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
Farmers' Market
web search

Search Farmers' Market:
local & up to date but simpler
See Search Page

Department Site Map


posted August 12, 2005 from the August Newsletter


On Thursday August the 4th, a city by-law enforcement officer came to the park. He was shocked to see the farmers parking on the grass inside the park (beside their stands) and gave them a warning. The next week, he said, he would be back at market time, and would give them each a $105 ticket if he saw them even driving up to unload.

The officer then went down to the wading pool and said the food cart was illegal, the cob courtyard was probably illegal, and when he found out we have campfires in the park, he said that was illegal too. He also said that there had been a complaint about the food cart. Someone had reported that it was run by an (unnamed) private individual.

The by-law enforcement officer wasn’t much interested in our explanations. He described all that he saw to his supervisor on his cell phone, and told the park staff that his supervisor was “hopping mad” at what he was hearing.  

The officer summoned a public health inspector from another district, on an emergency basis. The inspector arrived and walked all around with the park with our staff person Mayssan. Then he wrote “unwarranted complaint” on his inspection form and left. The by-law enforcement officer left too, saying he’d be back.

The friends of the park have received a lot of support from park managers over the years. We called West Region manager James Dann, and described the situation. It seemed clear that the problem here was a misunderstanding – the by-law enforcement officer had not heard of a park like ours, and assumed that we were getting away with murder.

James called the by-law enforcement supervisor and reassured him. He confirmed that we have had regular contact with Public Health, and the friends of the park work in close collaboration with Parks and Recreation.  It emerged that the main problem with the farmers’ market was the lack of a farmers’ market permit. (Since there are only two markets in Toronto parks, such permits are not a standard item.) So James arranged for an official city permit. That means the by-law enforcement officer will not come back next week and fine each farmer $105 after all.

This is another example of the problem with centralized structure (management by function). Officials come from elsewhere in the city and find us confusing. They make a panic and the whole business takes so much of everyone’s time. We’ve asked for a meeting to discuss the real world of farmers’ markets, with City managers. We also hope that the Parks, Forestry and Recreation general manager, Brenda Librecz, will find a way to have our park administered locally, not centrally (see “Open Letter”).

The by-law enforcement officer who came to our park seemed just as appalled by what he saw here as the '''City’s Health and Safety rink inspectors''' were in December 2003, when they said that ours was the worst rink they had ever seen. You have to wonder: what would their ideal park look like?

For more stories of the effects of the City Parks and Recreation Department's centralized "functional" management approach, see Jutta's Parks Restructuring Diary.

hosted by | powered by pmwiki-2.2.83. Content last modified on June 07, 2006, at 02:01 PM EST