GPAC Meeting Minutes
GPAC Meeting Minutes from March 21, 2014
Grange Park Advisory Committee Meeting
Friday, March 21, 3:30-5:00pm
Art Gallery of Ontario
Rupert Duchesne, Co-Chair, AGO Vice-President (by phone until 4:00pm)
Councillor Adam Vaughan, Co-chair
Max Allen, Vice President, Grange Community Association
John Burns, St George the Martyr Church
Bev Carret, AGO
Lisa Clements, AGO
Ralph Daley, President, Grange Community Association
Ena D’Altroy, University Settlement
Ken Greenberg, AGO Consultant
Mike Mahoney, AGO
Pesha McKendry, Representative of social housing residents
Mazyar Mortazavi, TAS DesignBuild (by phone)
David Prendergast, Executive Director, University Settlement
Pearl Quong, Grange Community Association
Ceta Ramkhalawansingh, Honorary President, Grange Community Association
Nick Schefter, Vice President, Grange Community Association
Alex Shevchuk, Acting Supervisor, Area Landscape and Planning Initiatives, Toronto PFR
Matthew Teitelbaum, AGO
Ange Valentini, EA to Councillor Vaughan
Daniel Vela, City of Toronto Parks Department
Alan Simms, Vice President Administration, OCADU
Margie Zeidler, Member at large
Summary of Discussion
Approval of the minutes of February 26, 2014
Minutes were approved without changes. Ceta commented that the meeting was called with very short advance notice. Matthew noted that the short notice is not usual practice for GPAC meetings and reflected the sensitive timing to ensure GPAC learned about the confirmation of a donor and the selection of a landscape architect before a public announcement was issued.
Grange Park Revitalization Project status
Ceta expressed concern that, in her opinion, a number of elements proposed in the design concept are not specifically identified in the design brief, such as the food kiosk, the removal of fences and a south door from the AGO. Adam explained that certain design elements provide specific responses to broader goals identified the design brief. Ralph noted that art, which was mentioned in the design brief, is not included in the current design concept. Matthew clarified that neither a food kiosk or art installations are included in the current design concept.
Rupert stressed that GPAC will play a critical role in helping to inform the design and keeping the community informed and engaged about the project.
Mike reviewed the following elements of the design concept:
- 6% increase to the overall size of the park
- Larger playground area with equipment to accommodate the needs of a variety of age groups.
- Central path will be removed to make the great lawn larger. The great lawn will be regraded with some soil remediation.
- Water play feature near the playground
- Washrooms at the south-east corner of the park
- Removal of the fence on Beverley Street
- Small pastoral (decorative) water feature in the north west corner
- Tiered concrete seating embedded in the ground to accommodate the change of elevation in the park
- Door leading to AGO’s Weston Family Learning Centre would be open to the park. This would not be a ticketed entrance to the AGO. The AGO is financing this initiative separately; it is not part of the Grange Park revitalization project budget.
- Removal of the fence separating AGO from Grange Park at the northwest side of the park.
Adam advised the meeting that the project will include a tree strategy. A number of the trees in the park are near the end of their life or in poor health. These trees will be removed and new trees planted to ensure a continuous tree canopy for future generations. An arborist’s report identifying the health of the trees in the park will be completed in April.
The following questions/concerns were raised:
- Does the Grange Park revitalization project include improvements to Grange Road? The project does not include any work on Grange Road. The developers of the 60 McCaul Street project may address Grange Road.
- Any thought of including an ice rink? There has been some discussion about a natural ice rink. The drawback is the uncertainty of winter temperatures. Artificial ice would be cost prohibitive
- Has lighting been decided for the park? No decisions yet, this is to be discussed.
- Can the base of the John Street promenade be widened to the full extent of City-owned property? Need to get 50 Stephanie to move their garbage bins.
- Will there be an open connection between Grange Park and Butterfield Park? The challenge is to provide openness while preventing children from running into McCaul.
- Need a system that will prevent bicycles from racing through the park
- Need a system that will reduce number of trucks in the park
- West side of the park is looking too manicured – needs to be more like an urban forest
Mike confirmed that the operating endowment assigned to the ongoing maintenance for Grange Park is intended to include a full time custodian.
Project Timeline – key dates
Mike outlined a preliminary timeline for the project. The intention is to finalize the design by June and introduce to the community through a second meeting/open house. Based on a final design in June, construction would begin in September. Construction would proceed in phases to ensure that the park is never totally closed to the public. The first phase of construction would work on the west side and possibly the John Street corridor. The second phase would deal with the great lawn and play area (and the John Street corridor, if this isn’t addressed in the first phase). The AGO will discuss timing of the work on John Street in more detail with University Settlement and St. George the Martyr Church, since their operations will be directly impacted by this construction.
Early site work
Mike advised the meeting that an arborist will be undertaking an audit of the trees in April Site surveyors will also be in the park in April.
Communications with the Community
Adam confirmed that a Community Open House/meeting is scheduled for Tuesday April 22. Format will be an open house from 6:30-7:30pm, where people can view the info panels, followed by a one hour meeting at 7:30pm, where we will present the conceptual design and have a Q&A session.
Bev will convene a meeting of the GPAC communications team to get the word out about the meeting and review information to be shared at the meeting.
Grange Park Cleanup – Friday April 25
The Annual Grange Park Cleanup Day will be on Friday April 25 to coincide with the City’s Corporate Cleanup Day.