Details of Project/Friends of Chorley Park Position
The City has put out to tender a massive geo-engineering of the Chorley Park hill with a minimum 3-metre wide asphalt switchback (6 switchbacks) with armour stone (up to 2.4 metres) and fencing on all sides and backfilling of the hill. The top switchback extends across entire top of hill, so the only exit if you are not on the switchback is a metal staircase on the left (or the limestone stairs under the bridge). The existing dirt paths and wooden staircase will be eliminated. The toboggan run will be gone. There will be no winter maintenance of the switchback. If you would like to see the schematics, email email@example.com.
In response to community objections at a May 12 meeting between Councillor Wong-Tam, representatives of the City/TRCA and concerned residents, the City is currently looking at tweaking the original proposal to increase the grade of the switchback, change the surface and reduce the number of switchbacks. This is not responsive to the main message of the May 12 meeting, which was “We do not want a switchback.” We believe the scope and scale of this project is completely at odds with a wild and natural hill and ravine setting.
The Friends of Chorley Park believe the City should go back to the drawing board and consult with the community on what makes sense for the hill. We would like a rustic, woodland pedestrian path in keeping with the setting’s natural beauty. We would like the City to consider upgrading the existing wooden staircase. Any upgraded path or staircase should address the concerns of people who find the existing dirt paths too challenging in some locations. We would like replanting of trees and other vegetation at the earliest possible date.
We believe the $1 tender million price for the switchback (likely an underestimate) is a waste of taxpayers’ money and that this money could be better deployed elsewhere.
The tender process for the asphalt switchback closed on May 12 and the City is now reviewing 5 of the tenders received. The tenders were to have gone to the TRCA Board on May 23 for selection and approval of the winner. This was delayed due to the May 12 meeting. The City is now tweaking the switchback, as indicated above, and the tweaked switchback is tentatively scheduled to go before the TRCA Board on June 20. This however is subject to what happens at the next residents meeting with the Councillor and the City/TRCA. We are waiting for a date for this meeting from the Councillor and hope the meeting will be held at Rosedale United Church. If the June 20 TRCA Board meeting goes ahead (to approve the original asphalt switchback and/or some tweaked version), we understand that each of us will have an opportunity to appear before the Board and make a 5-minute representation.
What can you do to help?
1. Sign the paper petition and scan and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. As of May 24 we had over 200 paper petition signatures.
2. Send an email setting out your concerns to the Councillor and City/TRCA personnel. If you have already sent an email, please send another:
Address to: email@example.com
Copy: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
(The titles of the cc’s are: Daniel Egan, Manager Cycling Infrastructure & Programs City Wide; Jennifer Hyland, Transportation Planner, Cycling Infrastructure & Programs City Wide; Stephen Buckley, General Manager, Transportation Services; Norm Kelly, Deputy Mayor, City of Toronto; Wendy Strickland, Natural Environment Specialist; Beth McEwen, Manager, Urban Forest Renewal; Richard Ubbens, Director, Parks Branch; Jason Doyle, Director, Urban Forestry; Scott Laver, Supervisor, Natural Environment and Community Programs; Dave Rogalsky, Senior Manager, Resource Management Projects, Toronto and Region Conservation.)
4. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be added to our Citizens Group Email Discussion Forum.
5. Ask everyone you know who cares (or may care) about this to (1) sign the petition, (2) email the Councillor et al, and (3) join our Citizens Group. Email friends and family to tell them what is happening,
6. Tell everyone re the Friends of Chorley Park Facebook Page and get them to sign the online petition and comment in the petition (not just “like” the Page). As of May 24 the online petition had over 150 signatures.
6. Ask for a STOP CHORLEY PARK SWITCHBACK lawn sign by emailing email@example.com.
FRIENDS OF CHORLEY PARK