Grange Park Advisory Committee

Meeting of July 9, 2008

AGO Board Room

In attendance:

Rupert Duchesne, AGO (co-chair)

Councillor Adam Vaughan, (co-chair)

John Burns, St. George the Martyr Church

Bev Carret, AGO

Ken Greenberg, resource person

Mike Mahoney, AGO alternate for Mathew Teitelbaum

Debbie McGuinness, resident

Pat McKendry, tenant rep – social housing

Eric Nay, OCAD alternate for Peter Caldwell

Marguerite Newell, resident

Ceta Ramkhalawansingh, resident

Debra Shime, University Settlement House

Summary of Discussion:

  1. 1. Welcome

Co-chairs Adam Vaughan and Rupert Duchesne welcomed members to the first meeting of the Grange Park Advisory Committee. 

  1. 2. Introduction of Committee members

Committee members introduced themselves and the constituency they represented.

Pat McKendry clarified her role to be a tenant representative for the various social housing communities in the neighbourhood. Ken Greenberg will serve on the committee in a resource role.  It was noted that a representative from City Parks and Recreation has yet to be named to the committee.  Councillor Vaughan indicated that because of the immediate priority to be addressed, he would be seeking someone who has knowledge of park maintenance.  For the at-large members of the Committee, there was general agreement that efforts should be made to include members of the Chinese community.  The Co-chairs would address this for report back to the next meeting.

  1. 3. Project Background

Adam gave a brief recap of what’s happened to date with Grange Park.  There has been a growing concern in the neighbourhood about the declining ecological state of Grange Park. The City initiated a Grange Park revitalization project in 2004 that involved a proposed redesign of the park.  This redesign attempted to address all neighbourhood issues, but lacked an overall vision for the park.  The formation of the Grange Park Advisory Committee provides a new governance and stewardship framework for Grange Park.

4.  Role of Committee

Copies of the Committee terms of reference were distributed to all members.  Adam noted that the GPAC terms of reference were endorsed by the community on May 21 and approved by the AGO Board of Trustees on May 28.  The terms of reference will also be presented to the City.

5. Timeline

Rupert advised the meeting that the AGO wants to wait until after its opening on November 14 before there is any public announcement about the revitalization project for Grange Park.   The AGO needs to focus public attention on the launch of the building.  However, there is significant behind the scenes work that can be done in the meantime.

Ken Greenberg presented a two-year timeline for the project’s completion (attached).   Phase One, which is to be undertaken between July and November 2008, identifies the following initiatives:

–       define vision/design brief for the park

–       identify remedial work that can be taken to prepare/strengthen the park for the revitalization project

–       assess City’s capabilities to undertake remedial work

–       select landscape architect to coordinate additional remedial work

  1. Next Steps

  • Setting the vision:

The vision statement articulated in the GPAC terms of reference states:  “A restoration and revitalization plan for Grange Park that will be green, strikingly beautiful, resilient, sustainable, accessible, interactive as well as providing a place for contemplation while welcoming all neighbours, residents and visitors to our community by utilizing design excellence, state of the art conservation techniques and outstanding works of art. “

The meeting agreed that there was community consensus on this vision which was presented at the neighbourhood meeting on May 21.   Ken will draft a more detailed design brief based on this vision and will present it at the next meeting for discussion.  It was confirmed that the design brief would definitely include 4 Grange Road (AGO’s parking strip) and could also consider the inclusion of Grange Road, although this latter element would be more complicated.  Inclusion of the private park owned by 50 Stephanie Street was also discussed, but it was noted that since this was private property, it was not an immediate priority.  Marguerite suggested that we gather some historic photos of Grange Park to inform the design process.

It was noted that Grange Park is a relatively small area, so it will require a sophisticated design that responds to a variety of public needs  with multi-purpose features.  Successfully addressing this will create a design that will enable Grange Park to be a great neighbourhood park and a unique city landmark.

  • Remedial work on the Park

While GPAC develops the design brief, a number of key initiatives can be undertaken to improve the environmental health of Grange Park.  As a first step, we need to ascertain with City Parks and Rec what work is already planned and scheduled for the park this summer. We can then supplement this schedule with other essential initiatives that will nourish and strengthen the park, such as irrigation.  Adam will identify the funds that are available from Section 37 funding.

Debbie asked if The Grange house will be open and landscaped for the November 14 launch.  Rupert confirmed that The Grange house and its surrounding area will be fully completed for November 14.  More detailed information about programming for The Grange house will be shared at the next GPAC meeting.

  • Landscape architect

Ken noted that a landscape architect would play a key role in coordinating the remedial initiatives for Grange Park in Phase One of the project, and would also be critical in developing the design for Grange Park in Phase Two. Ken will bring a short list of names for a landscape architect to the next meeting.  Eric asked if there would be a competition to select the landscape architect.  Ken advised that this may not be the best approach for the remedial work in phase one, given the nature and tight timing of the work.  However, it could be a consideration when the full design team is struck.

  1. 7. Sub-Committees:

The meeting reviewed the sub-committees that had been identified at the neighbourhood meeting held on May 21.  The sub-committees were:  Communicaations, Landscaping, Maintenance, Playground sculpture, Policies ( including sponsorships, advertising, naming, heritage) and Programming (including recreation, events, permits,etc.)

It was agreed that the two subcommittees that need to be activated immediately are:

  • Landscaping/Maintenance:  Ken Mak, Derek Parcher, Ceta Ramkhalawansingh, Deb Shime.  Nick Schefter will also be invited to join this sub-committee.
  • Communications:  John Burns, Peter Couto.  The role of the Communications sub-committee will be discussed in more detail at the next meeting.  Adam stressed that it is GPAC’s responsibility to set points of public consultation throughout the project.
  1. 8. Committee housekeeping

The next two meetings were confirmed as follows:

  • Wednesday, August 27, 6-8pm, AGO Boardroom
  • Tuesday September 16, 6-8pm, University Settlement

It was agreed that the neighbourhood should be invited to take part in the September meeting.  Rupert indicated that this was an opportunity to provide an update on what has been accomplished to date and the general workplan.

July 9, 2008

Grange Park Revitalization Project

Proposed Timeline:

Phase One: Identify Grange Park’s potential and needs – to be completed by November 2008

  • define vision/design brief for the park
  • remedial work on the park

–       identify remedial work that can be taken to prepare/strengthen the park for the revitalization project

–       assess City’s capabilities to undertake remedial work + need to supplement

–       select landscape architect to coordinate remedial work

Phase Two: Design development – to be completed by September 2009

  • Assign budget to project
  • Engage full design team for the park to work with landscape architect
  • Develop schematic design
  • Develop final design
  • Develop and approve contract documents; confirm budget

Phase Three: Construction – to be completed by July 2010

  • Tender contracts
  • Undertake construction work (eg: pathways, landscape improvements)

Phase Four: Completion of the project – to be completed by September 2010

  • Install interactive sculpture and play equipment
  • Install park furniture  (eg: benches, light standards, garbage receptacles