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Custodians:

Proposal to close Paton Road next to Erwin Krickhahn Park for a community garden, possibly to grow vegetables and renovation of Perth Dupont Library.

In 2007, City Councillor Adam Giambrone set about adding a community garden to part of Erwin Krickhahn Park. Many residents felt that the play area for the children was more important, and there was a large public meeting on the subject. The garden fence was removed. Instead, the councillor has proposed that the dead-end stub of road abutting the park on the north should be dug up and replaced with a garden. That started another round of discussion on the neighbourhood e-lists.

October 16
Jack Fava wrote:

Hi All, Attached in this email is a flyer that is been distributed to residents living in the catchment area around Erwin Krickhahn Park. Adam promised to Consult with residents, but once again failed to hold his end of the bargaining. First was Narrowing of Lansdowne, then almost giving away a park for a Cattle Pen( veg garden), then lying to the good people of Dundas st west Business owners, by taking away their Parking Space and now extending the park to the dead end, without first consulting the residents as he promised

Flyer signed "Concerned Citizens"

Proposal to close Paton Road next to Erwin Krickhahn Park for Vegetable Garden

Dear Neighbours,

We recently learned that Councillor Adam Giambrone is behind a proposal to close the east end of Paton Road and turn it into a vegetable garden where some individuals would be allowed plant vegetables on their own individual plots, with onsite composting. This proposal has already been approved by Toronto and East York Community Council, and by the full City of Toronto Council. Councillor Giambrone has not given any notice to local residents about this proposal.

Two years ago, local residents said “no” to the idea of a vegetable garden in Erwin Krickhahn Park, at a meeting attended by about 100 people. Councillor Giambrone promised residents that he would consult them about any future proposals in Erwin Krickhahn Park.

Since then, Councillor Giambrone has asked city staff to draw up plans to close the portion of Paton Road north of the park, for the purposes of turning it into a “community garden.” This is from the City of Toronto staff report dated May 27, 2009:

Transportation Services recommends that the portion of the public highway known as Paton Road, abutting the north limit of Erwin Krickhahn Park, be permanently closed and jurisdiction be transferred to Parks, Forestry and Recreation.

Councillor Adam Giambrone requested that the Highway be permanently closed and jurisdiction be transferred to PF&R for the development of a community garden.

You can read the report for yourself at:

http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2009/te/bgrd/backgroundfile-22175.pdf

There is also a map: http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2009/te/bgrd/backgroundfile-22009.pdf

On September 15, Toronto and East York Community Council approved Councillor Giambrone’s proposal to close Paton Road. Here is a link to the minutes from the September 15th meeting: http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2009/te/decisions/2009-09-15-te27-dd.htm

On September 30, City Council approved the September 15th recommendation of Toronto and East York Community Council. Here’s a link to the minutes from the council meeting: http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2009/cc/decisions/2009-09-30-cc40-dd.htm

It will cost $65,000 to tear up the road and do environmental testing of the soil. If the soil has to be cleaned up to make it safe to plant vegetables, those costs would be paid by Parks, Forestry & Recreation. Contaminated soil may also have to be stockpiled somewhere in the neighbourhood while this cleanup is going on.

We have been told by city staff that there will be an opportunity for residents to express their views about the proposed closing of the east end of Paton Road and what should be done with this land. We will try to give residents the details when we learn of them. In the meantime, please see the other side of this flyer for what you can do if you have an opinion about this proposal. Thank you for your attention.

Sincerely,

Concerned Local Residents

Other half of flyer signed "Concerned Citizens"

If you want to be heard on this issue you can:

1. Tell the City that you want to be notified about the coming deputations. Email Laurie Robertson of Traffic Planning, lroberts@toronto.ca and tell her you want to be notified about the deputations.

2. Write, Email or call Councillor Giambrone and let him know your views:

City Hall: 100 Queen Street West, Suite C42, Toronto, M5H 2N2

Email: councillor_giambrone@toronto.ca

Telephone: 416-392-7012

A vegetable garden is just one option for the east section of Paton Road, but it is obviously the option favoured by Councillor Giambrone. Some other options are:

Leaving the road as is

Extending the park’s green space for all residents and children to enjoy – not just those who would have control of their individual garden plots

J. wrote:

i want to know what these hippie tree huggers wll do when they get there brown tomatos or green carrots ive had enough of these tree huggers jack enough with the politcs i just paid for my parking permit you think im giving that up for vegatables lol you when i moved in here i chased hookers drug dealers people drinking in the park for what this gebronie guy hes a real winner i really want to see this guy in person

Jack Fava

This is exactly the thing I was worried about. People are getting angry about this. This is not all about gardens. This is reliving the past all over again, this is a perfect example of the what I was trying to say about the lack of consultation with the residents.

J. wrote:

im not angry im pissed im tierd of these hippie tree huggers telling me whats good for me they better get ready for a fight

October 17
B. wrote:

Hi J.,,,dont get angry at tree huggers.. there not all bad..

I love greenery , wish we could incorporate more of it into the community , but im also a very practical and reasonable person too and know that its not always possible or very practical a thing to do sometimes,,,

for example, it was in the past suggest to us on sterling rd. that greenspace be put along the side of our street, But after discussion with the neighbors they quickly pointed out that if the street were made even more narrow to accommodate green space it would create even more problems when winter came round with respect to snowploughing and residents not being able to park their cars in the winter etc..it was already hard enough to accomplish adequate snow removal on our narrow street so a further reduction in road width would compound the already existing problem...so what looked like a good idea on paper down at city hall, was in the end something that might cause more problems for the neighbors in the community.. So just saying john , hippie tree hungers can be practical and reasonable people too

J. its not at all about tree huggers(hippie or not) vs concrete lovin city slickers. Its all about giving to the local residents what suits their needs best as per their request...

Its not so much about what will become of that small stretch of road, The issue is all about the people who live nearby or next to it, for them to be able to have a say on the matter and in determining how that project should be implemented(or not be implemented) so that the end result will be a positive and useful one for them , after all they are the ones who will most likely be living next to it for decades to come, and they know the needs of their street and them self's better than anyone , including councilors or the city officials who dont actually live on that street......

So in the end no matter what it is, be it a park or simply left alone as an extra place for LOCAL residents and neighbors to park their cars , then so be it as long as its what the residents living next to that spot wish it to be...IMO..

And as Virgina points out, - there is also a home owner living right next to that spot, and i wonder what their take on this is, or if their point of view was ever even considered,,,maybe if a garden was put in they might not appreciate strangers chatting and making noises all day long right next to their home or bedroom windows with shovels etc..yes i know that sounds kinda silly but hey one must consider the various possible opinions of the persons living directly right next to the spot in question, and contemplate how you might feel if it were you in their position...perhaps a proposal entering into the discussion is that if the road is removed for either form of green space be it the grass fields extension or vegetable garden, that a privacy sound barrier fence or hedge row or a buffer zone of empty space should be provided to give the next door home owner some privacy ..that is if that is what they would like done after they have been thoroughly consulted about the matter first..

J. its been years since i heard that term "hippie tree huggers" used ...you chose to use an interesting selection of terms,,,although im not really sure it applies in this particular situation..

Our community will be watching with interest to see how this unfolds for you all...hope that you all in the end will be satisfied with whatever the outcome will be..just be careful in what ever choice you folks end up making, cause as we on sterling rd are unfortunately finding out, its not easy to get politicians to reverse even the simplest of things, even when the entire community wants them reversed..

Jack Fava wrote:

B., This J. person who is upset, is the same person who lives next door to the dead end. I will add some pictures to this email to give you some visual. The end as you may or may not know, has an under path from one side of Paton Rd to the other side of Paton, going under the rail tracks. This was sealed off years ago for safety reasons. Not to mention for virus and diseases. This path is dark and damp, good breeding grounds for rats, mice and other things. I suggested that we tear it down and cover it up with soil or fill it in as they say. I have called the City and Provincial level, due to rats coming from the under path. John has a good point and this should of been brough up for discussing prior going to the City for extension. Having a garden next to this path, is not healthy for no sides. I have decide this will be my last email, as I believe everyone heard enough, so I apologize for the emailsssss, but all sides must get heard.

R. wrote:

You definitely have a right to say whatever you like. I didn't say you didn't, I just said it's a ridiculous thing to get worked up about. All the more so if you actually don't have any issue with turning a dead end road into a park or community garden.

> Yes, it's a dead end, but people live in and around the ugly street you are referring to. I > guess you would know about ugly, living in Canada's ugliest condo.

Yes, living in BeBloor i'd like to think i'm an expert on Ugly. So, are people seriously attached to that dead-end road? I only walk past it on my way to Yasi's, so there might be more to it than I know. Maybe it's a road children play on?

Jack Fava wrote:

R., This is more then a dead end issue, it's about tax payers/residents having an input. A right for them to have a say in what happens in their own back yards. This is the result of what happens when you lesson to one group of people, ideas and projects and not the others, exact thing that happened two years and how and why we got to this point.

Michael Monastyrskyj wrote:

Hold on a second Jack. You're the one stirring things up. As a resident you have the right to say you're against a garden in the park, but you're distorting facts and that's wrong. Chris Gallop has explained the situation. The park extension has been approved but there will be consultation about the proposed garden. If that doesn't happen, you'll have a legitimate complaint, but not before.

I had some sympathy for you the last time around because the garden would have occupied some of the park's play area, but even then you refused to consider explanations for why the garden was bigger than it was supposed to be (apparently an error by the work crew laying it out). You always complain that Adam Giambrone isn't listening, but what about you? Do you ever listen to what other people have to say? Do you ever try to consider the other person's point of view?

We've known each other for a few years now and I like you. You're a good man who cares about the neighbourhood, but sometimes you go about things in the wrong way. If you have reasons for opposing a garden, make your arguments, but please be careful not to twist the facts to support your point of view.

Jack Fava wrote:

I have already told Mike he can thinks what he likes. I know for a fact Adam, has wanted a community garden in the park for a very long time, regardless if we get a community consultation or not, or even cares if we care or not not. He has done and will do what he wants anyway. He has meet with a group of people in this apart of the hood for a while. He has picked his project, groups and people and will continue to do as such. I will continue for fairness and to make sure that our elected officials are transparent and up front.

S. V. wrote:

Hey J.- I hope people realize that you are a huge asset to this community. You are always willing and 'first in line' to help, and have done so much to better the lives of thers in the area. We've recently moved out of the area, so please take us off this distro list... Wishing you successes in your endeavours re: Erwin Krickhahn Park and other matter involving municipal govnt

Jack Fava wrote:

I would like to explain Michael comments, coming from me, As he has not heard why. I do understand why Mike would say this, but I would like to explain anyway. I was upset with the explanations as to why, as the Plots of the garden went from 12 plots to 28 Plots. I asked the workers/supervisor one morning myself as to why, and he showed me the papers. I asked why did the size of the garden go from one size to another, and he said, this is what I have on paper and this is what I was asked to do. I don't see this as a complete error, but rather an error of convenience. Lets say, as a home owner I was applying for a permit to build, and I extended my property and didn't hold my end of the deal, or even went into my neighbours property, lord forbid, if I went from a 12 plots size to a 28 plots size, this is a hell of a difference. The City would have come down on me so fast and hard. If we didn't react the way we did, this maybe would of been different situation. I don't mind multi use of space, but this was a little to much, taking over the park, no one did take the responsibility and blame and call it an error, wasn't good enough for me. We pay this City workers good money to do their jobs, yes mistake happens from someone had to put it from mouth to paper, and an error like this caused a community crisis's. I think community gardens do play a big part in society, but not everywhere is a garden a good place. My mother does a veg garden every year, every since coming to Canada from Italy, in the early 1960's. I find this very therapeutic for her, so I'm not against gardens, I hope I'm clear as to why I was upset from my end. I will add some pictures what the garden looked like.

AboutUs- AboutUs-

 
Adam Giambrone wrote:

Jack,

Why don't we find a time to discuss this? If you're willing, I'll get Chirs in my office to work with you to find a time.

Meetings on what to do with the closed road will go ahead in the winter in advance of determining the final use of the space.

Jack Fava wrote:

Adam, If I can make a suggestion, is for you to organize a community meeting with the residents who live in the catchment area of Erwin Krickhahn Park and really hear to what the residents have to say, but make sure to be there in person and not send a rep from your office. I also don't think it's a good idea for me to attend this meeting, instead have Michael Monastyrskyj, Virginia Novak and John Maciel to represent the residents, to make sure that the residents get a fair chance and are heard and that the meeting goes well. I hope you can understand that me been at this meeting is not a good idea. I say this for the best interest of the meeting. I would rather be on the sidelines and hear back at a later time from any of the three names that I mentioned.

J. W. wrote:

Hello Adam and staff,

I just wanted to clarify something that I believe is misconstrued in the last e-mail from Jack Fava. As far as I know the residents of this neighbourhood have not chosen a representative for this meeting, and if they have there certainly weren't any visible consultations. I will be attending the meeting and do not presume to represent anyone other than myself and my family.

October 18
D. A. wrote:

Oh wow, man. Last time I got in a fight with a redneck, I tripped in my drug-addled state over my own sandals and he grabbed me by my long greasy hair and almost strangled me with my own love beads. But I managed to give him a flower while he was doing it, man.

C. F. wrote:

Wow, that's heavy, man. Sounds like you had one of those near death experiences. It was cool of you to pass along that symbol of peace and love though. A reminder of what it's all about, ya? Maybe next time you will get to pass him a spliff.

Oh, and you should try Birks, man. They are good for your feet. Nice and solid with the earth.

Jack Fava wrote:

There are many who feel the same way as J. does. Making fun of someone who doesn't agree with your views and opinion isn't a bad person or some rednecks. It's the message he is try to put worth and not the way he writes it. I find this becoming a trend with some people, if you don't agree with someone or group these days, boy you are your different.

D. A. wrote:

Hi Jack. I was making fun of the hilarious idea that people who support a greener city are "tree hugging hippies" - which to me is clearly insulting and making fun of people you know nothing about. If you're going to start throwing out those kinds of insults, come on, you've got to be prepared to take it as good as you dish it out.

Anyway, I'd rather be called a redneck than a tree hugging hippie. I grew up in the country in the 70's, and my experience of rednecks was of honest hard working farmers. The only hippies I ever met were dirty, stoned, unemployed and kinda menacing to young children on the sidewalk when I went into the city. So don't call me a hippie, man.

Please keep in mind my comments are all intended in a humorous and friendly spirit, but not to attack John as a "red neck," whatever that may mean to you or him..

F. Wrote:

Jack, did you miss the fact that JOHN called the people who are for this garden tree huggers, hippies, etc. It seems a bit one-sided to call out Doug for calling him a Redneck when you aren't willing to call out John for describing those for the park so dismissively. The fact John doesn't use punctuation at all and writes poorly is really besides the point. Those opposed to the park have already made this discussion very adversarial in the way they are carrying themselves. Instead of a reasoned discussion, we have people talking about mythical hippies and tree huggers. I haven't seen anyone with tie dye shirts, beads, and Birkenstocks working at Adam's office. Maybe I haven't been looking hard enough.

S. W. wrote:

Hello all,

I have been following this ongoing exchange (somewhat) and won’t weigh in with respect to the particular matter at hand, although I do, as a neighbourhood resident, support a further greening of our area.

I do, however, want to express my concern that the back and forthing here, especially when copied to our councillor and staff, only serve to weaken our collective cause. I mean no disrespect to any individual here and, in fact, am pleased to see this level of engagement and interest. That said, personal and professional experience has taught me that use of a community forum/tool such as this, to put forward personal attacks, messages of an ambiguous nature (ie, are they meant in jest or in earnest?) and messages claiming to speak on behalf of a group when no such mandate exists, only serve to dig a deeper ditch for ourselves, as community advocates. A corrosive impression is left among many moderate readers, and will political staff that the community tool reflects only the views of individuals at the fringe. It also discourages broader, active participation. Lastly, it presents a picture of disorder and dissent at community level which diminishes the extent to which any elected official—at municipal, provincial or federal level—will place a premium on engaging members of the community.

If I may be so bold, I would like to suggest the following for the future use of this list:

1) that we agree, in general, that there is a need for public consultation on matters such as the park, and also agree to withhold our judgment regarding people’s individual beliefs/preferences when issues of “process” are being raised;

2) that when something upsets us, we take a few hours to cool off (maybe even a day) and then come back to the list a bit more calm and collected, so that we can engage each other in a spirit of good will. If any of us feels the need to immediately disagree or contest an issue/or point, may I suggest just sending a quick email, stating something like, “I disagree with what you are saying John Doe, for a number of reasons…I will write to the group again shortly with some of my reasons”. It’s only human to amplify our tone when we’re a bit upset or impassioned about something, so taking a step back can save everyone a lot of avoidable drama and frustration (I’m not saying this as an ‘angel’…but as someone who, himself, has been a bit too quick with the keyboard and “send” button in the past);

3) that, if we ABSOLUTELY feel the need to “air dirty laundry” or sort out controversy via this list, that we refrain from copying Councillor Giambrone and staff on messages until such time as some preliminary dialogue can be had. It is inevitable that there will be disagreement and controversy in the neighbourhood, and an open exchange is healthy. However, to the extent that we can demonstrate community cohesiveness and some political savvy—using a “process approach”, and limiting the extent to which we engage the councilor, or our MPP and MP in the small stuff, the better will be our chances of impressing on them the need for them to engage us (and the potential consequences of not doing so);

Given everyone’s scarce time, and the challenge in coordinating folks in the community, this list can and should be a valuable tool to share ideas, hammer out “compromises” with respect to differences of opinion in the community, and to actually prepare residents to engage the councilor or other officials. How about floating proposed ideas and compromises, instead of attacking others’ ideas (eg, “hey Alex, I know you and others are strongly opposed to Bob’s recommendation about having cat scratching posts on every street corner…but what would you think about compromise “x”…would that satisfy some of your concerns?”).

Let’s try to use this forum constructively. It’s probably the best chance we’ve got to drive forward shared concerns and make sure that our elected officials become further engaged. Perhaps we could even get Mr. Ruprecht, for instance, to show his face in the community other than at election time.

My impression is that everyone on this list is committed to a strong, inclusive community. We may have differences of opinion as to the exact vehicles to achieve these goals, but we’re all here to better our neighbourhood. How about we all commit to digging just a bit deeper, taking a few extra breaths and summoning just that little extra ounce of goodwill to optimize this list for everyone. Our similarities far outnumber our differences afterall.

OK, I’ll leave it there. Not trying to preach. Thanks to everyone on here for our continued efforts to make our ‘hood a safer, more inclusive and healthier place to live. There is still nowhere else in the City of Toronto I would rather live!

Jack Fava wrote:

Jeff, I mentioned Virginia, John and Michael as they were very much involved 2 years ago, including myself, but I have chosen not to attend. There are many residents in the catchment area of Erwin Krickhahn Park that came to the meeting 2 yrs ago and recognize them and trust them. That is the reason I mentioned there names. I think the residents will make up there minds and know the issues about the park, when I said represent, I meant in a supportive way.

Michael Monastyrskyj wrote:

I'm not qualified to represent the people who use Erwin Krickhahn parkette. Those residents should be allowed to speak for themselves. Jack, while I'm flattered you have confidence in me, you should have talked to me first before putting my name forward.

Jack Fava wrote:

Mike, You are right, I should of asked you, so I apologize for that. I thought (assumed) since you were at the last meeting 2 yrs ago and you were at the protest with us at the garbage strike at Campbell Park for a week, not been asked, you didn't mind. I guess, I/we seen you as a neutral person, writing things in your blog as you see it, like you always do. So for this reason I thought you would be an ideal neutral person to be present at a meeting. I felt and I can speak for many on this and I want to be open and strait forward, when you have a councillor of a ward, in favour of something that some in the community might not, makes the playing field uneven. I hope you can understand.

D. C. wrote:

Here is a reminder of the DIG IN Netiquette
DIG IN requests e-mail discussion be respectful of each other and have goodwill and good intentions toward each other and the neighbourhood. Our improvement goals are stated in the mission statement. Please use this list serve for issues related to improving the area and /or support for individuals, businesses and groups located within it. Please ensure that e-mails are constructive, respectful and work towards building a better sense of community where all are welcome.

Keep talking! Just keep it respectful.

From: Michael Monastyrskyj

(:includefieldpage field=AboutUs NeighbourhoodDiscussions.Narrow-mindedVsCrazy##end:)

(:/document:)

October 20
Jack Fava wrote:

Adam, I was speaking with Virginia and ask her to bring some ideas and concerns forward to your meeting with her this evening. I hope you understand that me not been present, will elevate the already existing tension and will give the residents of the catchment area, time to regroup and decide on what they want to do. When a general meeting is decided on, I will help with flyers and encourage the residents to attend the meeting.

1) One thing you need to do as the councillor for all residents of ward 18, is be present and to make sure that the process happens fair and without bias. Everyone known's you meet many times with the garden group on campbell on sundays, and we also know your position on gardens, green space and other environmental issues ( boy you/city sure fucked up, when you put the garbage in parks, very confused when you/city say you care about green space then do that???)

2)The dead end might not be a good idea for a garden, due to the issues mention in previous emails, but might warrant having trees, shrubs and others green stuff near the wall and dead end, so no one can scale the wall to get over to lansdowne or vice-versa or dump garbage at the dead end. Plus I have never seen a garden so close to homes before??? may not be a good idea at that location.

3)A garden might be good idea, if all the residents agree on, on the south side of the park after the play ground.

4) Like I said before, gardens do play a part in society, but I don't believe a garden is good in all locations. I don't believe you should put a garden anywhere, just because a hand full of people say so

Jack Fava wrote:

Carmen the librarian and fellow CPLC member, who has looked after our kids for years, along with her dedicated colleagues, have one wish. So she has asked me to spread the word and to make some noise about her one wish, and that is to have the Perth Dupont Library renovated. Personally I think the library has seen it's days and has out grown it's self and is busting at the seems. Many library across Toronto has gotten a renow job, time for our community library to get the same. This has been a safe place for the children and adults to go, after school or on the weekend. Read a book or go on the computer. Lets support Carmen and her colleagues, by passing this email on.

S. W. wrote:

That’s definitely an idea that I support. The renovation of the Gladstone Library near Bloor/Dufferin has had a remarkable effect on the community and it would be wonderful to see this effect cascaded to other parts of the city. Public libraries hold so much potential to act as community hubs and civic centres. It’s too bad that they are not an even higher priority. Every time I walk past, or visit Gladstone Library I smile…this is a shared beauty mark for the community, something that shiny, new business storefronts (while very important) still cannot match.

S. wrote:

The budget for the library renovations comes from the City. So we need to get names of those on the Library Board, together with our M.P.P., M.P. for support. I am trying to find out if the District Manager for Swansea is the same one as for Perth as she should be on the list too.

Jack Fava wrote:

Thanks for emailing me back. I also receive other emails to share. I did get a little request from carmen, it includes an expansion, to provide and make more space for more children. I also agree that this is a privilege to have a library, which most poor country's don't have, and they really currish thee books, sometimes we take things for granted. I also agree from S. we need to get our MP and MPP aboard.

October 23
Jack Fava wrote:

Adam, There is a need to expand the Library at Perth Dupont site for a very long time. As you know this community does not have very much as far as resources, like other communities have. But I was wondering if you can advocate to the powers to be, to put this Library on the forefront for expansion and renovation. Just like many of the other Library's in Davenport had.

The other thing is and correct me if I'm wrong, what I understand, New builders pay money towards the community. I think this is called Section 36, what has happened to this money and to which project has this money gone to, if there was any money.

The other thing is, I have been calling this "Carmen's Wish" to expand the Library, though she would want nothing more then to see this library bigger and better for the community. I think this should be the Children or Community's wish. Though residents have been talking about it for a while, I think it's time it was brought to the attention of our 3 elected officials

Chris Gallop

Jack, could we sit down at some point to chat about ideas for this branch?

Tony Ruprecht wrote:

Dear Jack,

I am certainly standing ready to help out in any way I can.

Just let me know.

Jack Fava wrote:

Hey C., Thanks for responding back. What I like to do is see who else would be interested in this and meet as a group. I don't want to feel that this is my baby. I have been hearing about the library issue for months from residents. I decided to put it out there and see if anyone else was interested. FYI, I also received a response from Tony Ruprecht our MPP (see email in black below), who is iterested in this.

B. wrote:

good luck with getting improvements for the library folks,

But im gonna point out and remind you all that the budget was released this week and it was bad news all around,,,Real big deficit, and now their talking about possible big cuts to many government services and workers jobs, as well as pay freezes too i think...anyway in case you folks havent been watching the news this week i suggest you look up the Ontario budget on google or watch the news for the weekend news recap..

Sorry I dont mean to be the barer of bad news, But just keep in mind the recent budget announcement when requesting improvement funds for the library...

A thought just occurred to me , (i could be wrong in my thinking hear, but I will run it by you all),,,

If you ask for financial aid for the library in these bad times you may not get as much money as you would have in better financial times,,,if they say they only have a little money to spare and you take it and use that small amount of money for just a little renovation, is it gonna be worth it ,,,But if we wait till the economy is better and ask for the money then, maybe you can get a lot more money granted to fix the library and get a much better job done on the library once and for all, and be left with no regrets where we end up saying to our selfs "Too bad we couldnt have gotten enough money to have got such and such a thing done or added to the library as well" ...

Im just thinking if your gonna do it , maybe do it right the first time sorta thing and not end up stuck with a half done job that you will never be truly happy with because of a lack of government cash availability ...

Perhaps Chris , adam, tony Ruprecht , or Silva could better provide a answer to this question of the economic practicality of this project at the present time...

Or if as you say jack there is already money in the coffers that is "DUE" to be used by our community from past building projects then that may be a way of the library project getting around the bad economic budget cuts that are probably coming very soon...

I dont know the answer to all this myself ??? ,Im just raising some points for you all to consider when dealing with the city to try and get funding for the library project...

I do wish you all best of luck in improving the library..I think fixing up the library sounds like a good idea. as long as its not done by expropriating the homes/properties of any of your neighbors etc...

Jack Fava wrote:

B., You are right, times are tough. But maybe the money can come from a private donor. If not, we will have to wait and see. Boy, that Billion dollars of ehealth money would of come in handy

D. B. wrote:

Apologies for the chatter, especially to those of you whom I have not met.

That library is way too small and noisy, especially given that there is no community centre in our area. Since bad times are when governments should and do run deficits, I think this is a great time to start pressuring people. Especially too-comfortable Tony Ruprecht. What does that guy do to earn his keep?

But if we're going to start asking, let ask for a full-on community centre on the vacant lot at Symington and Dupont.

Jack Fava wrote:

Good points. Why not a Community entre,Library and also some Day Care/early years space. The lot next to the Wallace bridge is a good idea. I will ask Carmen if we can have a meeting at the Library to see if we can get a group of us, like Virginia mentioned in one of her earlyer emails. This should be a community venture if this is the direction the community wants to go???

I can't respond about what Tony does or doesn't do, but one thing I do know that both Mario and Tony have to get more involved with social and community issues and concerns that are important to the residents of Davenport. I know Tony has said he wants to get involved with the Library and we will hold him to that

October 26
S. wrote:

I have been following the trail of emails with great interest. I have been involved with Swansea Memorial Library since 1999 when the TPL wanted to close the branch. Since then we have had several managers and Library Service Managers come and go and I have found them to be a great resource when it comes to what is happening in our branch.

I think the first thing the group needs to do is speak to Fabienne Fox who is the Library Service Manager for the Perth/Dupont Branch. Her office is at the Bloor and Gladstone Branch 416-393-7644. She may well know if this branch is on any list for future renovations and if not how to begin the process.

As to developing another building into a community centre with a library what about the 11 Division building owned by the City which is going to come available as of Aug. 2011? I appreciate it is in a different Ward actually Ward 13 but I am sure there would be support for this as the Junction does not have spaces for groups to rent rooms at reasonable rates. I could see this being modeled after the Swansea Town Hall which is home to the Swansea Memorial Library.

Jack Fava wrote:

Thanks for your input, this is why I included you in these emails. I realize you are not from this part of the hood, never the less. Your past experience dealing with the library at swansea is helpful, welcomed and appreciated. The word is out, this community is in need of many things, well over due. A community centre, library, daycare space are some things that this community is in need of. Buy having some, or all these things will make our community a better place to live.

Jutta Mason wrote:

A little cost (and timing) estimate of a multipurpose library/community centre/daycare:

1. People who live around Sorauren Park, further down the tracks, have been working toward a similar community centre for 16 years. The community made a fairly simple list of what they wanted and it turned out to have a price tag of $21 million. That's just to build it.

2. To staff and maintain a multi-purpose community centre costs between $500,000 and $1.1 million a year. That's without running a library.

3. Wallace Emerson Community Centre is 10 minutes walk from Perth-Dupont Library. JJP Community Centre is 20 minutes walk up the hill at St.Clair and Lansdowne. Both of them are large and well-equipped. There are many struggling neighborhoods in Toronto which have far fewer community centres, much further away, and so it would probably take about 30 years to get another one approved for this area. And finally....

4. The funding formula for new Parks and Rec buildings is 95% from new debt, only 5% available from taxes. Paying the yearly interest on that debt is just about to hit 15% of the operating budget -- i.e. 15% of the tax money meant to maintain and run programs in the existing community centres, rinks, and playgrounds in the community where you live, Jack, is being used up for interest payments.

This is no time for shopping for new stuff -- time to make the most of what's already there.

Jack Fava wrote:

Hey Jutta, The difference between the Sorauren community and ours is at least they talked about it. I don't ever remembering hearing our elected officials, past or present ever talking about such ideas and projects, not just about community centres, daycare space or even a library, but social issues in general, like poverty, hungry and so forth, we hear about it, it becomes a topic issue during election, but that's about it. We are building pretty picket fences and adding flowers, but forgetting to deal with the real issues, about the meat and potatoea ofthings. Going back to what you were saying, you can't compare the two neighbourhoods($$$), very different demographics. Another thing, I have been following politics for a very long time and when Councillor Rob Maxwell decided to waste money on the under path at Paton rd, even after residents told him not to, some 25 yrs ago. I often hear residents saying that there has been money wasted and spent on things that could of been used else where, projects that the whole community can use, instead of a few. Plus this community has grown in people numbers, lot more construction happening. Lastly, for me I would feel better knowing that I tried, then not to try at all.

October 27
Jutta Mason wrote:

Hi Jack -- you wrote: "I often hear residents saying that there has been money wasted and spent on things that could of been used else where, projects that the whole community can use, instead of a few." Yes, isn't that the truth -- the spending of our collective tax money could certainly improve. Our little research group, CELOS, has been "following the money" for some years now, with the help of quite a few Freedom of Information requests. We're now wondering about where -- in this area -- the federal stimulus funds are being spent by the City, and also, whether residents are having any say. Any thoughts?

V. G. wrote:

Here's a pretty good summary in a CBC article: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/toronto/story/2009/09/11/toronto-federal-stimulus-infrastructure233.html

Interesting... On the Stephen Harper Advertising Page, aka Canada's Economic Action Plan website, there's even a Google map that shows where specific projects are happening. I haven't poked around much on this yet...just found it:

http://www.actionplan.gc.ca/initiatives/eng/index.asp?mode=5&initiativeID=116&clientid=33

Around here, it seems like we're getting a crapload of "Laneway Improvements". :) Does anyone else on this list know?

Jutta Mason wrote:

The CBC link does say that Toronto is getting $10 million for parks. I wonder where and for what?

Oddly, the headline says we're getting $200 million altogether, but the numbers don't add up.

November 17
R. wrote:

You can read the story here:

http://www.torontosun.com/news/torontoandgta/2009/11/17/11771376-sun.html

It seems the neighbourhood only makes the papers when people are mad at Giambrone, or when someone gets shot/stabbed/etc.

V. G. wrote:

They also posted a video last night: http://videos.torontosun.com/video/featured/toronto-and-gta/5745370001/residents-raging-over-park-debacle/50654072001

Michael Monastyrskyj

In the Sun article and video, Kevin Putnam accuses Jack Fava of running a Conservative front group and of spreading misinformation.

This is nonsense. I've known Jack Fava for three years and while he sometimes drives me crazy, he's one of the most honest people I've ever met. Unlike some politicians, he doesn't lie and stab people in the back. If he's mad at you you know it, because he yells in your face. I find that refreshing. The other day Jack was angry with me because of my email defending Fuzzy Boundaries and he said so upfront. He even used some thinly disguised profanity. That's the kind of honesty you get from Jack.

Yes, Jack Fava is a Conservative, but as far as I can tell his supporters aren't. Jack has never made a secret of his opposition to Adam Giambrone, but to suggest as Kevin Putnam does, that Jack is only using the community garden as a way to undermine Adam's political aspirations is false. Jack opposes the garden because he opposes the garden. If a conservative city councillor were putting in a garden, Jack would still be opposed.

Kevin Putnam has ties to the Liberal Party. Does that mean his support for the community garden is a part of a conspiracy to promote the Liberals? Not every issue is partisan. Sometimes people just disagree for reasons that have nothing to do with political parties.

Let's talk about misinformation. Kevin Putnam says there has plenty of public consultation. That's not true and he knows it. Adam Giambrone with the help of Kevin and his friends are doing an end run around the community because they know supporters of the garden are a minority. Adam is doing here what he did on Lansdowne. He's ignoring residents who disagree with him and in the process showing contempt for his own constituents.

The last time Adam tried to put in a garden at Erwin Kirckhahn, a large part of the neighbourhood spoke up against the idea. I went to the meeting where Adam and people from Foodshare had to face a room of angry residents opposed to the garden.

If there were another public meeting, people would be just as angry and that's why there hasn't been one. Why is Kevin Putnam saying there has been public consultation when he must know there hasn't been? Kevin's statements sound to me like political spin from a professional public relations expert, which Kevin just happens to be: http://www.expressogroup.ca/

This may sound melodramatic but there is a neighbourhood war in the area west of Lansdowne. On one side is Jack Fava, Virginia Novak and many local residents, most of whom seem to be working class. On the other side is Kevin Putnam and many other local local residents, most of whom seem to be middle class. This war is personal and it's getting ugly. This isn't simple disagreement. It's mutual hatred and I find it disgusting.

Where is Adam Giambrone in all of this? Is he trying to get people to work together? Is he trying to find a compromise? No. He's taking sides and playing cynical political games. In the Sun article he describes the garden as a community-building initiative when he knows a very large part of the community is against it. How much more cynical can you get?

Adam Giambrone for mayor? The man isn't fit to be city councillor.

D. A. wrote:

(although I also fail to see how busting up some concrete and dumping some topsoil can amount to 60 grand, but that's another matter.

E. k. wrote:

Can I make a suggestion that may help in this case?

Can those that oppose the capitol project initiatives in my neighbourhood come up with an alternate list based on their vision of the neighbourhood? If capitol spending is to occur perhaps the having a list under Adam's nose would help instead the cycle of proposal/opposition we always seem to get into.

Michael Monastyrskyj

Eric Klaver is changing the subject. This is not about objection to capitol projects.

This is about broken promises and using the media to spread misinformation. Adam Giambrone promised there would be consultation before anything was done to Erwin Krickhahn park. He broke that promise. He promised to consult residents about the narrowing of Lansdowne. Nobody objected to spending money on a necessary reconstruction. People were upset because the street's layout was changed without residents being given a chance to comment and make suggestions.

Kevin Putnam is saying things about Jack Fava that are not true. I find that reprehensible. If Kevin wants to defend the garden, I wouldn't say a word, because I don't care about the garden one way or the other. Jack Fava is my friend and I get angry when people slander my friends in the media.

Are we saying anything goes in politics? Are we saying it's acceptable to break promises if a politician supports a policy we like? That's it's acceptable to spread misinformation if it furthers an objective we support?

E. K. wrote:

Yes I am changing the subject because I am trying to find a proactive way out of the proposal/opposition cycle that constantly comes up here. It is a self-defeating exercise to say no to something without saying what you would say yes to.

May I remind everyone that this group was formed on a vision of our neighbourhood and proposed a means of achieving that vision. As a result, the city has to take notice and, to a certain extent, entertain that vision. It's called working with someone to achieve a goal.

If your vision is 4 lane roadways and four foot wide sidewalks, state it.

As far as I'm concerned, the area had the opportunity to spend $65,000 improving the neighbourhood. By saying no without proposing an alternative you are kissing a $65,000 opportunity goodbye, while simultaneously suggesting that you like having a patch of roadway that leads to nothing but a stone wall and in the meantime kissing a $65,000 opportunity goodbye. An apt metaphor for the unproductive to-ings and fro-ings I constantly see showing up on this list.

Respectfully,

D. A. wrote:

I have some questions (although maybe this all needs to be moved to Michael's discussion site): How can we expect to be consulted on every decision like this, and who gets consulted?

I didn't hear about this situation until it came up on the Digin group. I'm not involved in Digin, but signed on to the discussion because I like to hear about what's going on in the neighbourhood - and by the way Jack, no, even though I subscribe to the Digin site, I'm not a tree-hugging hippie socialist liberal (my apologies in advance to any tree-hugging hippie socialist liberals who may actually be digin members). I was never consulted and I'm sure most of my neighbours weren't - but I wouldn't want to be, because I don't think it makes sense for government to consult with absolutely everybody on everything that happens - if you think they're spending too much money now, imagine how much more would go into consulting everybody on absolutely every decision.

Clearly some people are angry about this decision who claim to be in the majority. How many, I don't know, let's say 50, for argument's sake. But how can they prove they are the majority? I know quite a few people in the neigbourhood who probably aren't aware of any of this, and don't follow the digin list who I'm pretty sure would support the garden idea if it came to their attention. I suspect (but don't know) that they outnumber those against it. Maybe many people who are totally unaware of the situation would be just as angry if they knew there was a few dozen people or so trying to shut down a garden project in their neighbourhood. I'm not saying this is the truth, but the truth is we just don't know.

If you want a full consultation that respects a "majority", what majority are you talking about? The people who are currently all fired up against it who would show up at a "consultation" meeting to shout at Giambrone? I've got a few things I'd like to shout at Giambrone about, and I could probably pull together a group of angry citizens to join me. Does that mean we should have our way? How widely should you advertise this consultation meeting, and who does the advertising to ensure the whole neighbourhood is aware of it? How far does the neighbourhood extend? Then what happens if this consultation takes place? Do we all vote at that meeting on the issue and give Giambrone his marching orders? Good luck with that. Do people who live in the neighbourhood who are too busy to be professional protesters get a proxy vote if they can't make the meeting? Who then oversees the process to be sure it's fair? Who checks ID and addresses at the voting booth to make sure the votes aren't stacked with people from outside? And the biggest question for me is, do we do this for every 60,000 dollar decision? I would call that democracy in in-action. As someone with conservative tendencies, I would also be critical of how our public dollars are being spent on deadly "consultation" processes (although I also fail to see how busting up some concrete and dumping some topsoil can amount to 60 grand, but that's another matter. I'd like to get a consultation meeting with Giambrone and shout at him about that, but I just don't have the time...).

I think Eric makes a good point. If you want more parking, or more designated areas for kids' street hockey, form a positive group, and make your case.

C. wrote:

Guys, I've been following threads along for months but have refrained from commenting has I truly feel a new forum needs to be created so you can all go at each other privately but the 2 faced comment got me chuckling so I can't resist.

 Adam Giambrone- Do you honestly think that a) he can please everyone?

b) that what he does is sincere and from the heart? The answer to both is "no" this is his chosen profession. He is a politician! Weigh out the facts in terms of his influence/support over the last few years. Has the hood thrived? Has it gotten worst? =form your own opinion.

My greatest concern right now is with those residents that are encouraging crime/vandalism by putting up signs saying "free soil". Oh what a shame. Perhaps the police could run hand writing analysis. Wouldn't that be a treat! Watch thy neighbor closely, I bet you can figure out who's behind it.

On the comment of the east versus the west- There is no war going on between the working class and the middle class.

 There is a bunch of residents such as myself that have lived here in the last few years that want to see the neighborhood they reside in/close to evolve and develop and become "the place to live." and go about it positively.

Like Eric said, you are kissing a $65,000 opportunity!

Oh yes...here comes the scrutiny

S. wrote:

I find the generalizations about east and west and middle class and low income to be offensive and divisive. Anybody who knows this area knows that there are many levels of income all over but that in general very few in our area would be considered wealthy or considerably better off than others. That's why most people live here, its what we can afford. Bringing income into it sounds like a Mike Harris styled wedge issue (such as he used to stigmatize welfare recipients) to avert attention from the actual issues and it wont work because the writers, artists, film makers, small business owners, and workers all know each other and are not going to fall for it.

Last time I checked by the way, people of all incomes and backgrounds like clean air, more green space, more walking/cycling space, and opportunities for community connectedness. I find it interesting that some that cry about poverty in our area are often those who are the most resistant to ideas that are proven to fight it. A healthy environment greatly effects ones ability to rise from poverty and break the cycle.

I don't know what could be a greater manipulation than the posting of signs encouraging citizens to break the law. The silence about this from certain law and order quarters in our community is deafening. Is that because one doesn't have to look through many pictures from last summer's dumpster fiasco to get an idea of who might be behind this? Look for yourself. Its funny last summer a few of the people shouting about saving parks and green spaces now seem against parks and green spaces. They marched in solidarity with Moss Park and Christie Pits, which is interesting because both those parks have increased green spaces and have community gardens; ideas that some of those "save save our parks" marchers are now against.

Its sort of embarrassing that in 2009 there are still people who will fight to the death to stop green space to save a couple of un-needed parking spaces at the expense of a healthier community.

S. W. wrote:

To add to these points, I would also suggest that there are a number of people who have deliberately chosen to live in this neighbourhood (self included) because of its mixed-income, multi-racial/ethnic/cultural dynamics, and as an expression of our strong desire to live in, and build inclusive, textured neighbourhoods. While our household income might place us in the running for membership in High Park, Yonge/Eg or elsewhere (admittedly, with reduced sq. footage!), we deliberately CHOOSE this neighbourhood because of its true richness….its diversity, the people, and the promise that it can be an example of inclusion, not exclusivity. That’s the sort of Toronto I want to see.

In order to achieve such inclusion, it is important to recognize that we need public spaces that provide a meeting ground, and which also provide an oasis for individuals who are not blessed with backyards, multi-room dwellings or many of the things that might seem common to a lot of middle or upper-middle income folks, but are luxuries to others. I will have to admit that I still don’t appreciate the finer details related to the proposed community garden, and opposition to it, but I certainly do know that our broader neighbourhood is in desperate need of public spaces that help bring cohesion to the area and which build a sense of collective belonging and responsibility. A community garden is a great way to move in the right direction.

I haven’t been as involved in the discussion as I should be, and particularly not enough to fully deserve the right to make a request of this group. Nevertheless, I am going to do so. My request is to all those who are committed to building the neighbourhood in the direction of inclusivity, including a push for more friendly and useful public spaces. My suggestion is that we do our best to keep to the high ground here…let critics, nay-sayers and others resort to divisive comments, name-throwing and other tactics. I have a strong suspicion that if we keep focused on the real goals here, and with positive energies, this issue will be effectively and positively resolved in the end. And to those of you who are more actively engaged in the good fight than I have been, THANK YOU!

I’m not suggesting any of us accept slaps in the face, if those are dished out. But hey, we can try to practice the sort of welcoming and kind spirited, sense of community that makes us love this neighbourhood in the first place, right?!

Let’s keep on making in this one of the best neighbourhoods in the city….whatever we might choose to call it!

S. wrote:

Thats not true. Railpath has created a lot of great press for the area for example. So has Big On Bloor, Digin and Artstarts.

Michael Monastyrskyj wrote:

Carla writes: > On the comment of the east versus the west- There is no war going on between the working class and the middle class.

It's not east versus west. That's not what I said. I said there is a war that is taking place in the neighbourhood west of Lansdowne, by which I mean the Junction Triangle. I was avoiding the name Junction Triangle because not everyone knows what area it refers to.

By war I mean there are two groups of people who hate each other. I'm not talking about most people in the neighbourhood. I'm talking about two small groups, neither of which can legitmately claim to speak for the whole neighbourhood.

On the one hand there is Jack Fava and the people who support his causes. Most of Jack's supporters, at least the ones I've met, are working class, by which I mean they talk in a way that suggests they don't have much education. On the other hand there is a group of people grouped around Kevin Putnam and Fuzzy Boundaries. Not everyone in Fuzzy Boundaries feels the same way about Jack, but Kevin Putnam and a few others hate him. I would say the group around Kevin is middle class, by which I mean they talk in a way that tells me they have had post-secondary education. There is a conflict of values and I'm suggesting class is part of this conflict. Is it possible my impressions about social class are wrong? Perhaps. I haven't conducted a census, but having spent time with people in both groups this is my strong impression.

E. K. wrote:

Council docs with breakdown of costs for demolition below. I imagine a lot of the cost is from reconstruction of Rankin. (link to PDF, see page 72 - http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2009/te/bgrd/backgroundfile-22175.pdf)

Just for the record, I am not exactly the caricature of a tree hugging hippie socialist liberal, either. While I am a landscape architect, I have laid waste to many a tree in my day as not all trees are created equal. Additionally, In my life time I have voted Green, NDP, Liberal and Conservative a few times (back when there was still a "P" in PC). I am typically non partisan and issues based though I support candidates who support the issues I believe in.

It is divisive to label your neighbours as it is the first step to being blind to who they really are. I am just as guilty as I fall into this trap from time to time and have to shake my head and rethink.

And everyone has a vote.

Financial Impact The following costs will be incurred by Transportation Services in order to prepare the Highway for transfer PF&R purposes. Description of Work Remove asphalt and concrete road surface; remove sidewalk, catchbasin, stone base, guardrail and posts; adjust manholes and gas valve; strip and regrade road surface on Rankin Crescent and construct new sidewalk. See attached sketch dated May 29, 2008.

Estimated Cost of Work $45,000.00 Neighbourhood Improvements - Phase I and II Environmental Testing $20,000.00

Account Information
CTP408-02-26
CTP309-05-04

Environmental testing is required as the use of the land will change from public highway to parkland.

The required environmental testing is expected to be completed by June, 2009. The findings of the testing will be compiled into a report that is expected to take approximately three weeks to complete. Any remediation identified as a result of this testing will be the responsibility of PF&R [Parks Forestry and Recreation].

Background: http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2009/te/bgrd/backgroundfile-22175.pdf

Sketch: http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2009/te/bgrd/backgroundfile-22009.pdf

November 18
Jutta Mason wrote:

Hi there -- as usual, the digin list is surely one of the more interesting e-discussions in the city. All the points get raised, and re-raised. I sincerely hope that nobody quits this discussion list (no Jack, don`t quit it!). Enemies can sometimes turn into friends, if they have patience!

But I want to suggest that there's some chance that this latest shocker (backhoes arriving etc.) may have been nobody's fault. The city departments don't talk to each other, and that gets them in trouble every single time. But the city's scale is too huge. There's so much chaos.

It's possible that Adam was bloody-minded and told the staff to bring on the backhoes. But in my experience, there's an 80% chance here that it was municipal chaos that failed to stop the machine.

As for the tearing up of a road to add to the park, here's a related story -- when a little handful of women asked the Parks staff to put in the adventure playground/sandpit at Dufferin Grove in 1993, neighbours came out and blocked the backhoes. They said that the playground was already noisy enough and they didn't want to add more kid stuff. The Parks director came to the park and asked the neighbours to give it a chance. So the sandpit got put in, and after a few slow years, it's now a citywide attraction. The neighbours were right -- it made the park far busier. That's neither bad nor good ("busy" is not a virtue in its own right), it's just a fact. And as we know, kids do love it.

Some of the neighbours are still mad about it, but many of us have talked over the years, and there's no civil war. People are mad for reasons, and finding out those often messy reasons whenever tempers are cool enough, is ALWAYS richer and more interesting than taking uncluttered ideological positions (including environmental ones). My two cents, and now I'm getting on my bike to head over there and have a look.

C. wrote:

I'm west of lansdowne as well & don't hate anyone so I don't like to be painted with the same brush.

To be frankly honest, when I was new to all this,I was hit with a blast of negativity and cynicism & criticism that made my head spin.Nearly deterred me from wanting to do anything for this community.Luckily, I don't get bulldozed easily& met some great people with the same cause in mind so eventually I did my own thing.

Perth Park Festival has been a 2 year success not "without" obstacles, I may add.

As a friend pointed out to me recently, "intentions are well meaning but with all the distrust and negativity the projects end results get lost."

Don't avoid the name Junction Triangle if that is what identifies this community to you regardless of others opinions. I can give you my opinion on that name but it would only start another raging war & the results will be in soon.

As for Jack/K.
Neither one of these 2 group leaders speak for the whole community.

They may each represent a section of the community and be on opposing ends and battle it out publicly. May the best cause win!

I'm still truly concerned for the low life that goes around trying to sabotage this project by posting free soil signs. Let's not deviate from this issue.

I'm all for green space in this city, recycling, save the trees, save a child in africa and save the animal kingdom before they become extinct & if that labels me as being on one side versus the other, let's hope my side wins & the world becomes a better place.

That was a bit windy but I just wanted you to know that I truly appreciate you taking the time to clarify/convey your opinion

November 19
D. A. wrote:

At the budget the city has for this project, they could charge the dirt thieves with a felony offense - theft over $10,000.

Sorry, I just can't help myself. I'm all for the garden, but not the bloated rates the city and their contractors get - and the politicians, and city staffers, and the TTC.... (But we don't always have to put up with it - when the guy with the exclusive contract to put in new pipes on city property quoted us for the part on our property, he was well over 2 times what a couple of other guys quoted us. We called him on it and told him he would have to coordinate his work with our own contractor, and he cut his rate in half.)

E. K. wrote:

I hear you. This isn't the first story I've heard about this. Does anyone else have a story like this? Maybe we should approach Adam with our concerns?

When we got our water line upgrade the contractor tried to charge for an extra metre. When I went to pull out the measuring tape he quickly relented. When it comes to contractors (especially ones you have not had dealings with before and are unlikely to have dealings with again), buyer beware is an understatement.

As for the cost of the Paton Road it actually seems reasonable from a current construction market standpoint. Considering a basic unheated 36sq.m. garage would cost me $20-$25,000 (I've been getting quotes) the actual construction cost of $45,000 isn't bad for a +/-460sq.m. job with a scope of removing and adjusting catch basins, manholes and services (consider $20,000 of the $65K cost is for environmental consultants).

Additionally, contracts aren't "exclusive" per se. They are given on an open tender basis, typically as a bulk contract (i.e. a contractor will bid on line upgrades for the entire street for example). The winning bid executes the work for the street on the city's behalf (the "free" portion to the property line of the homeowner). The homeowner then has the option to get the contractor to perform the rest of the work to the home or the get additional quotes from other providers. This was explained to me, in a way, when I signed up for the program. Nevertheless, it could be communicated more clearly as the process is ripe for all kinds of abuse.

The reality is that as the city is such a big "vendor" they typically get value for the money based on sheer volume of work (similar to a WalMart scenario). I am guessing that this the reason why contractors try to "make up the difference" so to speak.

V. G. wrote:

And now The Villager has an article too: http://www.insidetoronto.com/news/local/article/216447--park-expansion-raises-concerns-over-consultation


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