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Dufferin Grove Park maintenance 2022

July 29, 2022, from Maggie Anderson

These are the 3 benches in the playground that need repair.



August 3, 2022, email to Jonathan Larkin (Ward 9 parks supervisor)

Hello Jonathan, Maggie Anderson has sent three pictures showing one of the urgent problems: the three playground benches are all missing slats. The benches have had danger tape on them for some time. Since these are the most recent style of playground benches at this park, do your staff have slats to replace those that are missing, so parents/grandparents can sit down while watching the kids?

Please let us know the timing on this.


Aug.4, 2022, email from the park supervisor

At Dufferin Grove Park, the missing bench slats have been replaced on the three playground benches. read more


Sept,4, 2022, to the Ward 9 Parks supervisor

going downhill

The area around the bigger bake oven and the picnic area near the construction site is looking bad. In consequence, a homeless area is building up there again -- no tents but a guy sleeping on a bench, others drinking etc. The grass is not cut, the litter is not cleaned up, and the access to that area is getting impassable. I've copied Skylar here. I think she said that there has been a problem with feces there as well. Not at all inviting.

Oct.3, 2022, to the Ward 9 Parks supervisor

Picnic table locations:
We had a very nice couple of bake-oven events at Dufferin Grove park last week (Thursday and Sunday). The food is tasty, but of course the point is the lively neighbourhood scene that builds around the oven. When the picnic tables are chained around trees they are often too far apart to allow group sociability. On Sunday I was lucky to run into your maintenance guy Kelly, who had a key to the chain locks, and opened two of them. So we were able to set the tables up a better way, like this:

It works beautifully now, as a neighbourhood social space.

Oct.4, 2022, to the Ward 9 Parks supervisor

The cob serving counter cupboards are a mess again. The lightweight hinges are not meant for public spaces. But as you can see, the storage sheds in the park have much stronger hinges and padlock closures:

solid latches

Would it be possible to replace the lightweight closures with these tougher ones? These cupboards were built by city carpenters but at the moment they are not useful, and they're also unsightly.

Oct.7, 2022, from the Ward 9 Parks supervisor

Thank you for the email. In regards to the Cob serving counter I have submitted a work order to Tech Services for the following:

Repair Cob serving counter cupboards

Remove graffiti

Upgrade padlock

Upgrade Hinges

Nov.6, 2022, email to Ward 9 Parks supervisor

Hi Jonathan,

In response to your last email, here are the park-related things that need discussion during a timely site visit. The first part of the list is about warm-weather issues, followed by the winter issues that are coming up very soon. Winter suggestions are in blue.

- the cob kitchen: (a) repair issues and how they were dealt with,
(b) winterizing including water turnoff.
- the adventure playground sandpit:
(a) the water tap and its platform
(b) how the drainage worked with the help of the French drain
(c) existing or new city policies possibly blocking children's creative play with loose parts, e.g. shovels, building supplies and toys (mentioned by Grant at the spring site meeting)
- the park gardens:
(a) the future of the raised planter boxes garden as an ongoing seniors' garden site
(b) a date for removal of the unnecessary split rail fence around the former tree nursery
(c) a date for removal of the derelict fence around the marsh garden
(d) city assessment of Dufferin Grove park as a native-species/pollinator gardens site
(e) problems with young-tree watering this past year
(f) your plans re the abandoned Indigenous garden site and its neighbouring hillock
- the playground: specific information about any city plans to remove and replace the existing heritage playground, with projected dates
- the wading pool:
(a) plans to fix the drainage problems
(b) plans to repair the hydraulics for the pit access
(c) plans to remove the slippery coating on the wading pool surface
- benches and tables:
(a) the need for some more benches and tables in and near the play area, using the comparison with our 2012 table-and-bench map, attached
(b) your plans for skate-changing seating this winter while the building is not open (my suggestion: reconfiguring the existing benches and tables beside the bigger oven)
- winter campfires:
(a) broadening the permit system to restore our traditional everyone-welcome community campfires near the skating rink, no fee but rec staff support
(b) jointly selecting a suitable community campfire site near the traditional site which is still in the construction zone, and providing seating for skaters who need to warm up
- the large storage shed i.e. the one still sitting on the dirt inside the construction area
(a) moving it to its permanent site beside the bigger bake oven, so that it can be used for skate lending and campfire supplies storage this year
(b) running a temporary power line to that shed, to attach to lights and a heater of the same kind used in the Wallace zamboni garage
- winter washrooms for skaters: what are the plans?

This is a large list but since it's only one of two scheduled times to meet per year, a lot of issues pile up. It has been the practice of your section to do unilateral changes -- including some very good stuff like the stainless steel counter in 2015 -- but in the long run, practical consultations with actual park users through seasonal site meetings will save a lot of struggle time for both sides.

There has been quite a bit of staff turnover in the past few years, and that makes for a steep learning curve. For that reason I have copied your manager as well as the general supervisor on this email. I am hoping that they will give you support and encouragement to work with our neighborhood on the issues in this list in a timely way. Having the rec supervisor at the meeting is also a really good idea -- the issues all overlap. Looking forward to getting a few suggested dates from you this week --



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