Grange Park Toronto Canada

GPAC Meeting Minutes from May 8, 2014

Grange Park Advisory Committee – Information Meeting

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Art Gallery of Ontario

 

Present:
Max Allen, Vice President, Grange Community Association
Bev Carret, AGO
Lisa Clements, AGO
Peter Couto, Grange Community Association

Ralph Daley, President, Grange Community Association
Ena D’Altroy, Manager, Special Projects, University Settlement

Brian Green, Toronto PFR
Ken Greenberg, AGO Consultant
Miriam Kramer, Manager, Public Funding, OCAD U

Mike Mahoney, AGO
Pearl Quong, Grange Community Association
Alex Shevchuk, Project Manager, Landscape Architecture Unit, Toronto PFR
Nick Schefter, Vice President, Grange Community Association

Matthew Teitelbaum, AGO

Guests:

Greg Smallenberg, PFS Studio

Jennifer Nagai, PFS Studio

 

Regrets:
Rupert Duchesne, Co-Chair, AGO Vice-President

Councillor Adam Vaughan, Co-Chair

John Burns, St George the Martyr Church
Pesha McKendry, Representative of social housing residents

Mazyar Mortazavi, TAS DesignBuild
David Prendergast, Executive Director, University Settlement
Ceta Ramkhalawansingh, Honorary President, Grange Community Association
Alan Simms, Interim Vice President, Finance and Administration, OCAD U
Margie Zeidler, Member at large

 

Matthew introduced Greg Smallenberg and Jennifer Nagai from PFS Studio. He noted that this would be an information meeting about the design concept for the Grange Park revitalization project.

Greg presented design concept, highlighting the following design elements:

 

Comments – Questions/Answers:

 

Trees/plantings:

How big will the replacement trees be?

Trees will be 4” in diameter and 20-25 feet high. Larger diameter trees tend to take longer to adapt to their new surroundings, resulting more frequently in failure or slower growth.

 

How big will the new trees grow?

Beech and oak trees will grow to 25-30 metres in approximately 25 years.

 

There are 10 trees slated for removal because of the park design. Can they be moved somewhere else?

The trees are very large. They would have only a 50% chance of survival if moved elsewhere.

 

Concern about plantings providing a hiding place for drugs.

The plantings will be low – not sufficient to serve as a hiding place.

 

Suggest planting more chestnuts in the grove area.

Suggest not having plantings in the grove area – can undermine the roots of the trees.

 

Pathways:

Concern that there is no defined east-west corridor at the south side of the park. This is a major pedestrian route.

PFS will look into adjusting the pathway system to accommodate this.

 

Make the paths inconvenient for commuter cyclists – to slow them down or inspire them to choose another route.

 

Will there be art in the park?

Art installations could be considered at a later date if sufficient funds, the right kind of art and community support are there. The overall design of the park conveys an artful approach.

 

Play area:

What about art for the play area – art that kids can play on?

Risks non-compliance with safety standards. Play equipment and layout of the play area will convey an artful presence.

 

Playhouses selected for the play area should be open and transparent – not hiding places.

 

Ramps in the play area should be porous – no pooling of water

 

Maintenance:

Will the electrical/plumbing/lighting infrastructure be accessible for maintenance and repair?

Yes –very mindful of sustainability. Ongoing maintenance is a high priority. We are committed to maintaining the park at a very high level.

 

What irrigation system will be used?

We will be using the same system as the City. Easier access to replacement parts and knowledge of the system.

 

Food:

Will there be places to sit and eat?

There is space at the northwest corner of the park to put some free standing tables and chairs.

 

If there is a food kiosk, it must be affordable and accessible.

 

Miscellaneous:

Has 4 Grange Road been officially added to Grange Park?

It has been re-zoned parkland and has been incorporated into the design of Grange Park. AGO will check if it has been officially added. (It has – Official Plan Amendment No 56 and Zoning by-law Nos. 505-2011 and 506-2011)

 

There should be drinking fountains for people and dogs.

 

Fenced-in off-leash dog run:

Ralph presented his proposal concerning a fenced-on off-leash dog run. He noted that with the growing number of dog owners in the neighbourhood, their needs must be acknowledged, and the proposal discussed. Greg and Mike committed to reviewing the proposal and Mike will report back at the May 22 meeting.

 

The need for a dog run in Grange Park will lessen if a proposed park dedicated to dogs materializes south of Queen Street.   Until this park materializes, Ken suggested that it would be wise to examine the proposal for Grange Park. It was noted that the revitalized Grange Park will attract more people and more dog owners, if they do not have alternate locations for their dogs. If the status quo is maintained (ie: park is zoned as “on-leash” but the common practice ignores this), it could negatively impact the play areas, the comfort level of other visitors in the park and the safety of the dogs themselves.