto company and Suri&Associates Mississauga) and the 2014 State of Good Repair report (carried out by the CCI company) were posted. This posting reversed the original decision by the city to "black out" the studies until the RFP was released.

  • Excerpts from the Feasibility Study and CELOS comments.
  • Excerpts from the State of Good Repair report.
  • A 2004 cityrinks excerpt about the problem with SOGR reports.
  • The final CELOS newsletter, giving some evidence that the park programs are unraveling -- at the same time as the city wants to "upgrade" the rink house to match the programs that have developed at Dufferin Grove over the last two decades.

November 20, 2017: The Request for Proposals (RFP) is now on the city's website. It asks for proposals that open the way for a new rink, clubhouse, gardens, ovens, everything.

Members of the community resource group (CRG) say they heard nothing after their second meeting on May 17, until Nov.14, when they received the RFP and an offer to include two CRG members on the evaluation panel for the RFPs. The evaluation process is expected to take 5-7 days, and booked for January. As of Nov.22, it sounds like no member of the CRG has offered 5 - 7 days of volunteer time to be part of the evaluation of a complete makeover.

April 13, 2018: It sounds like someone from the CRG did volunteer to be on the RFP evaluation committee. The project's community website has not been updated since Dec.14 2017 and as of today, the committee members have still had no news.

April 24, 2018: Migs Bartula discovered this on the city hall roster: Award Item BA74.2 $694,747 to DTAH Architects Ltd. for "professional and technical design consulting services for a new community recreation clubhouse and park improvements at northwest corner of Dufferin Grove Park." (Note: Parks Capital Projects Senior Coordinator Katy Aminian wrote on May 22 that the contract is not confirmed until it is reviewed by the PFR legal department.) The work is scheduled between April 2018 and August 2021. And on page 10 of the 2018 Capital Budget there is a line item called "Dufferin Grove New Community Centre," allocating $3.14 million for 2018.

May 22, 2018, from Katy Aminian, City of Toronto senior capital project coordinator:

Our goal is to start the orientation and vision as soon as we get a goal and maintain the project timeline for this project. Which is:

1. Design Phase (June-December, 2018): Including Public Consultation, Vision, Program Confirmation, and Conceptual Design

2. Design Development Phase (2019): Including Site Plan Approval, Permits, and Construction Procurement

3. Construction Phase (January, 2020 – August, 2021)

Please note that the construction may be extended to December 2021 pending scope confirmation, procurement, and approval procedures.

The timeline above represent that the next skating season (November, 2018- February/March, 2019) will be maintained, but there won't be any skating season in November, 2019- February/March, 2020. If there will be any changes in this schedule, we will inform the community in advance of those changes.

June 19 2018: There have still been no updates on the city's revitalization website since January.

June 20, 2018, from Katy Aminian, City of Toronto senior capital project coordinator:

Our Legal Division has sent a copy of the Agreement to DTAH for signature, and then to our GM's office afterwards for her signature prior to the execution by Legal. We anticipate to receive the executed legal agreement within the next 2-3 weeks. the February 12, 2018 City Council meeting, $253,000 in carry forward funds was approved for the Dufferin Grove AIR Building project. At the April 25, 26 and 27 City Council meeting, a reduction in the carry forward funding of $20,020 was approved, for a revised 2018 plan of $232,980. These funds are available for this year, to be used for the design.

The 2020-2021 work includes alteration or addition or replacement of the clubhouse building, and replacement of the rink.

Sept.25, 2018: First new posting on the city's information website since January 2018. It just says that DTAH has the contract and "CRG meetings and public engagement will begin shortly."

Sept.26, 2018, from Katy Aminian, City of Toronto senior capital project coordinator:

As you know, DTAH has been recently awarded, and are currently working on the community communication strategy and work plan. As soon as the work plan is ready, we will upload it onto our project website (link below) with a timeline for both the CRG and public meetings. Please check our website frequently for further updates at:

Sept.30 park meeting: people who question what the city is doing

Oct.9, 2018: Liz McHardy from LURA Consulting wrote to me to say the next CRG meeting is on Oct.17: "You have attended as an observer in the past and I wanted to make sure you knew about this meeting." The city's website still says that information about CRG and Public Meeting Schedule is "coming soon." The information set out for the CRG members says:

The team is now ready to move the process forward and we would like to invite you to attend the first meeting with the CRG to:

  • Hear from DTAH about the workplan and approach for the project
  • Ask questions and provide comments to the team
  • Discuss the draft community engagement plan and provide feedback on that
  • Discuss who else should be involved in the conversations and engagement moving forward
  • Present the overall project schedule, answer questions you might have and get feedback from you

Date: Wednesday October 17, 2018

Time: 6PM – 9PM

Location: Dufferin Grove Clubhouse

We thought we would start the meeting with a walk and tour at 6PM with all members and then follow up with a meeting in the Clubhouse from 7PM-9PM.

What happened next (2) here.

What happened next (3) here

What happened next (4) here

What happened next: (5) here

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