Lions Park Steps – What Happened?

A nighttime view of the steps taken last February.
A nighttime view of the steps taken last February.

Readers may be familiar with the rickety set of wooden steps that lead from Hickory Tree Road down to Lions Park. They are part of a vital walkway that connects residents in the Humber Heights community to Weston’s parks, stores and transportation links. The steps are well past their sell-by date and have to be constantly repaired and patched together. During winter they need to be heavily salted.

A few months ago, an announcement was made that in September 2015, the steps would be replaced by metal ones similar to those connecting Cruickshank Park to Weston Road. Metal steps don’t need salting as snow and ice can pass right through them. September has come and gone and the steps still stand. In the meantime thousands of dollars were found to install speed bumps along Hickory Tree Road in spite of an underwhelming and questionable demand.

I contacted Councillor Nunziata’s office for an update and to date have not received a reply. Perhaps our faithful readers could make some inquiries…

Happy Canada Day

A happy Canada Day to all our readers! We truly are lucky to live in Canada.

5:25 pm:

Bouncy castles galore.
Bouncy castles galore; July 1, 2015.

Don’t forget that tonight at 10:00, Weston’s own annual fireworks display gets under way at Lions Park. The weather promises to be fine but cool by 10:00 so dress warmly for the evening. If you’ve attended in the past, you know what a treat is in store. Come and listen to Elvis and other talented musicians, meet your favourite politicians, gorge on some french fries and onion rings and try out a slide or bouncy castle – perhaps not in that order!

A word to the wise – if you can walk to the celebrations all the better as parking tends to be filled early and after the fireworks, there may be a bit of a wait while everybody queues up to leave.

Fireworks at the ready.
Fireworks at the ready; July 1 2015.

Lions Park follow-up

Litter is the bane of parks. It degrades the experience of visitors, creates a terrible impression and invites vandalism. Lions Park continues to suffer from neglect by Toronto Parks Forestry and Recreation when it comes to communications and an intelligent approach in keeping litter to a minimum. As mentioned last month, litter bins are being commandeered by soccer players and used as goalposts for smaller games both on and off the field. It was not possible to leave a message for Park Supervisor Diane Czapla as her phone mailbox was constantly full.

With Ms. Czapla unavailable, WestonWeb placed a call to 311 and action was promised. Stakes were hammered into the ground and bins wired to them. Unfortunately, there is nothing to stop anyone disconnecting the wires and removing the bins. If anything, since WestonWeb last reported on this problem the situation has become worse thanks to continued bin removals by soccer players and the not so strategic locations chosen for the bins.

Here’s an obvious example.

Why not move the bin to where the garbage is created?
Why not move the bins (currently well behind the baseball diamond) to where the garbage is created?

Bleachers generate large amounts of garbage. These back onto the delicate ecosystem of the Humber. Why not move the bins near the bleachers so that people will be more inclined to use them?

Another example of poor bin placement is by the stairs to Hickory Tree Road.

Trash builds up quickly by the stairs; bins are too far away.
Trash builds up quickly by the stairs; bins are too far away.

Where are the bins?

These bins are too far from the stairs.
These bins (on the right of the picture) are too far away and not visible from the stairs.

Why not place bins so that they are visible to people descending the stairs. Especially in a high traffic and notoriously littered spot such as this one. Some people of course will toss litter regardless of bin placement. Most will make the effort if bins are intelligently located. The placement of these bins seems designed to maximize litter.

As for the other bins in Lions Park, many are out of reach and behind the fence in the soccer field. An unsatisfactory situation especially when it has been ongoing for months. You can bet it wouldn’t be tolerated in Lambton Woods but somehow it’s ok in Weston.

Update:

Ms. Czapla responded to WestonWeb’s concerns today (10th September) to say that Toronto’s Solid Waste Management Department was given the job of deciding bin placement a couple of years ago.  In the meantime, Ms. Czapla will send a crew to remove the build-up of litter in the previously mentioned spots. She also mentioned that it’s up to citizens to help out by placing litter in the proper place. In fact soccer players seem particularly incapable of walking a few steps to a bin – in spite of the increased number of bins on the field.

Carson Wiseman of Solid Waste will meet with WestonWeb on Thursday September 12th to help resolve the situation. We’ll meet by the tennis courts at 12:30 if other readers would like to tag along and offer their suggestions.

Canada Day a success in Weston

On July 1st, the old fairgrounds in Lions Park once again echoed to the sounds of music and fireworks thanks to Canada Day celebrations that are becoming a firm tradition. Even though the event is not announced in the list of Canada Day happenings, posters around the site, word of mouth and a variety of newsletters and emails seem to get the word out. Throughout the day, vendors set up their stalls and the heady mix of diesel and burgers soon began to waft through the park.

The fireworks crew making sure everything goes off with a bang.
The fireworks crew inside their compound making sure everything goes off with a bang.
Frontlines staff and volunteers prepare their stall.
Frontlines staff and volunteers prepare their stall.
MP Mike Sullivan talks to constituents.
MP Mike Sullivan talks to constituents.
Crowds enjoying cake and other distractions in the early evening.
Crowds enjoying Canada Day cake and other distractions in the early evening.

The day was cloudy but mild and many families made a day of it, bringing chairs and picnic supplies. Politicians made their inevitable speeches while several bands and Elvis serenaded the crowd throughout the evening.

At 10 pm, the fireworks display began and did not disappoint. They were spectacular, lasting a good length of time and with a variety of flashes, bursts and window-rattling bangs enjoyed by residents on both sides of the Humber. The crowd drifted home happy, no doubt looking forward to another one next year.