Monday, December 21, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Attention: Josie Franch, Public Consultation Co-ordinator
Re: Etobicoke Stormwater Management Facilities Study–Ward 6
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
December 10, 2009
The provincially-appointed supervisor of Toronto's Catholic school board made several more approvals at Wednesday night's board meeting to pave the way for the consolidation of two Etobicoke elementary schools at a new, to-be-constructed building on Colonel Samuel Smith Park Drive.
At the November meeting of the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) last month, supervisor Richard Alway adopted a resolution to consolidate Christ the King and St. Teresa schools in a new school located on approximately 2.19 acres of land just southwest of Kipling Avenue and Lake Shore Boulevard West, as of June 30, 2012. The consolidation is estimated to save the board approximately $509,753 per year in classroom, school administration, and operations costs, a staff report stated.
At the December meeting of the board held on Wednesday, Alway additionally approved the relocation of St. Josaphat to the vacated St. Teresa site effective June 30, 2012; and the declaration as surplus to the needs of the TCDSB of the current Christ the King Elementary School site, located at 3672 Lake Shore Blvd. W., and the former Brother Edmund Rice Catholic Secondary School, located at 55 Pelham Ave., effective June 30, 2012.
Proceeds from the sale of those two sites (estimated at nearly $14 million) will go towards the construction of the new, $8.3 million, 519-pupil school on Colonel Samuel Smith Park Drive.
With the relocation of St. Josaphat to the St. Teresa site, all three Eastern Rite schools (St. Demetrius and Josyf Cardinal Slipyj) will be located in the southern end of the former Etobicoke boundaries, necessitating Alway to also green-light the immediate initiation of a comprehensive review of all Eastern Rite schools, including service area boundaries and transportation service.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
DOUBLE-CLICK ON THE THUMBNAILS BELOW FOR BETTER VIEW
Sunday, November 29, 2009
This is an extremely early sighting for this species in our park.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Thank you, Dave, for your inspiring story.
Let's all make sure we get out and visit Riverwood.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
For more information, go to the residents' blog.
Please join us down at the OMB next Monday if you can.
Come out to this meeting and share your views.
Monday, November 16, 2009
We will talk about this some more at Thursday's presentation where we will have some blank comment sheets available. They are also available on line.
Many people who attended the presentation last Thursday felt that the November 26th deadline for public comment on this project is way too soon for the community to understand all the implications. A suggested first comment might be a request for more time!
Posted by Terry Smith
Saturday, November 14, 2009
- Will there be just one enormous consolidation site chosen for all the runoff or will the flow be spread out over a number of sites?
- What are the constraints for the different systems on a park specific basis (i.e. if a wet pond solution was chosen, where are the workable locations in Sam Smith?)
- What weight will be given to such selection criteria as habitat protection, cost, technical considerations etc?
Friday, November 13, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
This project has many implications for Sam Smith Park.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Thursday, November 5th
Lakeshore Collegiate Institute
PUBLIC INFORMATION MEETING
ETOBICOKE WATERFRONT STORMWATER MANAGEMENT ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT
Go to City's web site for more information on this project
Thursday, November 12th
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Mark this in your calendar ......
Thursday, Nov. 19th., 7 p.m., Assembly Hall - North Room
Dave Taylor from the Riverwood Conservancy in Mississauga will talk about his organization’s efforts to save and enhance wildlife habitat in an urban setting and their goal to stimulate public awareness by providing educational programs and stewardship activities to the community.
Free. Everyone welcome.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
There is also a kids' photo contest.
Check out the Canadian Wildlife Federation website for more info on this contest..
Friday, October 16, 2009
Let us hold the City to its promise that, after construction, a significant buffer between the cement of the skating trail and the adjacent, environmentally sensitive woodland, wetland and creek is established with appropriate space, plantings and berms.
I wonder how the soon-to-hibernate groundhog colony in the meadow is coping with all of this!
Friday, October 9, 2009
Many thanks to the 20 or so dedicated friends of Sam Smith, who braved the cold, rainy weather last weekend to participate in the City of Toronto's "Live Green Toronto" fall planting.
Along with a number of oak trees, many shrubs producing berries, were planted at the eastern end of the park.
In the years to come, these plants will help to attract even more songbirds to Sam Smith Park.
Photos: George Raikou
Thursday, October 8, 2009
The eastern path into Sam Smith Park, off Thirteenth St., has been repaired after a summer of heavy cloudbursts caused heavy erosion to the natural paths.
Many thanks to the Toronto Parks staff for their timely response to our request.
The many cyclists, mothers with strollers and disabled users of the park can now enjoy their smooth, natural path back into Sam Smith Park once again.
Photos: George Raikou
Friday, September 25, 2009
Skating trail glides ahead in south Etobicoke
September 24, 2009
Revised city plans to build a nearly $2-million ice skating trail in Colonel Samuel Smith Park drew quiet contemplation this week rather than contention.
Long-standing opponents had charged the plan is an intrusion on the lakefront retreat, an argument first raised in 2006 in a protracted battle against a controversial, now defunct, plan to build a skateboard park on the site.
But none of that was in evidence this week.
An open house unveiling by city staff Tuesday night of revised trail drawings moving the skating trail mostly out of the meadow drew few residents.
The revised city plans call for construction of a fully accessible 260-metre linear trail 4.6 metres wide in a figure eight configuration southwest of the park's Power House. Earlier plans, hotly contested by many residents, to build it north of the Power House where a woodlot is located, has since been abandoned.
"The end result works much better," Morteza Behrooz with PMA Landscape Architects said in an interview. "There's a tree planting plan for the whole area; a pond will be created. We'll be introducing new habitat to enhance the area's ecological value."
Project bids closed Sept. 11. The construction contract is expected to be awarded within a month.
"We're looking to break ground this year. We'll do the preparatory work. In spring, the job should be completed," said Daniel McLaughlin, project manager of construction operations, capital projects, with the city's parks, forestry and recreation department.
Recreational outdoor winter skating would begin in December 2010.
Resident Ian Bruce said he'd be lacing up his skates. He skates similar outdoor trails in Brampton, Scarborough, Harbourfront and on Ottawa's Rideau Canal.
"I think it's a nice concept. They made a good decision to abandon any plans to build it north of the Power House," Bruce said. "I have some concerns about conflicting uses with the natural environment, birds and wildlife, but I think this is the least damaging location."
Some residents questioned whether a community advisory group would be struck to plan the future vision of the lakeside park.
Fifteen months ago, Ward 6 Councillor Mark Grimes adamantly opposed Friends of Sam Smith Park (FOSS) membership on any committee. Grimes charged the group is "politically active" and said "nothing is going to happen there" if FOSS was involved.
A Grimes' staffer said Tuesday there is currently a moratorium on new parks' advisory committees while the city determines new terms and conditions that govern them.
"It's better than the original plan," former area councillor Irene Jones said of the new skating trail drawings. "Next, they need to plant the meadow and protect the trees in the park. The Power House needs a use. This is a good use."
But New Toronto Good Neighbours' founder Jem Cain isn't convinced.
Cain, who intends to run against Grimes again in the 2010 municipal election, argued the $2 million could be put to better community use.
"There are lots of other needs, repairs that need done to park equipment where hundreds of families would get the benefit year-round," Cain said. "There's also now free Saturday afternoon skates year-round at the new arena."
Earlier this month, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment officially opened its new MasterCard Centre for Hockey Equipment one kilometre north of the ice skating trail site on Kipling Avenue.
The new 30,000 sq. ft. Maple Leafs' and Toronto Marlies' practice arena is open to the community 250 hours a year, the result of MasterCard funding.
Community use hours include free family skates every Saturday; free open skates for students on professional development days, as well as free ice time from September to June for community groups.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Check out their blog.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Sunday, September 6, 2009
9:00 - 11:00 am, Colonel Sam Smith Park
Leader: Glenn Coady
Meet in the south parking lot (where the road ends) at 9:00 am
Saturday October 17th
9:00 - 11:00 am, Colonel Sam Smith Park
Leader: Hugh Currie
Meet in the south parking lot (where the road ends) at 9:00 am
The walks are lead by experienced birders and are free for anyone who is interested in attending. Everyone is welcome!Walks are held rain,or shine!
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Information Session: Off-Leash Dog Park Policy
Wednesday September 16
Mimico Centennial Library, 47 Station Rd.
Please visit http://www.markgrimes.ca/off-leash-dog-park-meeting/ for more details
Tuesday September 22
Father John Redmond Catholic Secondary School foyer, 28 Colonel Samuel Smith Park Dr.
The purpose of this meeting is to present the revised layout for the skating trail project. For more information please visit http://www.markgrimes.ca/skating-trail/
See previous FOSS post on the revised design
Friday, August 28, 2009
Please come out to this interesting event to learn more and to discover
what simple things you can do to help these miraculous migrants!
Why Songbird Conservation Begins at Home!
Sunday, October 18, 1 - 3 pm
Please join Dr. Bridget Stutchbury of York University and Christina Sharma of Project CHIRP! at the Royal Ontario Museum for an informative and empowering talk on songbird conservation. Review present songbird population trends, causes and solutions, the miraculous feats of our migratory songbirds, and how to create songbird-friendly gardens. Discover how your choices as a consumer can protect critical songbird habitat.
Call 416-236-7234 for more information
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Recently, one of our Sam Smith "on the spot" photographers forwarded a number of picks of our "mystery mammal" catching a fish.
Here are a few of the pictures for you to enjoy.
The hunt! The catch! The reward!!
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Sam Smith Park was very lucky over the last three weeks to elude much of the tree damage that surrounding parks suffered.
At the end of July, Rotary Park, just to the east, endured major damage, which destroyed two trees and many downed branches.
This past weekend, Marie Curtis Park, just to the west, was featured on local Toronto newscasts, with six magnificent mature willow trees being knocked over and some damage to other tree's limbs.
Here are some views of the Marie Curtis willows, courtesy of George Raikou.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Bats are our friend and eat plenty of annoying insects which come out just before dark. One of the best places for viewing is near the eastern entrance at Thirteenth St. Just stand beside the path as you come in look out to the north across the open field.
You can easily spot them fluttering about silently as they swoop in a circle from tree to tree.
Photo courtesy George Raikou
Friday, August 7, 2009
After the violent storms early in July, which wiped out the first nest and egg, our valiant grebes have shown some typical Sam Smith fortitude and rebuilt their watery abode. There are at least 2 eggs currently, which were seen as of the end of July.
If all things go well, we can expect to see our first baby grebes sometime near the middle of August.
Additionally, the newest pair of grebes in the yacht basin are noisily mating and appear to be building a nest beside the orange buoy between the yachts and nest of our original pair.
With any luck we may be observing juvenile grebes well into September!
Photos courtesy of "snapnclk"
Monday, August 3, 2009
Here is some video of our beaver population provided by Angelicque;
Also, you can view some of Angelicque's other Sam Smith beaver videos;
Thanks for these great peeks into Sam Smith beaver life!!
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Next weekend, August 7th to 9th, the 6th Annual Lakeshore Mardi Gras will be held at Colonel Sam Smith Park.
There are many concerts and performers to see...here is a list, as well as a link to the website...
Main Stage Colonel Samuel Smith Park
6:30 to 8:15 PM Two For The Show
START 8:30 PM Fiddelstix
Noon - 1:45 PM Harvest Moon
2:00-3:45 PM Spider Jones & The Fabulous Web
4:00-5:45 PM Uptown Express
6:00-7:45 PM George Oliver & Gangbuster
START 8:30 PM Honeymoon Suite
Noon - 1:45 PM The Homeless Band
2:00- 3:45 PM Diva Mom's & The Three Dad's
4:00-4:45 PM Freedom Train
START 5:00 PM Paul James Band
Monday, July 27, 2009
Some of the the most interesting things to see at Sam Smith park are not flying in the skies, roosting in the trees or swimming around on the lake or in the pond. You can have lots of fun just watching your step and keeping your eye on the ground!
Many birds, such as the killdeer, lay their eggs in nests built in the soil. Have you ever seen a bird pretending to have a broken wing? It is a killdeer trying to lead you away from the eggs it has laid on the ground!
Perhaps you have seen a blur crossing your path or wiggling into the bushes? It may be a local snake which has been hatched in the rocks near the observation deck. Juvenile snakes are just starting to be seen as summer heats up!
Even some spectacular, colourful plants in all their glory are only a glance away down into the meadow. The bumblebees certainly are their biggest fan!
So, the next time you are passing through the park, watch out for that mink, groundhog, or many other of our grounded treasures!
Photos courtesy of Walter Weary and George Raikou.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
There has been much concern over the last few years regarding the drop off in the frog population in Sam Smith park.
Last week, George Raikou was able to photograph some frogs in the pond near the observation deck.
Hopefully this is an indigenous species and not a pet that has been released into the wild.
Any confirmation on this from the photograph here, is welcomed.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
There was some concern after the storm on Saturday, which appears to have wiped out the nest of the Cooper's Hawks near the playing oval.
Happily, two fledglings were spotted on Thursday morning, in the fir trees, just north of the Powerhouse. The juveniles were vocalizing quite loudly and flying from tree to tree in the sunny weather.
If you are lucky and patient, you may be able to spot them for yourself the next time you are walking the path between the south parking lot and the two schools.
Great to see another generation of hawks in and around Sam Smith Park. The first of these pics depicts one of our hawks eating their prey.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Update August 3:The grebes are incubating at least 1 egg as of the end of July. Both the female and the male are taking turns incubating and also are now defending their nest site against a SECOND pair of grebes now residing in the yacht club basin!
Update July 15: The grebes have returned to their original nest site. The female is sitting on the remnants and may be heavy with another egg.
Let's hope for success!
George Raikou has photographed the grebes tending to a new egg near the eastern end of the yacht club basin.
Last year this pair nested in the reeds nearby and also laid eggs. The eggs were found scattered about afterward, so this year the birds have built the nest offshore.
Here's hoping for more eggs in the next few days and some successful hatches by early August.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
Given that this new design is totally different from the concept designs already presented and encroaches on the meadow south of the Power House that was so hotly defended by the community when it was under threat from a skateboarding facility, it is surely advisable to allow the communuty a final say before it goes to tender and construction begins.
As you are no doubt aware the vision for an ice skating trail arises from the Moore George Report which was the master plan for the Lakeshore Grounds. This was more than a decade ago. In accordance with requirements for an environmental assessment , the City
of Toronto has held two public meetings in the last year in regards to the Proposed Ice Skating Trail.
The purpose of these meetings is for a community consultation to have input from the local residents regarding suggestions or concerns they may have for the proposal. Everyone in the Ward were invited to attend the public meetings, including those who had concerns regarding a previous proposal a skateboard park
During the first meeting the topic of discussion was a proposed location at the south end of the Power House in Colonel Sam Smith Park.
Following that meeting, where suggestions were made regarding the location, a second meeting was convened to suggest the location of the trail in the Woodlot to the North end of the Power House.
Once the public meetings had been convened the suggestions and information from the community input is considered in the final plans. The Project has been reviewed by the Provincial Ministry of the Environment, the TRCA and the community has had input. The majority of individuals who contacted staff or the councillors office were in favour of an ice skating trail in Colonel Sam Smith Park.
The project has been through all stages of the assessment process and has been approved by City Council
The Councillor has also taken the time to have staff meet with additional representatives of the community to hear their concerns and address the relevant issues wherever possible.
It is as a result of these many community meetings and the input from the consultation process that the final plan was shaped. Councillor Grimes has made every effort to exceed the city 's basic his legal obligations on this project. Many steps have been taken to concerns raised, such as the re-use of areas that are already paved, the movement of a large portion of the trail to the area south west of the power house, community involvement in the re-planting of the meadow etc.
The Councillor appreciates the input and suggestions that has arisen from the dialogue with the community, and many of them have been incorporated into the final plan.
Monday, June 22, 2009
As I'm sure you are all aware, negotiations between the City of Toronto and both union locals (79 and 416) are continuing. Both union locals, however, are in a legal strike position as of 12:01 a.m. on Monday, June 22, 2009.
Should a labour disruption occur prior to June 24th, the scheduled date of the Etobicoke Waterfront Stormwater Management Facilities Study, please be advised that the public meeting will be postponed until further notice.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time.
Josie Franch (Giordano)
Sr. Public Consultation Co-ordinator
Public Consultation Unit
City of Toronto
Phone: 416-338-2859 Fax: 416-392-2974
TTY: 416-397-0831 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
55 John Street, Metro Hall 19th Floor, Toronto, ON M5V 3C6
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
We understand that the plan is for storm water to be be pumped to a holding facility somewhere in Sam Smith. There has been talk about daylighting some of the creeks in the park and re-establishing the bigger swale as a pond/wetland area.
This will have a huge impact on the park and public input is required.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Spring migration is over. Now we can see the wide variety of birds that make the park their home for the summer. Notable among the nesting species is a pair of Red-necked Grebes which look to be intent on creating the second nest ever recorded in Toronto. This will be our last walk until September.
Meet in the south parking lot (where the road ends) at 9:00. Walks are held rain, or shine.
The photograph of the pair of red-necked grebes is by George Raikou who offers this comment .... "If they are the same two..last year they build their nest and had three eggs but the nest was lost . This year they are building the nest further in the bay. They like to put on a show just after mating."
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Please comment by clicking "Comments" below.