As you are aware, the Ontario Australian-Rules Football League that plays in the oval on Friday evenings has requested that the City partner with them in constructing a storage bunker for their equipment near the playing area. They wish to replace the current storage boxes along the creek with a permanent solution to deter vandalism.
The City has already assisted this organization by constructing a barrier along the north side to prevent vehicles from damaging the playing surface of the field. As the league is expanding, there is talk of further projects – field irrigation for the drier areas, washrooms, bleachers etc.
Other sports groups, like the cricketers, for example, will no doubt expect that the City provide further accommodations for their specific needs. The fear, of course, is that allowing the construction of more sports facilities will be the thin edge of the wedge and open the floodgates to further construction in the park and on surrounding areas. Are we even sure that quasi-commercial sports teams should be located on these recreation grounds, grounds that until recently were used by local residents and informal sports groups? Will a stadium be proposed later on? All of this should take into account the fact that there is no Public Management/Advisory Board for the park set up yet and a promised, comprehensive review of recreation needs in South Etobicoke has not yet been completed.
FOSS acknowledges that the OAFL expresses a wish to work co-operatively with the other park stakeholders, like Friends of Sam Smith Park, is responsible about cleaning the area after using it and acquires the proper permits for its use of the playing field.
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