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Letter to Head Planner Jennifer Keesmaat regarding Ravines Round Table

Dear Ms. Keesmaat,

I attended the Ravines Round table discussion on December 16th 2015 and wish to make a point that I felt was left unsaid.

It is this: Human physical and mental health should be a crucial component in the over-arching statement that you asked the round table participants to draft.

The ravine’s trees and shrubs, much like our urban or peri-urban parks and parkettes, provide areas for calming, relaxing and enjoyment. The Japanese use the phrase “Forest Washing” to exemplify what and how they feel and experience in their highly populated country when they stroll, walk or hike as individuals or as families in their forests and parks. There is ample peer-reviewed neurological science to support this.

I thought that a lot of time was spent on cost. Plainly, cost effectiveness must be a key consideration of implementation however this strategy must be feasible and flexible, perhaps say over an extended time period.

The final delicate balance between wise use and conservation of the ravine’s biodiversity should be an interesting conclusion. Local citizens should be closely involved in refining the implementation tactics for their particular ravine and finding the appropriate balance between use and conservation of the ravine’s biodiversity.

Thanks for chairing this very relevant and timely session.

Yours truly,

John Cary RPF
President, Mimico Residents Association.


Response:

Thank you very much for these comments John. I agree, health is an important lens to bring to this discussion.

Costs drive many of our discussions because they are frequently the constraint to making much needed improvements.

Warm regards,

Jennifer Keesmaat
Chief Planner and Executive Director
City of Toronto

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