The Metcalf Foundation, which has been helpful to Dufferin Grove Park and many other public spaces, this year gave David Harvey a “Metcalf Innovation Fellowship.” His project was to take a close look at Toronto’s parks, to talk to lots of park users and park staff, and propose remedies for problems, if any. Mr. Harvey was most recently a policy advisor to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, and he knows the ropes of government.
The report, Fertile Ground for New Thinking: Improving Toronto's Parks, when it came out on September 30, created a stir. Mr.Harvey wrote that the city’s parks management is perceived by many of the people he interviewed as having “a culture of no.” He called for a loosening of permit restrictions on picnics and neighbourhood park activities, and much greater local collaboration between park staff and park users. Music to our ears!
The Star: Porter: Parks lovers launch rescue plan, February 16, 2011.