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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.


August 4, 2022, from Maggie Anderson, to parks management, about midnight

"I walked around the park tonight but it was pretty late and pretty dark. I saw that someone had fixed the tarps. Mayssan, I assume that's you. Thanks. There were a few people sleeping in the gazebo that I accident disturbed with my flash light. Is there some help for them from the city? Their stuff must have gotten soaked before they found shelter.

I did notice that there were no picnic tables near the adventure playground or the spot where the city arts and crafts set up. Anthony or Grant, is it possible to do a walk around the park to talk about the placement of picnic tables? I remember you saying that they'd be affixed to concrete. It'd be nice to have some input as a parent and community member so we don't end up with picnic tables in inconvenient places. Also, the old ones are nice bc they can be moved if there is a birthday party or bigger gathering. I'd hate to lose those and that kind of flexibility."

sleeping person with bike
Aug.5, 2022, from Anthony DeLaurentis, Ward 9 recreation supervisor

I have connected with leads in Parks regarding people sleeping in the gazebo. They have advised that the Parks Ambassadors will visit Dufferin Grove Park and do outreach, engage with people in the park and provide the appropriate referrals to Street Outreach Services.

Aug.8, 2022

The playground gazebo has someone sleeping in it and also a lot of clothes stuffed underneath the benches. Also a black suitcase there every day, sometimes with some clothes strewn around nearby.

Aug.14, 2022

It looks like there must have been some kind of fight at the gazebo last night. The suitcase is gone but there are clothes thrown all around, and two picnic tables are upside down. The front of the electrical-outlet-bench has been torn right off. Parents sitting nearby seemed to be unconcerned, even surprised to have it pointed out to them.

the gazebo on Sunday morning: Saturday Night fight?

front torn off electrical section

The 311 operator said there's no staff to contact to clean up the mess until the next business day. But in fact two different crews came to deal with it. The first crew just put up danger tape but later on the afternoon maintenance guy came down and righted the picnic tables, took away the junk, and removed the danger tape. The wading pool staff tested the exposed electrical outlet but found it's not on, so no danger there.

August 15, 2022, email chain, to Parks supervisor

despite the drought, watering bags are empty all the time

Question:can you tell me what those green bags on all the new trees are for?

Response: The green bags, Gator bags, are tree watering bags.

Next Question: I looked up "gator bags" and found this. I see that it says the bag only needs to be filled once every 5 - 7 days. So maybe that's why the bags always look empty. The leaves of some young trees are drooping. Can you let me know on what day the bags are filled, and is it by city staff or the tree company?

Response: I have submitted a request to have the tree watering bag filled.

August 24, 2022: a new tree-planting contract, approved today, is:

Document Number 3267746411 to Brinkman & Associates Reforestation for the non-exclusive supply, delivery, planting and warranty of native trees and shrubs including, planting bed preparation, interplanting, watering, weeding, replacement planting and pruning for the City of Toronto's Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division, for the period of one (1) year, with the option to renew for four (4) additional separate one (1) year periods.

Contract value:
$3,407,565 net of all applicable taxes and charges

$3,850,548 including HST and all applicable charges

$3,467,538 net of HST recoveries

Contract is expected to start on Date of Award and end on September 30th, 2023.

Aug.24, 2022, Email to Parks supervisor:

Thanks for the work order to water the trees, it was done very promptly. There are however a few bags that don't seem to work anymore (i.e they stayed full and the trees stayed dry).

The rain on Monday evening/night broke the drought for now. We'll keep our eye on how the smaller trees recover, and log the information here.

I note that next year's PFR tree contract was awarded today: $3,467,538 net of HST recoveries (Brinkman), for "supply, delivery, planting and warranty of native trees and shrubs including, planting bed preparation, interplanting, watering, weeding, replacement planting and pruning."

Is that the same company that didn't keep the Dufferin Grove trees watered during the drought?

Aug.25 2022, response from the manager, Urban Forestry Renewal

Brinkman has done tree planting and has always been good at watering trees. The contract you are referring to is a naturalization planting contract. The city has over the years hired staff to inspect trees and ensure compliance with contract specifications and we have improved and continue to improve the watering of trees in parks and on streets. In some cases, gator bags become clogged with debris or people place dog waste or garbage in them. We are working towards a resolution to the issue.

Aug.25, 2022, to the urban forestry renewal manager

Re the Gator bags on the memorial trees: I have never seen any of them with water in them until Jonathan put in the work order about a week ago. I'm sure I missed some watering but I cycle through the park fairly often despite my advancing years, and the bags were always dry and dusty if I randomly gave them a little shake.

However, now the drought seems over and it certainly never got as bad as in 2007. The park never got as beige this time around, and as soon as there was a little rain the knotweed greened up very fast, making the park look like it had a lawn :) So far the only trees really turning brown seem to be the sugar maples, especially the indigenous memorial tree. But that has nothing to do with gator bags.

These days there's a lot of interest in the friendly connections between trees that are planted together. Some of the grouped plantings at Dufferin Grove --both city-planted and volunteer-planted -- are getting to have an interesting, complicated ecology that's fun to watch as it evolves.

Aug.27, 2022

Hello Jutta,

Thank you for contacting 311 Toronto.

Your request for service has been generated and the City of Toronto will handle your request with the details and reference number provided below.

    Your Reference Number: 01555747
    Service Request Type: General Tree Maintenance
    Expected Service Delivery Date/Time:  2022-10-22, 6:21 p.m.
    Estimated Resolution Timeframe: The Service Request will be resolved within 8 weeks.
    Service Address: 875 Dufferin St

Your reference number is required in order to check the status, make changes or cancel the request.

You can check the status of your service request by calling 311 or visiting 311 Toronto Website .

Phone within Toronto city limits: 311 Phone outside city limits: 416-392-CITY (2489) TTY customers: 416-338-0TTY (0889)


311 Toronto

311 Toronto offers email and text message (SMS) update service for your request. If you subscribe(d) to this service, you will receive updates on the status of your request. You can opt in or out of status updates by calling 3-1-1 or 416-392-2489 (Outside city limits). If you subscribed to text message (SMS) updates text “STOP” to 311867 (311TOR) anytime to unsubscribe. Message and data charges may apply.

Aug.27, 2022 (soon after the automatic one)

311 Toronto Here. We received your email from Jonathan, Supervisor, Parks.

We have generated a service request to Urban Forestry for general tree maintenance (tree watering), and this will be investigated within eight weeks.

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.

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