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posted July 16, 2004

Open Letter to the City: Dufferin Park Improvements

I was very glad to hear that councillor Giambrone has found some funds for Dufferin Grove Park. This is a great opportunity to make some long overdue improvements. It also opens up the possibility of getting an early start on carrying out the recommendations of the new Parks and Recreation Strategic Plan.

Could you pass along the following suggestions (as starting points) when you meet with the councillor on Monday?

  1. Path paving: asphalt paving of the main park thoroughfare, which is now a dirt track. also paving the diagonal path leading from the main track to the Havelock street south-east entrance. (Strategic Plan recommendation number 10; estimated cost: $70 000.)
  2. Overball/Volleyball court improvements: relocating the Sri Lankan's court to beside the field house, levelling and sodding it, and installing 2 lights. Requested by park users for 9 years now. ( Strat. Plan recomm. number 26; est. cost: $7000.)
  3. Field house electrical upgrade: combine the volleyball lights installation with an elctrical upgrade, recommended by Property Department 8 years ago. (Strat. Plan recomm. number 10; est. cost: $3200.)
  4. Cricket: purchase a movable cork cricket mat and install a storage shed for it and other sports equipment, beside the soccer field. Requested by both East and West Indians from Dover Square Apartments for 4 years now. (Strat. Plan recomm. number 26; est. cost: $8000 - $12000.)
  5. Performance lighting: purchase the same kind of performance lights as are owned by Perth-davenport Community Center, for storage at the rink house and rental to groups wishing to perform music/theatre/other evening events in the park. (Strat. Plan. recomm. number 45; est. cost $3000.)
  6. Gardens and compost: install fences around children's herb garden, as well as around new south-east leaf compost area, for continued environmental restoration and care of the park. (Strat. Plan recomm. number 1-6: est. cost $2500 - $5200.)
  7. Tree planting: purchase 10 new trees and have volunteers plant them near dying trees. (Strat. Plan recomm. 6,11; est. cost $2500.)
  8. Multicultural community garden plots: install a small "life gardens" area in the south-west area of the park, near existing water line. fence it and plow it in the fall, build garden shed. (Strat. Plan recomm. number 17,45; est. cost $5800.)
  9. Homeless youth: hire some street youth to help build a low wall, stone BBQ, and flagstone surface beside the bake oven; use this project as a way to also draw street youth into the bake oven program. (Strat. Plan recomm. number 32; est. cost $11000.)
  10. Tandoor oven: build a small Tandoor oven with help of local north Africans, supervision from Bianca Morgan (park staff with experience in building with clay and straw). Requested by park users for 4 years. (est. cost $7100)</p>
  11. Rain shelter bench rebuild: to make the lockable benches finally work. (unfortunate design by Planning and Development architect in 1998.) ( Strat. Plan recomm. number 10; est. cost $520.)

Those ideas are for starters. all of them have been under discussion for some years. We would be ready to start some of them almost immediately.

I look forward to hearing the meeting's response.

Jutta Mason

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