Toronto Berczy Park Revitalization | ?m | ?s

To those moving to the neighbourhood, plus those already calling St. Lawrence area their home, a vast number of beautiful benches were delivered to Berczy Park. I anticipate the current design of the benches will invite a swarm of homeless to sleep on once the Park is opened.

A simple and inexpensive addition of at least one arm rest in the middle bench will eliminate the risk of a long term, intractable problem. Something to raise with Councillor McConnell, the BIA, the SLNA, and Friends of Berczy Park.
 
Though to be honest, more housing can't fix homelessness completely- it will help the temporarily homeless (people who've recently lost their homes and jobs), but it can't entirely solve the issue of the permanently homeless- people who feel more comfortable on the streets where they have their own network of friends, addictions and support.
 
True, so since we're all in this together we'll be required to pay additional tax of AT LEAST 4 figures annually for new social housing for the next 10 years since the City, Province and Federal governments are all operating in huge deficit territory, particularly in Ontario. How much will you sign up for? Or, if that fact is not to your liking keep your hands in your pockets and instead offer up your front lawn or living room floor as temporary housing while someone else (????) addresses root causes. Or forget the benches at Berczy, follow what they did in Victoria and turn the park over as a camp city. To me, there all the evils of many lesser options and none solves finding a safe, clean, warm and free place for homeless people to sleep.

Having served with pride as Vice Chair of Beatrice House, a private initiative that created from scratch a residential and educational facility for up to 80 homeless single mothers and their children in a TDSB surplus school we converted for private apartments, classrooms and early childhood development , I have some insight into root causes and solutions. Park benches are a horrible alternative and to suggest discouraging their use as a bed is somehow hostile is mind numbing.
 
Park benches are a horrible alternative

Of course they are, absolutely. What I'm trying to say is that discouraging their use as a bed is hostile, if no better alternative is provided, which is where we are now as a city. What we're saying now as a society is, "Not only are we not going to help you rest your head somewhere warm and safe, but we're also going to put this petty, vindictive armrest in the middle of a bench so you can't even rest your head somewhere cold and unsafe." It's frustrating and heartless and I think you can see how I'd get that sense of nimby-ish move-it-along-ism from your earlier post, even though that wasn't your intent at all. I apologize for misinterpreting.

Having served with pride as Vice Chair of Beatrice House, a private initiative that created from scratch a residential and educational facility for up to 80 homeless single mothers and their children in a TDSB surplus school we converted for private apartments, classrooms and early childhood development

That is truly admirable. Thank you for it.

I remember hearing that Beatrice House had to close to make way for a new development. I genuinely hope your search for a replacement site is fruitful.
 
Of course they are, absolutely. What I'm trying to say is that discouraging their use as a bed is hostile, if no better alternative is provided, which is where we are now as a city. What we're saying now as a society is, "Not only are we not going to help you rest your head somewhere warm and safe, but we're also going to put this petty, vindictive armrest in the middle of a bench so you can't even rest your head somewhere cold and unsafe." It's frustrating and heartless and I think you can see how I'd get that sense of nimby-ish move-it-along-ism from your earlier post, even though that wasn't your intent at all. I apologize for misinterpreting.



That is truly admirable. Thank you for it.

I remember hearing that Beatrice House had to close to make way for a new development. I genuinely hope your search for a replacement site is fruitful.

It closed due to inaction on the part of the YWCA. Personally, I was greatly dismayed to learn after the fact that all that had been hard fought for and accomplished was let slip away.

And yes, it's absolutely a case of NIMBY, but because it's wrong, inhumane and nothing even close to a solution for an social tragedy.
 
To those moving to the neighbourhood... I anticipate the current design of the benches will invite a swarm of homeless to sleep on once the Park is opened.
It sounds to me your first concern is not homelessness, but homeless people in the neighbourhood.
Also, what's wrong with paying more taxes for social housing and homelessness programs?
 
It sounds to me your first concern is not homelessness, but homeless people in the neighbourhood.
Also, what's wrong with paying more taxes for social housing and homelessness programs?
My stated experience and contributions speak for themselves.

I'm not a fan of homeless in any neighborhood. I don't know anyone who is. Do you? Homelessness is a black mark against us all and stems in large part from misguided and failed policies initiated years ago wherein do-gooders believed mentally ill people could function just fine on their own in the community, when their real goal was to cut costs. Anyone can see how well that's worked out. Add to that those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse and it just keeps getting worse.

But inviting by design the occupation of a community park by homeless makes absolutely no sense whatsoever on any rational level. And while my tax contributions year after year back up my mouth, the problem isn't revenue. It is wasted monies thrown to the wind by all three levels of government when caring for and supporting the most vulnerable in society should be front and centre. Perhaps as a prime example, there is the $Billion gas plant fiasco. I'd suggest that dough could have made a real difference to real people, but it's gone, baby, gone. But I digress. If you think it's OK for folks to sleep on park benches in this climate, how can I argue with that.
 
If you think it's OK for folks to sleep on park benches in this climate, how can I argue with that.
Of course, nobody's saying that it's okay, just that putting bars on the benches to prevent people from sleeping on them is not in any way a solution to the problem of homelessness. I mean, maybe it's a solution to the problem of visibility, if that's what you're looking to solve.
 
They have started to install the timber top on the fountain-equipment concrete box to the west of the fountain' - it is supposed to be able to serve as a small stage and a sitting place and I think the other stage/seating around the tree to the east of the fountain will get the same treatment. The work on Scott seems to be speeding up too.
 
Its probably unlikely that we will get to see the fountain working this year. I doubt they will fill it and then immediately drain it for winter.
 
Today's update. Progress continues (plus a nice surprise):

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Nice to see Kitty watching the proceedings.

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They were painting the bottom of the fountain today...

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Elevating this park into something even better.... landscaped mounds.

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Looks like the iconic mural is going to be well lit! (new mounted lights on both standards).

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