Grange Park Advisory Committee

Meeting of March 2, 2009

Held at OCAD

Members in attendance:

John Burns, St. George the Martyr Church

Rupert Duchesne, Co-Chair, AGO

Councillor Adam Vaughan, Co-chair

Bev Carret, AGO

Peter Couto, resident

Mark Emslie, City of Toronto Parks Dept.

Mazyar Mortazavi, member-at-large

Mike Mahoney, AGO

Debbie McGuinness, resident

Dr. James Moy, OCAD

Marguerite Newell, resident

Debra Shime, University Settlement

Observers and guests:

Bill Smyke, resident

Jennifer Tharp, City of Toronto Parks Dept.

Regrets

Ken Greenberg, resource person, AGO

Pat McKendry, resident

Ceta Ramkhalawansingh, resident

Matthew Teitelbaum, AGO

Margie Zeidler, member-at-large

Summary of Discussion:

  1. 1. Approval of the minutes of January 21

Minutes were approved with no changes.

  1. 2. Business Arising from the minutes

No business arising

  1. 3. Grange Park – Status of immediate remedial initiatives

Adam’s office has set up a meeting on March 4 with Parks staff, AGO, Ken Greenberg and PMA to discuss how to proceed with the immediate remedial initiatives identified in the PMA report.  The AGO has contacted TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, which provided $50,000 last October towards the costs of setting up GPAC and hiring PMA for the environmental study.  The foundation is prepared to accept a funding application between $25,000-50,000.  This second grant would be used to fund some of the most time-sensitive remedial initiatives.  The March 4 meeting will also explore the possibility of using Section 37 funds held for Grange Park for these immediate remedial initiatives.

  1. 4. Review of updated Design Brief

GPAC members provided feedback to the updated draft design brief prepared by Ken, which incorporated elements of the PMA study findings and recommendations.  The meeting agreed to incorporate all changes submitted by Ceta via e-mail.  It was noted that the design stage should include consultation with parents about the security of the playground.  The meeting also agreed that the document should end with a “next steps” section.  Ken will be asked to add this last section to the brief for review by GPAC.

  1. 5. Communications strategy

Peter provided a brief recap of recommendations from the communications team.   A communications system needs to be set up to make sure the local neighbourhood receives timely and consistent information about the Grange Park revitalization project.  The most time-sensitive information to share will be the findings of the PMA Landscape study and the timing of the immediate remedial initiatives.   This information would be shared with the neighbourhood about 2 weeks before any work is scheduled to begin.  Communication would be via:

  • AGO e-bulletin to neighbours
  • Postal walk notice in English and Chinese
  • University Settlement newsletter, Ward 20 newsletter,
  • notice boards at the local library branch and University Settlement, OCAD, etc

We will set up a Grange Park website over the next 2 months.  The Sibelius Square website (www.sibeliussquare.org) is a good model to follow.

A community meeting hosted by GPAC will be set up for early June to provide neighbours with a forum to ask questions and share feedback.

  1. 6. Other Business:
  • Luminato 2009

Luminato and the AGO would like to have an installation by projection artist Tony Oursler in Grange Park during Luminato 2009 (June 6-15).  The artist’s proposal consists of installing three 6-foot house-like structures in the park where images would be projected during the day.  In the evening, the projections would float from the “houses” into the sky and trees.  Luminato security officers would be stationed in the park to prevent children from climbing the structures.  Luminato would also provide docents (information guides) to explain the installation to park visitors.  The meeting acknowledged this would be an interesting first test of art in the park.  The experience from this installation will help inform future decisions about interactive art.  GPAC requested that the installation be ended at 10pm every evening.

  • Walk for Israel – Sunday May 24th

GPAC reviewed the request of the United Jewish Appeal to use Grange Park as a watering station for the Walk for Israel on Sunday May 24th.  The meeting agreed to support this request, but asked that the group remind walkers to use the footpaths in the park.

  • Yoga/Boot Camp

Mark raised the request by a few groups to use Grange Park for yoga classes and boot camp.  GPAC asked for more information about the needs and size of these groups.  It was also suggested that the courtyard at St. George the Martyr Church be considered for these activities.

  1. 7. Next meeting

The next meeting will take place on Wednesday April 22, 6pm at University Settlement – 2nd floor staff lounge.