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.

Spaces still available for March Break camps

If, like me, you forgot to plan anything for your kids for March Break, you can take a deep breath. All is not lost. The City of Toronto would like you to know that there are spaces still available in many of the day camps.

Nearby camps with spaces available include at Weston CI, The Elms, Thistledown and Amesbury. You can register online. The camps cost about $80 for the week—quite a steal.

Humber bike path still rolling

One of the unsung gems of Weston is the lovely—absolutely lovely, astonishingly lovely—bike path along the Humber. The path runs all the way from the lake to, I hear, the Kortright Centre—although I’ve never made it that far myself.

The wonderful ride, though, gets broken in Weston. At the northern-most end of Cruickshank Park, cyclists are forced to dismount, climb up a steep hill, and then fend with Weston Road traffic, which, to put it mildly, is a total effing war zone. The path starts again beside the Dairy Queen, so we have to cross Weston, go under the narrow bridge at Oak, and then cross six lanes of traffic at the SuperStore. It’s ugly.

The Public Works and Infrastructure Committee will be trying to make it a little easier starting tomorrow. They will be working on plans to fix the “Mid-Humber Gap” in two phases. The first phase would extend the path northwards from Cruikshank Park to St Philips. This phase stands a chance of being completed in the next five years, if the Ministry of Natural Resources will give the land to the Toronto Region Conservation Authority.

The second phase would join the northern and southern portions of the path. Staff will begin planning that phase and doing a ‘feasibility study’. Some of the land is privately owned.

Thanks to Frances Nunziata’s website people for the tip.