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MRA Letter to Councillor Grimes re: Section 37 and Mimico parks

Sent: March 6, 2013

TO: Councillor Mark Grimes

Dear Councillor:

I am writing to you on behalf of the Mimico Residents Association regarding the Section 37 funds currently being held by the City of Toronto for improvements and enhancements to two parks in Mimico. According to the Section 37 summary provided to the MRA last spring, the City is holding $50,000 for Mimico Memorial Park and $250,000 for Amos Waites Park.

The Mimico Residents Association is formally requesting information on the projects and their timelines that are planned for these two parks. We have also requested a meeting with Parks and Forestry and have had no response.

We understand that there has been some resistance to beginning any improvements as there was a concern that the Etobicoke Waterfront Stormwater Facilities Study had not been completed. The recommendations of the study have since been published with no reference to Mimico Memorial Park.

The Mimico Residents Association looks forward to clarification of the plan with regards to moving forward with these two important community investments.

In addition, we would also like to inquire what other projects and timelines are planned with this money and if there will be any community consultation to guide these decisions. We would be happy to survey our residents for input and/or facilitate a public meeting.

We remain committed to promoting the quality of residential and economic life in and around the Mimico area.

Sincerely,

Kyra Trainor, President
Mimico Residents Association


Note: The February 2012 Report (referred to above) on Section 37 and 45 Development Funds is posted here.

Comments

  1. RE: Amos Waite Park – a Community Centre and FUTURE Planning

    The 20-20 Revitalization Plan is stated to provide for the expansion and improvement of waterfront parks. At the foot of Mimico Avenue and Lake Shore Blvd West, the Amos Waites Park is becoming a popular and busy hub with Mimico Square events. The swimming pool, pedestrian access to the Linear Park extension both to the east and west, a proposed dingy ramp at the foot of the linear park for visiting boaters (750 boats in Mimico harbour with 1000 boating visitors per summer), a proposed splash pad for children and the 20-20 Revitalization plans for Mimico by-the-Lake prompt BIA/residents’ need for a successful facility and vibrant Mimico Community square.

    In looking at principles that make a vibrant community square, a 2005 Study concluded the following essential elements;

    – image/identity (e.g., link to lake and yacht clubs, Board walk and business, residential HBSCA and central Mimico communities),
    – attractions (e.g., band shell, children’s amenities, programmed activities),
    – central location reaching in all directions (stop light at foot of Mimico Ave., transportation links, amenities (lighting, seating, public art, unobstructed pedestrian pathways, shade areas, washrooms, waste receptacles, parking, etc.),
    – seasonal strategy (art displays, skating, concerts, swimming, cafes, X-mas tree lighting events),
    – easy facility access (Mimico Square is on the main road and waterfront path with adjacent stores nearby),
    – a structural facility for community shareholder use (meetings, police stop, events, classes),
    – municipal and community volunteer activity management (BIAs, ratepayer/resident committee, City support staff, maintenance/safety, policing station need), partnership funding (BIA, film/art projects, markets, City).

    So it is clear that Amos Waites Park has many natural attributes inherent in its location and the redesigned development to date (cement pad, band shell, pool, lake access, etc). Hence the Mimico by the Lake BIAs recommendation; consistent with effective planning, to consider all elements in making the park all it can be. Amos Waites Park/Mimico Square will represent the “Village Heart” with a neighbourhood draw to the Lake.

    As with the MRA and others, the Mimico BIA has been actively engaged in the Mimico 20/20 Revitalization process over the past 7-8 years; and as a result, we’ve concluded that creating a vibrant Mimico Square is essential to the growth of our community. We consider that the physical premises at Storefront Humber (SFH) could be an asset to the entire business, resident and visiting community. We value the in-house services provided by SFH but, naturally, have to consider the future use of such a strategic facility as a benefit to all in the community. With the plan for SFH to expand because of physical need, it seemed that SFH has outgrown its space needs and requires larger premises? This is why – with the building lease of a publically-owned asset coming due in 2016 – we needed to propose alternatives before rather than after 2016 when the building would be locked into another lease. We propose that the facility described could be used as a community centre – this was a recommendation arising from 20-20 revitalization public consultations.

    To affirm the significance of the Amos Waites Park by the City, the following is taken from the AMENDMENT NO. 197 TO THE OFFICIAL PLAN OF THE CITY OF TORONTO document; Amos Waites Park is a “central recreational and social focus for the community, complementary to the Village Heart. This may include the expansion of the public park and enhanced park facilities and programming”. The park stated to be the “primary community social and recreational hub” and “priority consideration shall be given for new investment in facilities and programming as well as opportunities for further parkland acquisition”.

    Planning should consider better use of Amos Waites parkland and a Community Centre (building already exists) ought to be seriously considered.

    D. Henderson
    MBTL BIA Member and Resident

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