Grange Park Toronto Canada

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GPAC Meeting Minutes

GPAC Meeting Minutes from June 26, 2014

Grange Park Advisory Committee Meeting

Friday, June 26, 2014, 8:30 – 10:00 am

Art Gallery of Ontario



Ralph Daley, (Co-Chair) Grange Community Association

Rupert Duchesne, (Co-Chair) AGO

Max Allen, Grange Community Association

Bev Carret, AGO

Lisa Clements, AGO

Peter Couto, Grange Community Association

Ena D’Altroy, University Settlement

Joan Heeler, St. George the Martyr Church

Rebecca Keenan, Ward 20 Office

Miriam Kramer, OCAD U

Sandy Ladouceur, AGO

Mike Mahoney, AGO

Pesha McKendry, Representative of social housing residents

Mazyar Mortazavi, TAS Design Build (member-at-large)

Katie Nikota, Toronto PFR

Phyllis Platt, Grange Community Association

Ceta Ramkhalawansingh, Grange Community Association

Matthew Teitelbaum, AGO

Alex Shevchuk, Toronto PFR



Brian Green, Toronto PFR

Margie Zeidler, UrbanSpace (member-at-large)


Summary of Discussion


Rupert welcomed Katie Nikota, Landscape Technologist from City of Toronto Parks Department.  Alex advised that Katie will be assisting him with the Grange Park Project.


Approval of the minutes of the June 6, 2014 meeting:

With a motion by Max Allen, seconded by Pesha McKendry, minutes were approved


Business Arising from the Minutes:

Ralph confirmed that he met with Mike, Peter and Pearl on June 9 to review the draft funding agreement between the AGO and the City.  Mike noted that Pearl had flagged a concern with one of the City’s clauses.  This clause was subsequently removed from the draft agreement. Once this assurance was provided, Ralph, Peter and Pearl were comfortable with the AGO and the City finalizing the agreement.


South Entry:

Matthew clarified the proposed use for the AGO’s south entry.  It would be an unticketed entry and exit to and from the WFLC area.  It would be open during the AGO’s public hours.  It would not be used as a ticketed entrance to the AGO.  It would not be used as a group entrance.  It would not be used as an entrance or exit for events.  Rupert and Matthew committed to GPAC that if the AGO ever wanted to use the south entry for an exceptional occasion, it would bring the proposal to GPAC for prior discussion and approval.

Mike reviewed the proposed design for the south entry, prepared by Hariri Pontarini Architects.

It was acknowledged that the south entry would provide more safety to the camp groups exiting the AGO to play in Grange Park.  Concern was expressed about the AGO’s ability to control buses stopped/parked on Beverley Street while they wait for their groups to exit the Gallery.  The AGO committed to being more proactive in managing the buses that bring groups to the AGO.  It was noted that the south entry is part of a new paradigm for cultural spaces to interact more with their communities.  There was concern, however, that the south entry would stimulate increased traffic which could compromise the park’s environment.  Alex reminded the meeting that the City will conduct a park impact assessment as part of its approval process for the south entry.  The AGO also agreed that GPAC should monitor and review the use of the south entry and its impact on the park.

A vote was called to confirm GPAC’s support for the establishment of the AGO’s south entry.  The vote carried with 12 yeses and one abstention by Ceta.


Dog Run:

Ralph asked Mike to report on the information he had received from PFS in response to the questions raised at the last GPAC meeting concerning the design of the dog run.  Mike confirmed that PFS can provide a design for the dog run that reflects the aesthetics of the park.  PFS considers the south west side of the park as the only possible site for the dog run.  Its location in any other area of the park would significantly unwind the design and the principles of the design brief.  Odours could be minimized with a good irrigation system and a gravel base.  The inclusion of a dog run does not prevent a straight east-west path at the south side of the park, but PFS is recommending winding paths in order to discourage cyclists from speeding.  It would be possible to add the dog run after the park revitalization project is completed, since it does not impact the overall design.  Building the dog run after the park’s completion instead of including it in the project would incur some additional expense.

Alex confirmed that Grange Park is subject to City Parks approval for an off-leash area and explained the process:

 Alex explained that Grange Park is large enough to be a candidate for unfenced off-leash access during low-use hours and months; however, this would be unlikely since the park includes a play area, splash pads and gardens.

Max Allen presented a petition with 200 signatures requesting that “GPAC and the AGO consider the inclusion of a designated fenced area for the dogs of the neighbourhood to play off leash in the redesigned Grange Park plan”.

A vote was called to confirm GPAC’s agreement to put forward a request to City Parks for a fenced dog-run in the south-west area of Grange Park.  The vote carried with 11 yeses and abstentions by Ceta and Alex.


Community meeting July 7:

Bev confirmed that the community meeting will take place on Monday July 7, 6:30-8:30pm at the AGO in the Weston Family Learning Centre.  The meeting will be led by GPAC co-chairs Rupert and Ralph.  The focus of the meeting will be to present the developed design for the Grange Park revitalization project to the community. Jennifer Nagai from PFS will be present to explain the details of the design. The meeting will provide a recap of the feedback received after the April 22 community meeting and how the design has been modified to respond to this feedback.  As promised at the April 22 meeting, information will be shared about lighting, play equipment, seating and tree management.


Tree Management Strategy:

Mike reviewed the tree management strategy that will be presented at the community meeting:

PFS has made a number of design modifications to reduce the number of trees slated for removal for design purposes and will continue to investigate options that will further decrease this number.  It was stressed that if we do not plan a proactive tree strategy, the park will 20-25% of its trees over the next several years due to age, pest infestation and disease.

Mike reminded GPAC that there will be a walkabout in Grange Park following the meeting to look at the condition of the trees identified for removal.


GPAC Meeting Schedule:

The next GPAC meeting will take place on Friday August 8, 2-4pm at the AGO. Another meeting will be scheduled for September.