Parks and Public Space
There are a variety of new and upgraded park, recreation and community spaces in the works. The following provides information on the progress of some of these projects.
The design phase for the new community centre at Bessarion Station has been completed and the first stages of construction are beginning as of Summer 2018. The building will will feature an aquatics centre, high quality recreation facilities, a Toronto Public Library branch, child care space and underground parking.
Along with the community centre, a new public park was also secured as part of the Concord Adex development. Woodsy Park construction is well underway and expected to be substantially complete in Sept. 2018. At close to 8 acres in size, it will include a synthetic-turf sports field, a skating area that converts into a water-spray pad in the summer, attractive public art pieces, a dog park and green space for events, play and relaxation.
As part of the redevelopment plans for Newtonbrook Plaza at Yonge St. and Cummer Ave., the developer will contribute a 22,000 sq. ft. community centre, an adjoining childcare facility and a 1.5 acre park. Design of these amenities is underway and public consultation is to begin in Summer 2018.
Work is substantially completed on the extension and alignment of the Duncan Creek Trail. This project extends the existing trail from its current terminus—east of Leslie St. and just south of Steeles Ave—along the east boulevard of Leslie St to connect with the Don Trail on the west side.
The new section of trail, which includes some ongoing restoration plantings, will be about 500m long and 3.5m wide. In order to accommodate the trail crossing at Leslie St, a new traffic signal will also be installed.
To complement the trail extension, a replacement pedestrian bridge crossing Duncan Creek joining Cliffwood Rd to Francine Dr will also be constructed.
The new and improved space around the off-leash dog park, adjacent to the arena parking lot, is finished and welcoming plenty of new visitors. This includes new seating areas, landscaping and a shaded gazebo. Along with the busy dog run, this area offers great recreation and a wonderful compliment to the nearby hydro trail connection.
The BMX bike park behind Bayview Arena has also seen increased seasonal use and care from local community groups. If you want to test your biking skills or try out a new and challenging activity, check out this new feature.
The aquatic centre has undergone significant renovations and upgrades. The primary focus of these improvements was a new air handling unit, which will improve air quality inside the centre.
There are also substantial upgrades to the change rooms including new lockers, the refurbishing of the pool deck area and of course, replacement of the whirlpools. Other maintenance and improvements to the aquatics and fitness centre facilities and equipment will be ongoing.
The new soccer field has been completed
along with enhancements to the appearance
and function of the park. The upgraded surface
allows for greater durability and more consistent
performance. Additional upgrades to the park
are in the works. The new features and
furnishings include lighting, fencing, benches
and water filling stations for soccer players and
park users to enjoy. There will also be two sets
of outdoor ping pong and chess tables installed,
anticipated for completion in Summer 2016. I'm
pleased that the new electronic scoreboard I
requested is also being installed just in time for
the spring/summer season.
In order to provide safe access down to the ravine and avoid the makeshift sloping walkway, nearby residents brought to my attention the need for a permanent staircase. City Parks staff initially proposed a wooden staircase, but experienced some difficulties with the safety and stability of the design along the slope.
The City’s Technical Services staff also identified the need to rehabilitate the pedestrian bridge off of Pineway Blvd. To reduce the cost, one consultant was hired to design and review both projects. The consultant determined that a more substantial staircase was needed to allow safe and convenient access to and from the ravine.
I'm happy to say that both the bridge and staircase have been completed and are now being enjoyed by residents to access and cross the beautiful ravine lands.
The trail now extends from Willowdale Ave. to the East Don River Trail. The connection at Luton Gate, east of Bayview, was recently installed to link the central and eastern legs of the trail. I have also asked City staff to explore options for a safe route users can access to cross Willowdale Ave. from the Finch Subway Station.
As with McNicoll Park, two sets of outdoor ping pong and chess tables are planned for Bayview Village Park as well, anticipated in Summer 2016.
Public Tennis Courts
The sport of tennis provides a great opportunity to meet neighbours, make new friends and stay fit during the summer season. Residents are encouraged to take advantage of the City's numerous public courts, which are available without charge at all times. Another option is to join your local tennis clubs, which are organized by residents as a not-for-profit group to operate community club courts. Any member of the public can join for a nominal fee, which is collected to directly support upgrades and maintenance to the public facilities.
Lillian Park (227 Otonabee Ave.)
The new tennis courts are now complete and open to the public.
The maps below provide additional resources for active recreation and travel within the city:
The City of Toronto Cycling Map is a useful resource for planning safe and scenic bike trips. The map identifies all multi-use trails, bike lanes and shared roadways.