Centre For Local Research into Public Space (CELOS)

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A vital little plan for Dufferin Grove Park

From Jutta Mason (CELOS): Vital Little Plans is the title of a collection Jane Jacobs' writings and talks, edited by Samuel Zipp and Nate Storring and published in 2016. If you go to this google link and scroll almost to the bottom, to the chapter called "Can Big Plans Solve the Problem of Urban Renewal?" you can see why the phrase fits what we want to do.

In early May of 2002 I gave Jane Jacobs a copy of the first booklet that CELOS published, Cooking with Fire in Public Parks (first edition). When I saw her again two days later, she said that she'd read it from cover to cover, because she really liked the stories of what ordinary people were doing at Dufferin Grove Park.

It was ordinary people, including front-line unionized staff, who made the park work in such interesting ways, But in 2012, city management directed the staff to stop working the way they were used to. Six years later, the results are in: Dufferin Grove Park needs to change.

Meeting: on Sunday September 30, at 4 p.m., 120 people squeezed into the rink clubhouse and showed their support for working out a governance change for the park.

Two short clips from the meeting here and here.

Subject: can Dufferin Grove Park be run as a "conservancy"?

Comments before the meeting

Comments since the meeting

Councillor Ana Bailao's response letter

Here are some CELOS research workbook pages as we begin looking for solutions:

What is a park conservancy?

WHY is a conservancy a better form of governance?

Structure of the Dufferin Grove conservancy including staff and community roles

Service Contracts

Park work

Here are some notes from Amy Withers, who is part of the CELOS group working on this park conservancy research. Amy worked as a part time recreation program staff at Dufferin Grove from 2003 until 2012 and was an active member of CUPE Local 79.


Assets: Playground

Assets: Trees

Assets: maps


Comments? mail@celos.ca

See also: June 2018 Dufferin Grove newsletter, July newsletter, August newsletter and September newsletter

draft workbook (password needed)

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Content last modified on October 18, 2018, at 08:40 PM EST