Archive for the ‘Parks’ Category

New Greenspace – Yes!

2007 October 12

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A huge new sports field will be opening soon in the Toronto Portlands.  It seems like an unlikely place for a sports facility, what with the neighbour to the north being a garbage transfer station, and no restidential area even within walking distance.  On the other hand, there are a bunch of other sports happening in the area: the Hanlan Boat Club (rowing), Toronto Multihull Cruising Club (sailing), and the Docks Waterfront Driving Range (golf).  Plus, this field is tagged as transitional, with a life of around 10 years, and will lead the area’s revitalization with the development of new parks and public spaces and increasing waterfront recreational opportunities.  The area is set to become Lake Ontario Park, which will include more playing fields, parkland including new treed areas, and children’s playgrounds.  This is pretty cool, because the city could easily have set this area up for development of residential/commercial mix being as close as it is to downtown.  Check out the official newsletter for this area, and the website for the waterfront in general.

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Toronto, with its natural harbour and islands, could be one of the world’s premier port cities with Barcelona, Buenos Aires, and Hong Kong.  Let’s hope the development of the eastern end of the waterfront goes better than that of the western end (aka Condoland).

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Toronto Parks Series: Waterfront Park

2007 August 1

This morning I got up at the crack of dawn (literally) to head over to Hanlan Boat Club – located at Waterfront Park, in the Toronto Portlands. 

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This park and the area around it are spectacularly beautiful.  It’s surprising to me that much of this land has not been developed as of yet.  What with it’s proximity to the water as well as to downtown, this must be like a developer’s wet dream.  There must be some sort of ordinance protecting this area from the plight of condos, etc.  Thank goodness.  When you look away from the skyline, you can legitimately forget that you’re surrounded by the most urban part of the GTA.  Wildlife and plants abound and there’s a tranquility and stillness of the quiet harbour.

Besides the boat club, Waterfront Park boasts Cherry Beach, some beautiful marshlands, and a really lovely part of the waterfront trail.  Check it out!

UPDATE:  I guess it was too good to be true.  At least a part of this area is set to be developed in the near future, however it is unclear as to exactly what part of the portlands are getting ruined becoming “a vibrant new sustainable community for Torontonians.”  Apparently the limiting factor was flood control.  Here’s a link to the official press release.

Nothing Like a Fag Near a Public Kiddy Pool!

2007 July 20

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Fierce sunglasses!

I ♥ Farmers Markets

2007 July 17

Today I visited, for the first time, the neighbourhood farmers market at Trinity Bellwoods Park.  It runs each Tuesday afternoon from 3 – 7 pm.  Although smallish, the market is full of delicious-looking organic produce, artesian cheese & bread, and freshly-picked berries.  There was also a tempting lemonade stand, a guy selling free-trade coffee and coffee beans, and [what any legitimate market would be incomplete without] a busker playing the accordion.

There were also many Bohemian-type people milling about, so if you’re looking for a place to relax and meet people, you’d surely find someone with whom you could strike up a conversation.

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Toronto Parks Series: Trinity Bellwoods Park

2007 July 16

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Trinity Bellwoods is right at the end of my street, so I thought it would be a good place to begin my quest to discover all the green space that Toronto has to offer. TBP is one of downtown’s larger parks and it has a lot to offer someone looking for some respite from the urbanity of the GTA.  Facilities include a pool & fitness centre (131 Crawford Street), ice/ball hockey rink, soccer field, softball diamonds, and tennis courts.  Apparently a 6 month membership to rec centre and pool is only $90.  On top of all that great stuff, if you just want to relax, the park is 15 hectares large, a significant portion of which is a designated leash-free area for dog owners, known as the pit (or bowl.)

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A group called Friends of Trinity Bellwoods Park helps to manage this space for its users.  They are continually looking for new members to join, and to take on tasks in a number of different committees including:
Green Space – contact Anna, greenspace@trinitybellwoods.ca
Recreation Centre – contact Scott, sykes.chandler@sympatico.ca
Outdoor Activities – contact Patricia, tribellplayground@yahoo.ca
Outreach and Events – contact Jenna, jennahofbauer@yahoo.ca
Farmer’s Market – contact Carolyn, carolyn_w@primus.ca

The weekly farmer’s market, operating in the northwest corner (Shaw/Dundas), is a recent addition to the park. The market runs from 3 to 7 p.m. every Tuesday from June to October, rain or shine.  

Toronto Life magazine shares some local secrets about the park and it’s surrounding neighbourhood.  I’ll definitely be checking out the following:
(a) croissanterie Clafouti, 915 Queen Street West, offers some of the most delectable pastries around;
(b) urban organic garden market Matchbox Garden Seed Company, on Farr’s Lane, off Walnut Avenue, grows veggies, herbs and seedlings which are picked fresh each morning. Open Thursday to Sunday.  

See you at the park.