Monday, November 10, 2008


Jem Cain's letter to Connie Pinto at the Toronto Region Conservation Authority. We await her response.

On Friday the City delivered 24 trash and recycling barrels to the park road along the lakefront in Col. Sam Smith Park. They are huge, almost 8 feet tall and 5 feet across. They will be buried to a depth of 5 feet.
In an effort to get more information a call was put in to the Councillor's office on Friday. Unfortunately the gentleman has not received a return call.
Myself and several people in the community have a number of concerns.
The barrels are so big that a back hoe or large auger will be needed to dig the pits for the containers. How large will the equipment be that will empty the plastic liners that go inside the barrels? How often will they be emptied? How much disturbance will this create to the wildlife that makes the park their home?
The flip top lid appears to be easily opened. Raccoons easily open my garbage cans and I bungee cord them shut. Will they be able to open the flip top and climb inside and be unable to escape?
There is a history of significant vandalism in the park including arson which has resulted in the complete destruction of the observation deck beside the marina, several grass fires and burning the portable toilets so that the only remainder is burnt plastic that scars the asphalt. Understandably, the City will no longer install portable toilets in Sam Smith Park because of the number that have been burned to the ground.
We are concerned that that accelerant will be poured into these bins and they will be set alight, making a spectacular fire.
I know they have similar containers in Cherry beach and the stench near them in the summer is terrible.
Unfortunately, many of us have seen evidence of the wildlife being tormented. There was a beautiful big bird house with multiple openings that was erected about five years ago, that was bashed to the ground within weeks. You could see the wreckage of the nests near where it fell.
We see crushed eggs, and this spring some kids reported that they saw youths throwing rocks at the nesting ducks, and I have heard other anecdotes of cruelty to the wildlife. Sadly, if someone were cruel enough to put a feral cat, or other animal in these bins - they would never be able to escape.
Despite the best efforts of the parks staff, the City cannot keep the few garbage/recycling wire baskets they have in the park emptied now. The containers overflow and litter blows throughout the park. In the summer I often take down my home garbage bags and fill them and leave several bags beside the overflowing litter baskets
We wonder why these huge barrels are necessary? The wire baskets the City currently uses allows raccoons and fox to escape when they forage for food. When they are trapped we can see and hear them, and we tip the basket to allow them out and then stand it back up. Will these bins allow animals access in but trap them so they cannot escape? In a passive park will the installation and maintenance of these bins cause disturbance to the wildlife that lives there? With the history of vandalism will these bins present more opportunity to vandalize the park?
I would appreciate anything you can find out.
Thank you,

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