GPAC Meeting Minutes from August 8, 2014
Grange Park Advisory Committee Meeting
Friday, August 8, 2014 – 2:00-3:30pm
Art Gallery of Ontario
Ralph Daley, (Co-Chair) Grange Community Association
Rupert Duchesne, (Co-Chair) AGO
Ceta Ramkhalawansingh, (Co-Chair) Ward 20 Councillor
Max Allen, Grange Community Association
Robin Buxton-Potts, Ward 20 Office
Bev Carret, AGO
Lisa Clements, AGO
Joan Heeler, St. George the Martyr Church
Miriam Kramer, OCAD U
Sandy Ladouceur, AGO
Mike Mahoney, AGO
Pesha McKendry, Representative of social housing residents
Katie Nikota, Toronto PFR
Phyllis Platt, Grange Community Association
Matthew Teitelbaum, AGO
Alex Shevchuk, Toronto PFR
Margie Zeidler, UrbanSpace (member-at-large)
Ena D’Altroy, University Settlement
Brian Green, Toronto PFR
Mazyar Mortazavi, TAS Design Build (member-at-large)
Summary of Discussion
Rupert welcomed Ceta as Ward 20 Councillor and announced that Ceta has agreed to serve as a GPAC co-chair during her term as Councillor. Rupert proposed that Ralph also continue as a co-Chair, to reinforce the concept of GPAC as a partnership among the community, the City and the AGO. The meeting agreed that Ralph should continue as third co-Chair.
Ralph noted that Ceta’s role as Ward 20 Councillor creates a vacancy in one of the three GPAC positions held by GCA members. He will discuss filling the vacancy with the GCA.
- Approval of the minutes of June 26
Minutes were approved.
- Business arising from the minutes
- Dog Run – Bev reported that she contacted Ed Fearon at City Parks to advise him that GPAC would be submitting a request to City Parks for a fenced dog-run in the south-west area of Grange Park and to ask about the proper procedure to do this. Ed advised Bev that it was not necessary for GPAC to do this. A request had already been submitted by Barb and Geoff King and the assessment by City Parks had begun.
- Grange Park Funding Agreement – Ceta expressed concern that the funding agreement between the City and the AGO for $5M for the Grange Park revitalization capital project did not acknowledge the role of the community in the management of the park post-project. It was clarified that the agreement dealt solely with the terms of the capital funding. Copies of the agreement were distributed to GPAC members for reference.
- Dog Run
Matthew advised the meeting that some issues have arisen around the cost and timing of the dog OLA proposed for the park. The separate City approval process required for the OLA may delay its construction past the overall park project. A second concern is that City and donor revenues for the park capital project will not be sufficient to cover the construction of the dog run. Matthew announced that in light of GPAC’s support for a dog OLA in the southwest corner of Grange Park, the AGO is committing to contribute up to $150,000 over and above the funds from the City and the donor for the construction of a dog OLA construction, provided that the required City approvals are obtained, that the current proposed location in the south-west corner remains unchanged, and that due care is taken to minimize construction costs consistent with the overall park design concept. The meeting acknowledged that the southwest corner of the park is the only location that could accommodate the dog OLA without unwinding the core design.
Alex confirmed that City Parks’ assessment of the proposed dog park will be completed before the end of August. If City Parks returns a positive assessment for the proposed dog run, the next required step would be a community meeting to present the details. GPAC agreed this community meeting should be held in September.
It was agreed that the dog OLA should be incorporated into the construction timeline of the overall project, providing City approval is obtained. The most desirable timing is to have the OLA completed as part of the first phase of construction, so that dogs will have an area to play while the great lawn and east side of the park is under construction in the second phase. It was acknowledged that the overall project will not be put on hold if City approvals for the OLA take longer than anticipated.
- Design Development Update
Mike described the modifications that had been made to the design following the July 7 community meeting. The following design changes respond to the feedback from the community:
- The Grove area is being left in a more natural state – a number of pathways have been removed; fewer plantings
- The major west pathway has had the large planting “island” removed and the pathway has narrowed, leaving more greenspace
- Fewer curling benches on the Great Lawn
- Removal of the square benches/planters in the middle of the John Street promenade
In reviewing the design, some costs have been brought back into line while maintaining the key elements of the design brief. The budget lines assigned to priority items have been preserved, ie: protecting and preserving the natural environment, such as the irrigation system and the tree management/planting of new trees, as well as the children’s play areas and equipment for various ages.
Some of the design refinements resulting from community feedback have also helped to reduce costs. Some elements have had to been put aside, such as the adult exercise equipment, in order to protect funds for the children’s equipment.
It was suggested that a reflexology path be considered for Grange Park. While the current budget could not accommodate the inclusion of a reflexology path, it will be noted for future consideration.
It was suggested that a commemoration to Harriette Boulton be included in the park design. The AGO will also speak to Parks Canada about new locations for their three plaques that are currently in Grange Park.
- Next Steps
The following information will be shared at the next GPAC meeting:
- an updated breakdown of the planned construction phases
- more detailed designs for the northwest corner and the southeast corner of Grange Park
Questions were raised about the reuse of materials that area being removed from the park, such as the wrought iron fencing and the wood from the removed trees. A more detailed list will be compiled of materials that can be given to other neighbourhood organizations.
- Next GPAC meeting
The next GPAC meeting will be scheduled for September. A September date will also be targeted for a community meeting.