Thanks to two million dollars’ worth of Federal Government infrastructure funds, Weston can now boast of a FIFA standard soccer field in Lions Park. It’s almost complete – there just remains some upgraded lighting and proper fencing to keep stray soccer and baseballs away from each other. Oh and yes, goal posts will be coming too.
The pitch is pool-table level. Bulldozers worked for weeks scraping, compressing and flattening the ground. As for the playing surface, gone are the days of hard bristly artificial turf when players would risk abrasions and burns whenever they slid along the ground. This new material is very soft with a layer of shredded rubber between the fibres.
Lastly, you have to get down onto the surface to appreciate how soft and dry it is. The drainage is phenomenal. I was able to kneel without getting wet.
Players are looking forward to the opening of this world-class facility in spring.
As readers may know, Toronto is divided up into police jurisdictions called divisions. These divisions are numbered (rather than named) in a way that seems rather counter-intuitive—but that’s another story. There is a proposal to change the boundary of 12 Division so that Weston will be contained entirely in this division rather than split between 12 and 31 Divisions.
The northern border of 12 Division will move north from its current location of Lawrence up to Highway 401. According to insidetoronto.com, Scott Gilbert, project overseer, is confident that the proposed change will be implemented. If this is the case, we can only hope it will lead to more coordinated and successful policing in Weston.
How is it that just about every jurisdiction in Europe can install and run electric locomotives but here in Toronto, it’s beyond our ability? The use of the Pan-Am games to justify diesel (Metrolinx claims electrification cannot be achieved by 2015) is either faulty reasoning or a flimsy excuse. The 16-day Pan-Am games will manage just fine without a rail link.
Politicians need to understand, people don’t want smelly, noisy diesel locomotives barreling through suburban neighbourhoods several times an hour.
Electric locomotives are cleaner, quicker, quieter and more efficient. People would support this project enthusiastically if electrification were the goal. Let’s not get stuck with a poor choice because of lack of determination on the part of politicians or Metrolinx officials.
In spite of media giving the impression that crime is on the rise in the city, official statistics are painting an interesting picture of crime in the two police divisions that Weston sits astride.
Weston south of Lawrence falls into 12 Division; above Lawrence, Weston sits in 31 Division.
Looking at crime indicators year to date, crime is down overall throughout the city of Toronto. Robberies and assaults are down slightly while auto theft and theft over $5000 are down by about 16% compared to last year at this time.
In 12 and 31 divisions, the numbers are slightly different. Because Weston sits in two large police divisions it is difficult to know the specific crimes that happen in our neighbourhood.
Assault and Break and Enter
The charts show that in 12 Division, assault and break and enter are higher while everything else is lower. Conversely, Break and enter crimes are considerably lower in 31 Division while robberies have increased.
What we can learn from this is unclear. While we can take comfort from a lowering of crime across the city, we should be alert to any upward tendencies such as can be seen here.
The perception and the reality of crime are two different things. These figures from Toronto Police help us understand that.
FIFA head Sepp Blatter has stated that artificial turf may play a large part in the future of soccer. It will certainly play a large part in Weston’s soccer future.
As previously noted in WestonWeb, the soccer field in Lions Park has been under construction since June and is about 40% complete. The two-million-dollar project will see the field covered with Domo Turf, a FIFA approved brand of synthetic turf. The playing surface will be painted with regulation white markings and will be used exclusively for soccer.
Improvements to the site have already been made to provide drainage as the old field was notoriously muddy. Water drained from the pitch will flow directly into the Humber. Players’ benches and goal posts will be added, as well as fencing to separate the softball fields from the soccer field (to stop stray balls). There are no plans as yet to cover the field with a dome in winter.
The turf holds the promise of an extended season for soccer players. There is a similar installation in Cherry Beach that operates right through November although end of season dates are determined by local Parks Staff.