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A Ward 18 Parks Conservancy
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·2· Proposal: Ward 18 Conservancy

One office for Ward 18 parks and community centres 13-Aug-2012 [1616]

• The basic idea is to give control of Ward 18, with the current consolidated Ward 18 budget, to a supervisor (or team of supervisors) and give the supervisor latitude to run the ward a little differently




  • Since Parks Forestry and Recreation was restructured into a “functional” model in 2006, its operating costs have gone up by $90 million (to $371 million in 2012)
  • Under the “functional” model, the Ward 18 community centres have stopped all open access programs for youth and school-age children and all ages of adults.
  • Under the “functional” model, the City intends to increase its fees for children/youth outdoor sports. But the volunteer sports groups which run these programs have to do almost all the field maintenance themselves, and then pay the city anyway.
  • Under the “functional” model, despite the revenue from all the fee-based recreation programs, the two Ward 18 community centres cost require $1.4 million in tax funds over and above revenue, to run the fee-based programs.
  • Under the “functional” model, the City has insufficient funds to keep the current recreation programs going in “community centres without walls” like Dufferin Grove because the community centres with walls need all the recreation money.
  • under the “functional” model, the City has dis-integrated the wading pools from the remaining recreation activities at Dufferin Grove and MacGregor Park, with all wading pools run centrally. The park program staff have been directed not to speak directly to these wading pool staff, only through a supervisor. The overall wading pool operating costs appear to have increased.
  • under the “functional” model, the three Ward 18 outdoor rinks (Dufferin, Wallace, and Campbell) have had their program budgets cut in half, with the other half of the funds moved to a central rinks staff administration on the same model as the wading pools. This will endanger the skate lending program, the snack bars, and the youth work at the rinks. It will also shrink the shinny hockey time, and it appears that the overall skating rink operating costs will increase.
Proposed Solution:

a pilot project “local conservancy” model in Ward 18 to test an alternative to the centralized “functional” model.

Legal framework:

City of Toronto Act, section(s):


1. Joint supervision of the Ward 18 conservancy by one (1) recreation supervisor and one half (1/2) a parks supervisor, working together.

2. A Ward 18 conservancy working group (CWG) with open membership made up of stakeholders: (a) users of Ward 18 parks or the two community centres (b) existing or new park friends groups (c) existing or new community centre advisory councils (d) social agencies that use the Ward 18 parks or community centres (e) CELOS and (f) on-site Ward 18 rec and parks staff – this working group or its subcommittees to meet at least monthly with the supervisors, meeting transactions to be posted publicly

3. Town Hall budget and program meetings at least twice a year, located at the community centres

4. Transparent budgeting, with up-to-date numbers posted publicly three days before the monthly working group meetings (also called “participatory budgeting”)

5. A minimum of 30 per cent tax-supported (open-access, NOT fee-based) programming in community centres, with those programs decided between local staff including the supervisors, and users

6. A minimum of 70 per cent tax-supported (open-access, NOT fee-based) programming in parks, with the programs decided between local staff including the supervisors, and users

7. A return to the 60-year practice of shared recreation programs between community centers and parks, no silos

8. Parks to share dedicated Ward 18 park maintenance staff with a published schedule showing location and tasks

9. Quarterly budget and programming reports to Council

Transition Steps :

(to be worked out next)

Attachments to document: Proposal: Ward 18 Conservancy