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Rees Park (318 Queens Quay, City of Toronto)

ryguy7787

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I just don't think it's a pond is all. I'm glad there is interaction for people who might consider being in the actual lake intimidating or unsafe with all of the large boats.
 

ryguy7787

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I like water features in parks.

I appreciate those here, even if the heart-shape thing (in York Park) is slightly nauseating.....

But I think the greater focus needs to be on connecting people to the lake.

That means finishing the foot bridges and wave decks, completing thew waterfront promenade, including water-level boardwalks, and finding a spot where you can either wade in the Lake, otherwise have physical access to the water.

I also quite like seeing some coastal nature, though I appreciate that wont and shouldn't be the defining feature in the central, urban waterfront.

The only thing I disagree with you here would be having a boardwalk essentially at water level. Last year we saw the lower deck of HTO Beach submerged until September and I don't see water levels getting better in the future. Not only will it stop people from enjoying the lakeside, it will cause erosion to the infrastructure quite quickly.

If you want direct next to the water experience, go to the island, Ontario Place, Cherry Beach, Leslie Spit, Sunnyside Park, etc.
 
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MetroMan

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Though winning designs in competitions DO get revised and refined this is usually to bring them to fit a pre-determined budget not to expand and change them from the design concept. Creating a 'much more central water feature" (which may or may not be a good idea) is something that will probably not be on the table at any project group - I think 'waterfront consultations' are now over.

Consultations with the public will continue throughout the process. Rees Park only starts construction in 2020. Myself, I'll have other avenues of input through Waterfront4All, meetings with Waterfront Toronto members and other organizations.

We need to get this right. There's no water at the ironically named HTO Park, a play on words with H20. It's an urban beach where you can see the water but are prohibited (for good reason) from interacting with it. This could have been remedied by including an interactive water feature at the park, maybe a linear wading pool across the "beach front".

There are no water play features on the central waterfront where most waterfront residents live — including families with kids. On the wider waterfront, there are a couple of squirting jets at Sugar Beach suitable for a few kids to giggle around. It's kind of embarrassing if you've visited other cities' waterfronts and see how they create opportunities for large numbers of people to play in water. At Sherbourne Common, there's a lot of water, it looks beautiful but get closer and you'll encounter "DO NOT BATH" signs.

The waterfall in the Rees Ridge proposal is a good place to start by introducing a water feature at the centre of what will become HTO Park North. It's fairly big already but in the plans, the water goes directly into a gutter below. People can get wet by going under the waterfall but like Sugar Beach's pissing jets, it doesn't present an opportunity for larger numbers of people to play in the water. This is easily fixed: remove the gutter from under the waterfall and allow the plaza in front of it to flood with an inch of water. Add gutters to the periphery of a square. This would create a splash pad with just a small modification in the design, not a redesign.

Over the next year, there'll be opportunities for the public to give input and ask Waterfront Toronto to build a park that'll serve the community, not just visiting tourists. I intend to continue to do so as I have up until this point, ultimately having achieved the requirement that both Rees and York park proposals have water features. If your requests make sense, Waterfront Toronto does listen.
 
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Panontario

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I remember reading somewhere that they are planning to build a flood mitigation system under the park. The plans called for diversion pipes and a large underground storm water storage facility under the park. This supposed to help mitigate floods in the area. If I am not mistaken, plan called to this to be built 5 years after park construction. Would be very strange to spend several million dollars building the park, only to demolish it and rebuild it again in 5 years. Am I mistaken? Can someone shed some light on this?

Thanks.
 
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MetroMan

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I remember reading somewhere that they are planning to build a flood mitigation system under the park. The plans called for diversion pipes and a large underground storm water storage facility under the park. This supposed to help mitigate floods in the area. If I am not mistaken, plan called to this to be built 5 years after park construction. Would be very strange to spend several million dollars building the park, only to demolish it and rebuild it again in 5 years. Am I mistaken? Can someone shed some light on this?

Thanks.

The request for proposals included a stipulation that the firms anticipate for this work in their designs. This is why all of the proposals keep the south east corner of the park pretty bare. In the case of the winning Rees Ridge, it's just a lawn that can be dug up and re-sodded inexpensively.

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ponyboy

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If we really want people in this area to play with water, how about building an aquatic center here instead of this park that will be cold and underused most of the year, next to the busy highway and across the street from the actual water's edge. Many of us have had enough of fancy architect renders only to be disappointed with the final result and how it's actually used by the public. And to top it off, who wants to bet that the builders will need more public money to get the job done?

If you haven't seen it, please check out how awesome and well-used the Regent Park Aquatic centre is, and think of what something like that would do for this community. It would draw people in and be used 365 days a year. We could still put a nice linear park fronting QQ in front of the aquatic centre, and have the Gardiner blocked as well.

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tombrownca

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Hi there.
I have recently become aware of this Park. I would like to inform people of a few things, and perhaps some signage could be erected informing all park guests of these facts:

"Rees St. named after Lunatic Asylum founder: Street Names
Rees St., near Spadina Ave. and Lake Shore Blvd., is named after Dr. William Rees (1800-1874) who founded the Provincial Lunatic Asylum in 1841. He offered free vaccinations and medical advice to the poor, and supported many causes over the years." -Emily Honderich/Toronto Star Library (https://www.thestar.com/life/2012/10/12/rees_st_named_after_lunatic_asylum_founder_street_names.html)

Dr. William Rees is the son of a Ropemaker from Bristol England who moved to Quebec and had a large "Ropewalk" there. I have been researching the family and have created this memorial page for William, where a photo of him is available. I image it may be possible to obtain a higher resolution scan if desired. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/210116885/william-rees

I also have obtained a 30 page PDF report on William Rees that park designers may wish to review. Please feel free to email me. William Rees did not apparently have any children, and is related to me as an uncle several generations removed. (tombrown at yahoo dot com)

I found this sign of the "parkette" online. Perhaps a new and improved sign featuring Dr. William Rees' contributions to the city of Toronto would be nice.

Thank you for considering.
 

DSC

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William Ree
Hi there.
I have recently become aware of this Park. I would like to inform people of a few things, and perhaps some signage could be erected informing all park guests of these facts:

"Rees St. named after Lunatic Asylum founder: Street Names
Rees St., near Spadina Ave. and Lake Shore Blvd., is named after Dr. William Rees (1800-1874) who founded the Provincial Lunatic Asylum in 1841. He offered free vaccinations and medical advice to the poor, and supported many causes over the years." -Emily Honderich/Toronto Star Library (https://www.thestar.com/life/2012/10/12/rees_st_named_after_lunatic_asylum_founder_street_names.html)

Dr. William Rees is the son of a Ropemaker from Bristol England who moved to Quebec and had a large "Ropewalk" there. I have been researching the family and have created this memorial page for William, where a photo of him is available. I image it may be possible to obtain a higher resolution scan if desired. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/210116885/william-rees

I also have obtained a 30 page PDF report on William Rees that park designers may wish to review. Please feel free to email me. William Rees did not apparently have any children, and is related to me as an uncle several generations removed. (tombrown at yahoo dot com)

I found this sign of the "parkette" online. Perhaps a new and improved sign featuring Dr. William Rees' contributions to the city of Toronto would be nice.

Thank you for considering.
William Rees was WAS a very interesting and influential early Toronto physician whose life was far from happy (he spent his latter years, when he lived in a cottage on or near Rees' Wharf, petitioning the government for money he said, maybe rightly, that he was owed.)

See Canniff: The Medical Profession of Upper Canada (available at Internet Archive). pp 570-573

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and https://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?R=DC-37131055319479D

I agree that Rees 'deserves' an official Heritage Toronto plaque and you may want to contact them and the Archives at CAMH to see if someone is prepared to pay for one. Ideally I think it should be erected near CAMH
 
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Northern Light

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I see they've divided the project into 2 phases and cut the budget for phase 1 (prior to Storm Water infra being built) to 6M from 10M.

That's a 40% cut.

I would be concerned about the impact of a cut like that on the finished product.

****

Current thoughts. I still lack enthusiasm for the lawn.

Also the concrete facing of the ridge is way too urban/building'ish.

I see the panel commented on that and I concur wholeheartedly.
 

allengeorge

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I see they've divided the project into 2 phases and cut the budget for phase 1 (prior to Storm Water infra being built) to 6M from 10M.

That's a 40% cut.
Jeez. I wonder if someone can get some philanthropic donations to fill in that 4M gap.

I see they referenced the hill on Governor’s Island in NYC. I’ve been a couple of times and it’s fantastic - the pathways are incredibly well done, and there’s a ton of really well-done native plantings. Can’t recall who it was, but I believe that was financed (at least partially) through private donations.
 

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