College Park Revitalization with Barbara Ann Scott Skate Trail | ?m | ?s | City of Toronto | RAW Design

Northern Light

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City news release:

City of Toronto to celebrate opening of Barbara Ann Scott Ice Trail

6-Dec-2019
Councillor Mike Layton (Ward 11 University-Rosedale) and Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam (Ward 13 Toronto Centre), along with Mark Garner, Executive Director of the Downtown Yonge BIA, will officially open the Barbara Ann Scott Ice Trail tomorrow at College Park.

Date: Saturday, December 7
Time: 1 to 5 p.m., remarks 3 p.m.
Location: 420 Yonge St. (outdoor park location)

The trail is named after legendary figure skater Barbara Ann Scott, an Olympic gold medalist who received the Lou Marsh Trophy three times as Canadian athlete of the year.

Family-friendly activities and entertainment during the afternoon will include a display of ice sculptures, a fire performer and a group skating performance celebrating the skating trail's opening. The skate lending program run by the City's Parks, Forestry and Recreation division will be there for people who want to skate but did not bring their own skates.
 

AlbertC

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The skate trail:

20200122_134038.jpg
20200122_134040.jpg
 

Northern Light

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Photos taken May 29, 2022:

I wandered by this park in the course of my walk yesterday and wanted to share some photos.

There's good news and bad news.............

The good news is that the park is well patronized overall; and the skating trail (roller skating in summer) is being used as intended; some of the plant communities are also doing well.

The bad news......the large tracts of sod have been completely decimated, many planting beds are beat up around the edges.

Lets look:

We'll start w/the bad stuff so we can end on a good note!

DSC07860.JPG


I know I mentioned this some time ago...........paths must follow desire lines or people must be obstructed from following them (by fences or benches etc.) There is a very clear desire of people to cut diagonally across the park from the south-east to the north-west, since there is no convenient pathway for that, people have made their own.

Below we see a similar issue, on a smaller scale with the edge of a planting bed having been trampled out of existence.

DSC07862.JPG


But lets finish on a more positive note, the central section of the park is looking really pretty good and is quite popular:

DSC07861.JPG
'


Note in the above image how the planting beds are in good condition almost all the way to the edges; a reason for that is that the planting beds are mounded and at an angle that makes walking across them less desirable/efficient than
walking around them. There's also 100% clarity in this section on where you should be walking.
 

interchange42

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Photos taken May 29, 2022:

I wandered by this park in the course of my walk yesterday and wanted to share some photos.

There's good news and bad news.............

The good news is that the park is well patronized overall; and the skating trail (roller skating in summer) is being used as intended; some of the plant communities are also doing well.

The bad news......the large tracts of sod have been completely decimated, many planting beds are beat up around the edges.

Lets look:

We'll start w/the bad stuff so we can end on a good note!

View attachment 403513

I know I mentioned this some time ago...........paths must follow desire lines or people must be obstructed from following them (by fences or benches etc.) There is a very clear desire of people to cut diagonally across the park from the south-east to the north-west, since there is no convenient pathway for that, people have made their own.

Below we see a similar issue, on a smaller scale with the edge of a planting bed having been trampled out of existence.

View attachment 403514

But lets finish on a more positive note, the central section of the park is looking really pretty good and is quite popular:

View attachment 403515'


Note in the above image how the planting beds are in good condition almost all the way to the edges; a reason for that is that the planting beds are mounded and at an angle that makes walking across them less desirable/efficient than
walking around them. There's also 100% clarity in this section on where you should be walking.
Landscape designers who refuse to follow desire lines, who think that their designs are so great that people will follow their needlessly indirect routes, should never had been graduated. Indirect routes are for well-maintained mazes, that's pretty much it.

42
 

Towered

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Photos taken May 29, 2022:

I wandered by this park in the course of my walk yesterday and wanted to share some photos.

There's good news and bad news.............

The good news is that the park is well patronized overall; and the skating trail (roller skating in summer) is being used as intended; some of the plant communities are also doing well.

The bad news......the large tracts of sod have been completely decimated, many planting beds are beat up around the edges.

Lets look:

We'll start w/the bad stuff so we can end on a good note!

View attachment 403513

I know I mentioned this some time ago...........paths must follow desire lines or people must be obstructed from following them (by fences or benches etc.) There is a very clear desire of people to cut diagonally across the park from the south-east to the north-west, since there is no convenient pathway for that, people have made their own.

Below we see a similar issue, on a smaller scale with the edge of a planting bed having been trampled out of existence.

View attachment 403514

But lets finish on a more positive note, the central section of the park is looking really pretty good and is quite popular:

View attachment 403515'


Note in the above image how the planting beds are in good condition almost all the way to the edges; a reason for that is that the planting beds are mounded and at an angle that makes walking across them less desirable/efficient than
walking around them. There's also 100% clarity in this section on where you should be walking.

You should cross post this to your park review thread!
 

Northern Light

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Just to add here, very high level (I'm not a landscape contractor)........I'd peg the fix here at 55-85k

It depends on what material you use for the new path; and what choices you make to make people likely to stay on said path.

I'm looking at a 4M wide path x ~50M, you can use concrete or interlock; I would strategically place 2-3 benches on pads; and add 2 landscape mounds similar to what's in use in the photos above to provide clear direction to parks users.

I am not budgeting for any new irrigation in that number, I'm not sure if they're using that now; if they are that would add some additional $$ to the cost.
 
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isaidso

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Landscape designers who refuse to follow desire lines, who think that their designs are so great that people will follow their needlessly indirect routes, should never had been graduated. Indirect routes are for well-maintained mazes, that's pretty much it.

42

There's that but it's also a dog toilet. No grass is going to survive a constant soaking of urine. Well positioned flowers beds and/or 6 inch high iron guard rails discourage owners from taking their keeping dogs there to run/poop. It also discourages people from using grass as a pathway. I see those guard rails all over the place in Europe but rarely/never in Canada. Are they deemed a tripping hazard and not allowed?
 
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Northern Light

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There's that but it's also a dog toilet. No grass is going to survive a constant soaking of urine. Well positioned flowers beds and/or 6 inch high iron guard rails discourage owners from taking their keeping dogs there to run/poop. It also discourages people from using grass as a pathway. I see those guard rails all over the place in Europe but rarely/never in Canada. Are they deemed a tripping hazard and not allowed?

Landscape design features which restrict or deter walking certain directions are permissible.

There are certain types that may not be desirable; but none I'm aware of is precluded.

This pic by @PatM of the new park space on Draper Street from The Well thread shows modest height barriers:

1653948823734.png


In point of fact, you'll find these in most Cormier-designed public parks in Toronto.

Here is again in this @bilked pic of the new space that's part of The Elm & Ledbury complex.

1653948984809.png


From Streetview, we can see an alternate way to do the same thing....w/the strategic placement of concrete benches and flowers in Joel Weeks Park:

1653949137392.png


Needless to say there are many more permissible and in-use techniques; they just aren't applied with any consistency in Toronto.
 

UtakataNoAnnex

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...on the counter side, June Callwood Park did deal with the issues here by having not really having grass. Though from the comments over that respective thread, this isn't a viable option either...and to put it mildly. >.<
 

Northern Light

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...on the counter side, June Callwood Park did deal with the issues here by having not really having grass. Though from the comments over that respective thread, this isn't a viable option either...and to put it mildly. >.<

The problem w/June Callwood was not a lack of grass.

It was an unappealing space, lacking in function, w/uneven, dangerous surfaces, and difficult to access; in addition to a good chunk of its vegetation dying.

Edit to add: and yeah, it was ugly, LOL But lack of grass was not the cause.
 

jmacmillan

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Photos taken May 29, 2022:

I wandered by this park in the course of my walk yesterday and wanted to share some photos.

There's good news and bad news.............

The good news is that the park is well patronized overall; and the skating trail (roller skating in summer) is being used as intended; some of the plant communities are also doing well.

The bad news......the large tracts of sod have been completely decimated, many planting beds are beat up around the edges.

Lets look:

We'll start w/the bad stuff so we can end on a good note!

View attachment 403513

I know I mentioned this some time ago...........paths must follow desire lines or people must be obstructed from following them (by fences or benches etc.) There is a very clear desire of people to cut diagonally across the park from the south-east to the north-west, since there is no convenient pathway for that, people have made their own.

Below we see a similar issue, on a smaller scale with the edge of a planting bed having been trampled out of existence.

View attachment 403514

But lets finish on a more positive note, the central section of the park is looking really pretty good and is quite popular:

View attachment 403515'


Note in the above image how the planting beds are in good condition almost all the way to the edges; a reason for that is that the planting beds are mounded and at an angle that makes walking across them less desirable/efficient than
walking around them. There's also 100% clarity in this section on where you should be walking.
I‘ll have another look but I think last summer, there were few places providing shade.
 

LUVIT!

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I walked through here last weekend and was very disappointed with what I saw here and in other public parks on my walk. It seems that the biggest mistake is placing lawn in any highly pedestrianized, high density city park, (other than large parks) with a lot of dogs and/or poor maintenance. I've visited many parks in many cities all over the world and the common element in highly populated dense city parks is having barriers to people and animals from trampling plantings and/or having dogs prohibited from certain areas. Lawns do not do well in high density areas with dogs especially. I'm not shitting on dogs but they're certainly shitting on us per se.
 

UtakataNoAnnex

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...and it doesn't help that this city seems to have a degree of irresponsible dog owners that is probably adding to the misery here of park upkeep and said poor design.
 

Northern Light

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...and it doesn't help that this city seems to have a degree of irresponsible dog owners that is probably adding to the misery here of park upkeep and said poor design.

Many people, in many locations probably ought not to own dogs, as giving the animals a good life, and being an otherwise responsible owner may simply be too great a challenge.

That said, unless the City were to enforce restrictions on dog ownership (unlikely); Parks planning needs to think about the implications given widespread dog ownership.

Over at Planning, the requirement for pet relief areas in new condos of any size is one way of addressing the issue; but doesn't help the previous 2 decades of builds where that went unaddressed.

On the Parks side, DOLAs (or dogs off leash areas) are relatively rare in Toronto, particularly in the highrise communities that arguably need them most.

One of the challenges is that DOLAs, when popular, generate lots of noise and traffic and the result is lots of complaints from neighbours, particularly in small parks.
So policies now exist largely precluding new DOLAs anywhere near an actual residence.

The policy itself probably requires a re-tweak; but in the meantime, this is but one more reason I highlight the need for larger parks. Small spaces simply can't accommodate a DOLA under current rules in most cases
never mind the practical limitations.

The nearest DOLA for residents surrounding College Park is probably Allan Gardens. It's not a huge walk, but in anything but ideal weather, a lot of people aren't going to make the 1.5km round trip that makes a 20M Dog Park visit a 45 minute time commitment.

***

None of that is to excuse irresponsible owners; nor to suggest we can't create park designs that are damage resistant, yet beautiful. We have, and we can.

Rather, it's to say, the best way to achieve optimal results is likely a carrot and stick approach; one in which you make being responsible relatively easy; and being irresponsible more difficult.
 
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