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A wood stove in the clubhouse at Dufferin Grove Park

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This website developed with the generous assistance of the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

About good use and good stewardship of the public commons.

Welcome to PublicCommons.ca (mostly about Toronto).

See Images:tree_sm.png... Site Menu for an overview of general topics.

This is a new website. Please contact us if you have any suggestions.

Using the Commons Understanding the Commons Getting Involved Search

Go to this tab's topic: Using the Commons

How you can enjoy the use of our Commons. Parks Forestry & Recreation offer facilities in parks and community centres for Torontonians to come together and play.

·2· Playgrounds

Kids love the adventure, the excitement, and the fun! Toronto has about 800 city playgrounds.

·4· Facilities in Parks

A general list of facilities that make time in Toronto's parks more fun and interesting

·5· Food in public space

Food is the best, and goes with outdoor space like eggs go with salsa

·6· Campfires

One of the simple things that bring people together

·7· Community Centres

There are just over 150 Community and Recreation centres in Toronto

·8· Accessible playgrounds

How can neighbourhood playgrounds be fun for all kids, including those who are physically challenged?

·9· Outdoor Skating Rinks

Toronto has more artificial outdoor skating rinks (over 50) than any other city in the world.

·10· Sports in Public Space

The City has just under 200 sports fields on offer.

·11· Bake Ovens

Bake ovens are a great way to learn about cooking, history, and fire in a social setting. And the food is delicious!

·12· Pedestrian and Street Commons

Some cities are famous for their sidewalk cafes; others for their village centres and car-free zones. This topic is a placeholder for us as an important part of the public commons.

·14· Permits

There are two basic ways to use park facilities: through programs, and through permits. This Topic provides information on permits.

·15· How Do I ... ?

Tips from experience

·16· Growing food on Public Commons

Toronto farmers market vendors have been talking about the market garden possibilities of the federal ex-airport lands near Pickering. There are food gardens in Toronto parks as well.

·17· Community Gardens

Whether it's growing food or flowers, community gardens are a great way to "play in the mud" with friends, neighbours, and the young ones too.

·18· Toronto Street Festivals

Examples of street festivals in Toronto. Dates listed are approximate - check the websites. If you have any events to add, let us know.

Go to this tab's topic: Understanding the Commons

To support the facilities for Torontonians, lots of work goes into creating ideas and organizing staff, volunteers and money.

·2· Financial View
Where the money goes

Citywide, in parks, and the example of Ward 18

·3· Elinor Ostrom

Governing the commons theorist, particularly dealing with conflict

·4· The Legal and Regulatory Framework
Laws, Regulations, Policies, Enforcement and Justice

There's a TON of great reference material in here that we have hardly begun to sort through.

·7· Courts

Much of how we relate to each other is revealed in our courts (and justice) system. See Nils Christie's paper "Conflicts as Property" for some insight.

City of Toronto Financial Trends

Apparently overall city costs, employee pay, and user charges have all gone up in the 40% range in real costs (inflation adjusted dollars) from 2001 - 2011, after amalgamation.

PFR Financial Trends

Toronto Parks, Forestry & Recreation budget has been rising steadily (and substantially) whether in absolute or inflation-adjusted terms. The question is: why?

Picture Albums

Thousands of pictures spanning a decade or more

Understanding the Toronto Budget (2013) - Summary

This analysis of Toronto's top-level budget items takes a natural functional view of what City Government does for its people.

Go to this tab's topic: Getting Involved

Some people don't stop at participating, or even volunteering. Some people try to have an impact on public space. Since it's all shared, that can be both tricky and rewarding.

·1· Community involvement

Community Involvement is one of the hallmarks of a great city. This folder provides a doorway into this side of the public commons.

·2· Community Advisory Stakeholders Lists

A catalog of groups in Toronto involved with community building

·3· Governance and The Commons: Trillium Project - 2010 - 2012

In 2010 The Ontario Trillium Foundation provided CELOS with a grant to explore working with the commons in various ways. Here's the story.

·5· Bio-toilet

The story of trying to get a (donated) bio-toilet installed near the playground at Dufferin Grove park, so the kids wouldn't have to use the nearby tree. Didn't work though.

·6· A Ward 18 Parks Conservancy

Possibly, a better way to govern public space

·7· Jutta Mason: Parks story
pragmatism vs technocracy

The 20 year story of the rise and (potential) fall of the iconic Dufferin Grove Park

Use keywords or Google to find information in the thousands of documents on this website.

Keyword tips

Keyword search tips

Most of the time entering a keyword like "campfires" or "bake ovens" or "permits" will get you started just fine. But here are some simple operators you can experiment with to refine your search (think of these as a tiny query language).

Operator Meaning Example Finds
+ AND operator; word must be included; use this most of the time +apples +oranges both "apples" and "oranges" must be found in the same document.
- NOT operator; word must not be included apples -oranges "apples" must be found without the word "oranges".
* wild card (must be appended to the end) camp* camp, camps, campfire, campfires, Campbell
<blank> absence of an operator is interpreted as OR; any document with the word will be found apples oranges any document with either "apples" or "oranges" will be found
"<phrase>" exact phrase; words enclosed in double quotes must be found exactly "orange apples" the phrase "orange apples" must be found
(<term>) grouping; search terms in parentheses are evaluated separately +bananas +(apples oranges) find "bananas" with either "apples" or "oranges"

Note that keywords less than four characters long are ignored.

Keywords are searched in the Title, Caption, Location, Description, and Body of documents.

Keyword search does not look for the root of plurals. So "campfires" will not find "campfire", nor will "campfire" find "campfires". To find both use "campfire*".

Some (very commonly used) keywords are ignored altogether. These are called "stopwords". For a list see stopwords.

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Keyword search Images:questionmark.png...

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