Grange Park Advisory Committee

Meeting of October 1, 2008

Held at the University Settlement House

Members in attendance:

Rupert Duchesne, AGO (co-chair)

Councillor Adam Vaughan, (co-chair)

John Burns, St. George the Martyr Church

Bev Carret, AGO

Mark Emslie, City of Toronto Parks Dept.

Ken Greenberg, resource person

Mike Mahoney, AGO alternate for Matthew Teitelbaum

Debbie McGuinness, resident

Pat McKendry, resident

Dr. James Moy, OCAD

Marguerite Newell, resident

Ceta Ramkhalawansingh, resident

Debra Shime, University Settlement

Observers and guests:

Max Allen, resident

Peter Couto, resident, alternate member

Ralph Daley, resident

Pearl Quong, resident

Bill Smyke, resident

Jennifer Tharp, City of Toronto Parks Dept.

Summary of Discussion:

  1. 1. Introduction of PMA Landscape Architects

Ken introduced Jim Melvin and Fung Lee of PMA Landscape Architects, the firm retained to undertake Phase One of the Grange Park Revitalization Initiative.  This work will focus on assessing the environmental health of Grange Park.  Jim and Fung reviewed the scope of their work (see attachment), which will examine the existing trees, soil conditions, drainage and irrigation.  Based on the findings, PMA will put forward recommendations for remedial measures to improve the natural ecology of the park, as well as a Conservation Use Plan (CUP) which will outline a recommended proactive maintenance regime to continue building the strength and resilience of the park.

PMA confirmed that the study will identify the location of tree roots, which will inform the placement of elements like pathways in any redesign of the park.

John suggested that the natural environment of St. George the Martyr’s property be included in the study.  The meeting agreed that the study should be inclusive wherever possible.

Ralph suggested that PMA connect with Dr. Andrew Millward, who directs the Urban Forest Research & Ecological Disturbance group at Ryerson University.  Dr. Millward has been conducting a similar assessment on Allan Gardens and is logging this information into a database and a publicly-accessible, web-based server. Jim agreed to contact Dr. Millward.

Mark confirmed that 7 trees were removed from Grange Park this fall, including one on the AGO construction site, as they were either dead or dying.  All seven trees will be replaced in the redesign phase of the Grange Park revitalization project.  Ken noted that the age and life expectancy of the trees will form part of PMA’s assessment.  This information will provide the foundation for an ongoing stewardship plan to help protect the existing trees and plant new ones in order to ensure a consistent mature tree canopy for future generations.

Rupert confirmed that the PMA study will present a full range of recommendations to build the strength and resilience of Grange Park.  GPAC will then review and prioritize within available funding.

  1. Review of minutes of August 27

Minutes were approved.

  1. Business arising from the minutes

-       Design brief

The meeting approved the revised design brief with the following addition:

Under “Weaknesses”, add “mature trees vulnerable to loss”.  (Final version of the design brief is attached to the minutes)

-       Landscape and Maintenance sub-committee

The Landscape and Maintenance sub-committee will meet on Friday October 10 with PMA architects to review the proposed study in greater detail and provide input.

  1. Co-chairs update:

-       Members at large

Adam to put forward the following names to be invited as GPAC members-at-large:

  • Mazyar Mortazavi, of Mavi Development Inc. Mavi is a builder of sustainable development, including the M5V condominium at King and Peter Streets.  This project has been designed to meet LEED accreditation.
  • Dr. Joseph Y.K.  Wong – physician practicing in Village by the Grange (78 St. Patrick Street) and founder of the Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care.
  • Margie Zeidler, president and creator of 401 Richmond Limited, and co-founder of the Centre for Social Innovation.  Margie received the Jane Jacobs Award in 2003.

Adam will approach these three individuals to gauge their interest in joining GPAC.  Some additional names were suggested in case any of these persons could not participate.

It was also suggested that GPAC reach out more to the local business community, particularly as      it moves into fundraising to support Grange Park.  Rupert noted the best timing to strike a      fundraising sub-committee would be when we have a tangible design and budget for Grange Park.

  1. Community meeting

It was agreed the best approach to update the broader community on GPAC’s work would be to incorporate it into the founding meeting of the Grange Community Association (GCA) scheduled for December 8.

  1. Next GPAC meeting

The next GPAC meeting will take place on Monday, November 3, 6:30pm at University Settlement, Staff Lounge, 2nd floor.