Controls: show



[log in] or [register] to leave a comment for this document.

Go to: all documents

Options: show

Looking inside:
( display item 22)



[home] [about] [help] [policies] [legal disclaimer]


[profiles] [forum]

Container: Police
return to container details page
previous display
next display

·Police News· Police News 2006- Foodshare Garden Vandalism

From Dufferin Grove park newsletters 14-Aug-2011 [508]

Part of Police

posted November 11, 2006

Foodshare Garden Vandalism

Thanksgiving weekend this year saw FoodShare staff and volunteers start the proposed youth garden, at the southwest corner of Dufferin Grove Park. FoodShare has moved just up the street, into the former Brockton High School as of this week. They are collaborating with Parks, Forestry and Recreation, with the assisstance of the community, to put a teaching garden into the park. Foodshare leaders will help local youth maintain the garden and at the same time teach them how non-traditional vegetables can be grown.

Since then, work has been stopped on the garden, until the spring when a community meeting can be held, in response to neighbours opposed to the project.

To follow the email thread, please refer to the FoodShare Youth Teaching Garden link.

Over the last three weeks, the garden has been repeatedly vandalised. As of today, Saturday, November 11th, 2006, the outline of the garden (the only thing that was laid down) has been completely overturned. In certain sections, parts of the garden are missing. In others, straw and cardboard and compost are mixed up all together. It also appears that someone has raked the ground under the garden so that no grass will be able to grow there.

This destruction in the park has been reported to the Police. We ask that anyone seeing the vandals to call On-Site Park Staff Emergency number at 416-896-8942 or the Police. If you have any information you can send us an email at, leave a message at the rink house at 416 392-0913, or call the Non-Emergency Police Phone number at 416-808-2222.

Below are pictures from before and after the vandalism.

FoodShare Garden after Thanksgiving weekend, mid october...
FoodShare Garden after Thanksgiving weekend, mid october

South end of Garden over turned Nov 1st...
South end of Garden over turned Nov 1st

West end of garden overturned Nov 9th...
West end of garden overturned Nov 9th

North section of garden overturned
and ground raked Nov 11th...
North section of garden overturned
and ground raked Nov 11th

Foodshare youth teaching garden

(1) Supported by Councillor

From Kevin Beaulieu, assistant to Councillor Adam Giambrone, to Parks manager Sandy Straw, May 26 2006

Sandy--I'm sorry I was late and missed you this morning. The fourth priority regarding Dufferin Grove Park issues is

4. Work with FoodShare to establish community gardens in the southwest corner of the park, as discussed.

Councillor Giambrone wholeheartedly supports the community garden in principle, but has concerns in practice about growing food for consumption on land immediately adjacent to a major street like Dufferin, given the likelihood of contamination. This concern is not meant to discourage pursuing the project, but may serve as a guide to such things as siting.

Thanks again for making the visit and committing to these priorities. Please keep me updated on their progress for Councillor's Giambrone's reference.

From Jutta Mason to Chris Gallop, assistant to City Councillor Adam Giambrone, August 31, 2006

Tomorrow is newsletter day, so I just need to check a few facts.

Is there in fact a "show-and-tell" site visit scheduled to the composting toilet site? If so, when, and what does it involve? And will there be a "show-and-tell" visit to the new Foodshare community garden at the same time?

From Laura Berman, Foodshare, Aug.31 2006

We’d love to do a combo workbee/show & tell for the new garden. We’ve organized compost & fencing with Parks & Rec ‘s Solomon Boyé (the community garden coordinator for the City). For the work bee, we’re awaiting word from Chris Gallop of Councillor Giambrone’s office who emailed me mid-August to say that he was discussing it (the garden )with his colleagues and would get back to us soon. I expect that summer holidays have slowed that down a bit.

I don’t want to schedule a community meeting until I hear from him but I expect our date may be in early October, when we have a compost delivery (tentatively) scheduled.

Response from Chris Gallop, assistant to City Councillor Adam Giambrone, Aug.31 2006

Yes, it's been quite busy over here for us, so I apologize for not getting a chance to discuss this with you sooner.

The Councillor thinks it would be a good idea to run the new garden proposal by the community. One option we were thinking about is adding this to the information / question & answer session about the compost toilet we are having at the park on the evening of Tuesday Sept. 12th. Location hasn't been firmly settled, but we were thinking of asking people to gather outside at the south end of the rink house, or inside the rink house if it is raining.

It's actually preferable to meet about this before the work on the garden starts so that people have a real opportunity to provide their input into the project, rather than merely being informed about it after the fact. So I guess the real question is do you think you would have enough time to prepare answers to people's questions by Sept. 12th? If not, we could have separate meetings about the two issues and meet about the garden in late September or early October.

Jutta, once we have Laura's answer, is this enough information for your newsletter? At our end, the plan is to get some flyers printed and delivered around the middle of next week, to Havelock, Sylvan, Gladstone, Lindsey and Dufferin Park Ave. We can also provide the Park staff with a dozen or so to put up around the park.

From Foodshare staff person Daniel Hoffmann to on-site Park staff Mayssan Shuja and Jenny Cook (coordinator of volunteer gardeners), Sept.1 2006

Things are coming along very nicely in preparation for the Youth Garden at Dufferin Grove. We have got confirmation from the city that they will provide compost and fencing! We are very pleased and are in the process of setting up dates for the compost drop-off, thelasagna gardening work-bee, and the fencing. We are intending to do this in the latter half of October, since the next 6 weeks will be busy with our move to the new building. A few questions:

1) In order to have the fencing put it, we need to provide the city with a map of the "Locates", the location of the underground utilities for that part of the park. Could you provide us with this please?

2)We would like to do our lasagna gardening work-bee on an evening between October 16th and 27th? Is this okay with you? Is there any days of the week, or dates that you prefer we not do this on?

Thanx again for welcoming us into your community.

From Foodshare staff person Daniel Hoffmann to on-site Park staff Mayssan Shuja and Jenny Cook (coordinator of volunteer gardeners), Sept.11 2006

I sent you the email below a couple weeks ago but didn't hear back from you. Can you reply when you get the chance?

From Park on-site staff Jenny Cook (coordinator of volunteer gardeners)to Foodshare staff person Daniel Hoffmann

Apologies for not getting back to you. As far as I know there are not utility lines running through that part of the park, in any case I will see what I can find.

Any time in October should be fine, just let us know when you want to do it.

From Foodshare staff person Daniel Hoffmann to Park on-site staff Jenny Cook (coordinator of volunteer gardeners)

Thanx Jenny. Let us know please when you have that info as we can't book the fencing until then. And we will let you know when we intend to do our lasagna gardening work-bee.

From on-site park staff Mayssan Shuja to Recreation supervisor Tino DeCastro and Parks supervisor Peter Leiss, Sept.9 2006

Tino and Peter, a stake-out was requested from Food Share by the city in order for the city to put it fencing for the food share garden. This is the same as official permits? So i will tell Daniel to contact Hydro One at 1-800-400-2255, even though we know there are no lines in Dufferin Park. Is this correct?

Response from Parks supervisor Peter Leiss, Sept.12 2006

What is required is a locate of all utilities. This is done via Ontario 1 call. If you identify the location I will make the arrangements. This usually requires 1 - 2 weeks notice. I will be away from Sept 18 through to and including Sept 29th. Please let me know ASAP.

From park on-site staff Mayssan Shuja to Parks supervisor Peter Leiss, Sept.14 2006

Peter, if you're in trouble with time before your holidays, the staff here could contact one-call and Tom as well. I suspect that Foodshare may not want to wait until you come back to schedule the stakeout.

Response from Parks supervisor Peter Leiss to park on-site staff Mayssan Shuja, Sept.14 2006

It would be useful as Dan is not available to meet today. Perhaps Tino could arrange the locates to be done. I know this is a pain but once more this is a requirement that has to met.

From on-site park staff Anna Bekerman to Foodshare staff person Daniel Hoffmann, Sept.19 2006

I just spoke with the people from one-call about getting the locates done for the fencing. They asked if the area will be marked so that the various utility workers will know where to look for the lines. Could you spray paint the grass where the fence will go? It should help make the process go that much more simply.

From on-site park staff Anna Bekerman to Foodshare staff person Daniel Hoffmann, Sept.24 2006

I will be able to set up the locate work no problem once the area where the fence will be going in is marked. The best would be if you can come by. We have some spray paint at the park you can use. There is always staff here at least between 12-4 everyday, or give us a call and we can arrange a time. Or come by anytime if you can find something to mark it with.

From Foodshare staff person Daniel Hoffmann to on-site Park staff Anna Bekerman, Sept.25 2006

Great. Thanx so much for stepping in Anna. I will be by this afternoon to spray the designated area. Thanx for your help.

From Foodshare advisor Laura Berman to Foodshare staff person Daniel Hoffmann, Oct.3 2006

I met with Jenny, Jutta and Anna this past Friday and here's the scoop:the edge of the garden should be 6 ft away from the path so as to not undercut the path's base and to leave some room. And we've moved the west end back somewhat. Anna and Jenny will remember exactly where to (right?). Anna, what I don't recall is whether Daniel or you were going to re-mark the lines...but in this weather it might be a bit of a losing battle.

From Foodshare advisor Laura Berman to Chris Gallop, assistant to City Councillor Adam Giambrone, oct.4 2006

Well, the summer is more than officially over and we're once again turning our thoughts to the new garden project at Dufferin Grove (in between moving the FoodShare offices to 90 Croatia St.)

As you know we all decided not to cloud the issues by including the garden in the meetings about the compost toilet, which I think was a good idea. We would now like to take advantage of the Parks Dept's generous offer to install the garden fence for us and to receive the compost that they have also offered us. What we'd like to do this fall is layout the garden's form with that fence and put down a layer of compost, We could then hold an information session and a learning work-bee in early spring. Parks would like to do the fence as soon as possible as they have a lot of things on their fall schedule and I don't know if we'd get them back next spring.

We will include info on the youth garden in the park's and FoodShare newsletters with contact info so that people can get info from us and sign up to volunteer before the spring.

If that's all Ok with you, Chris, we'll schedule the fence and the compost for mid October and the community involvement info sessions in early spring.

Thanks very much for all of your help with this--it's going to be a terrific garden!

(:sidebar-right-narrow:) (2) Threats by neighbours (:/sidebar:)

From Jutta Mason to City Councillor Adam Giambrone and others, Oct.9 2006

On Thanksgiving day, two park neighbours saw two FoodShare staff putting in a youth garden, at the southwest corner of the park. FoodShare is relocating to the former Brockton High School this month. They are collaborating with the Parks Department to use this little-used location to put a teaching garden into the park, maintained by local youth under FoodShare’s leadership, and showing how a variety of non-traditional vegetables can be grown in this climate.

When the park neighbours saw these gardeners, they rallied four other neighbours and warned the gardeners to stop working immediately. Two park staff came to see what the problem was, and they were told that they must not interfere, and also that any FoodShare garden work would be undone by this neighbourhood group, by force if necessary.

The Thanksgiving Day confrontation about the FoodShare youth garden underlines the deep anxiety of these residents and their friends about what is happening at Dufferin Grove Park. Even the new trees planted by City Forestry two weeks ago resulted in objections by a friend of this group.

Threatening the Foodshare staff with destruction of their garden, or treating the park staff discourteously, are not viable ways to proceed, however, no matter how worried these park neighbours might be.

Park on-site staff have urged these park neighbours to call yet another meeting, this time organizing and promoting it themselves so that it’s done the way they want. None of the park-related meetings in the past year have had the outcome this group desires (including the big “should the park have a formal advisory structure” meeting at St.Mary’s High School last November). So now it’s time for the group to put their ideas on the table. The park problems are tricky – rink management, park maintenance budgets, lack of capital funds for park repairs or improvements, even for benches (in this ward). If the objectors have ideas that can solve these problems, and are willing to carry out the long-term follow-up work -- if they can add their talents to the considerable gifts given by so many park users over the years -- that can only be good for the park.

(:sidebar-right-narrow:) (3) Notification of requirement to apply for permit for garden (:/sidebar:)

From Parks supervisor Peter Leiss to City Councillor Adam Giambrone, Oct.10 2006

I am not aware of any "Community Garden" application being sought/approved for this location. I have contacted the Hort supervisor to gain some insight. This doesn't mean that the Garden has not been approved it just means I not aware of it. If it has been approved then the interference ought not to have occurred. If it has not been approved an application should be made.

You idea of another meeting might be useful. Having the group organize and arrange the meeting should relieve any notions of failure to notify. I expect that the end result will not be any different than what has already occurred.

Just my 2 cents.

From Jutta Mason to Parks supervisor Peter Leiss, Oct.10 2006

I didn't have the impression that this would need an application since it's a joint Parks/FoodShare project (with Parks (Horticulture) having already brought materials and the stakeouts having been done).

That may be naive of me, but because of its youth aspect I thought it was more or less right in the mandate of Parks to foster this kind of thing internally.

From Parks supervisor Peter Leiss to Jutta Mason, Oct.10 2006

As far as the Garden is concerned I am not aware of whether this garden has an agreement or not. All Community Gardens now require an agreement and has done since the beginning of the year. This not an onerous process but a required one to ensure that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities.

From Foodshare gardening advisor Laura Berman to Jutta Mason, Oct.10 2006

Chris Gallop can make a meeting this Thursday, October 12, at 5 pm at the Park , which Ravenna said is also OK with her. Should we also invite Peter Leiss from Parks? When I talked to him this morning he was quite understanding though was not happy to be playing catch up ...I think it's mostly that we didn't have any official process from Parks' community garden organizer, Solomon Boyé. How about I also invite Solomon to the meeting?

From Foodshare gardening advisor Laura Berman to Jutta Mason, Oct.10 2006

Well this meeting on Thursday (at 5:00pm) seems to be well underway. In addition to you and Mayssan, Chris Gallup and Peter Leiss can both attend and from FS there will be me, Karine and Ravenna. Peter and I are both trying to get Solomon Boyé as well (he's P&R's CG person)

Here's what we (FS) are thinking:

we'd like to help facilitate a public meeting asap, with the help of all above and including also the park neighbours so that they do not feel left out. According to an email that was sent to Peter, but which I haven't seen (he made mention of it), they object mostly to the way in which it was done and that they weren't consulted or informed. That was also Ravenna's impression.

From park neighbour Carol Seljak to the Mayor and all City councillors, Oct.11 2006

A few days before thanksgiving neighbours wondered why a giant mound of manure and several bales of straw were dumped across the road from our houses. Some of us hoped the Mounties were visiting but we knew better. Our curiosity was assuaged on Thanksgiving Monday when we looked out of our windows to see workers spreading straw and manure all over the grass in our park!!!

Frantic neighbours still reeling from the surprise composting toilet fiasco leapt into action! Within minutes people abandoned their thanksgiving family time when summoned and immediately dashed to the park because they knew that no one at the City nor the Friends of Dufferin Grove Park cared about what they thought or how they felt about anything *built *and *built* and *built* and *built* on our precious greenspace.

Ravenna, a Foodshare employee who seemed to be in charge told us that this area would be an organic gardening project for local and other youth, co-sponsored by Foodshare and the Friends of Dufferin Grove Park. This was news to us!

Many of us have supported Foodshare for many years and we found ourselves in the unenviable position of venting our frustrations on an innocent Foodshare employee, insisting that the work be stopped and that a community consultation process should begin. Ravenna was surprised and dismayed that we had heard nothing about the project and expressed sympathy for our position that the community should be consulted on what happens in the park. And she agreed to stop work until the consultation process took place.

Why was there no consultation with the neighbouring community about this proposal to locate a huge organic garden in the south end of the park?* As we know from our involvement in OMB hearings in various area development projects, this neighbourhood is *park-deficient* with respect to serving the needs of area residents. We would question the wisdom of converting a large grassy area now used for a multitude of recreational uses i.e. playing ball, having picnics, enjoying the sun etc. into a single use area for use by a particular, exclusive group making the park even more grass-deficient. Mayssan, a parks employee told us that this project had been approved some time ago and that details of it were in a Friends’ newsletter. We have searched all Friends’ newsletters from May to September and have found no mention of this project.

The fact that we are forced to visit the Friends’ web-site to try and discover what the heck else the Parks department is up to is a sad commentary on the state of your department’s total lack of communication with the surrounding neighbourhood.

  • What role has the parks department played in orchestrating this project?
  • What was the approvals process?
  • Why did consultation with the neighbouring community not occur to you?
  • When is this going to change?
  • We expect more sensitivity from our parks department and look forward to a consultation meeting in the near future.
From Parks supervisor Peter Leiss to park neighbour Carol Seljak. Oct. 11 2006

It is unfortunate that this project occured in the manner that it did. I have spoken to Foodshare and they have assured me that it is and always has been their process to involve the community in any of their projects. Unfortunately that did not occur in this case. I will be working with them to set up a meeting as soon as possible. This project predates my arrival and I was not aware of it.

I have also called the City of Toronto Community Garden Co-ordinator and I am awaiting a return call from him to determine what process was used to locate the garden as well as the approvals process. Hopefully I will be able to update you on this shortly.

From Jutta Mason to Parks supervisor Peter Leiss, Oct.11 2006

I got a forwarded e-mail in which you wrote to Carol Seljak "I was not aware of it," referring to the Foodshare teaching garden/youth garden and its location. I know you've been on holiday and had a lot to catch up on, so you may have forgotten.

You will note the subject line in your e-mail, sent Sept.15 (I've resent it here, note subject line above, and text below) is "Re: Foodshare garden." In the e-mail you agreed that on-site park staff should follow up on the Foodshare gardens stakeouts that you had already started to arrange but were not able to complete before your holidays.

Also the Foodshare proposal was brought up first to Sandy on May 26, the same day she and I also spoke about the need to pave the zamboni trail.

(:sidebar-right-narrow:) (4) Support by City (:/sidebar:)

Sandy said then that the project sounded terrific but she would like the councillor to indicate his support. The councillor said that he liked the idea but that he'd like it to be raised at the community meeting that was also going to discuss the composting toilet. I wish we had done that, but as you know, the meeting ended up dealing for two hours with the complainants' energetic campaign all summer to stop the toilet from being built, as well as with the idea that kids would be barred from helping. So there was never time to discuss the youth garden.

As you also know, it is very likely that the meeting would have approved the youth garden. However, since none of the complainants showed up at the meeting, and since they afterwards claimed that (a) posters all over the park, (b) a front page newsletter piece, (c)a highlighted website announcement and (d) 350 mail drops from the councillor's office didn't give them enough notice of the meeting, it's unlikely that they would have accepted any garden vote from that meeting.

But at least we can agree that everyone knew about the idea, including you -- eh? I've cc'd your cc list on this e-mail, just to get the facts straight. Please feel free to send it along to anyone else who would be interested. Please see also my clarifications (in my other e-mail) re the content of Ms.Seljak's "what is going on in our neighbourhood park?"

From Parks supervisor Peter Leiss to Jutta Mason, Oct.12 2006

You are correct I was aware of the plans for the garden and will correct my email to Carol. I had meant to say that I was not aware of what had transpired regarding the "Community Gardens Approvals" process related to this garden. Sorry for the confusion.

From Jutta Mason to Parks supervisor Peter Leiss, Oct.12, 2006

Some suggestions for follow-up:

1. Either allow FoodShare to spread out the compost for the winter (no fence) or ask for the pile to be removed. The pile is very unsightly. I'm told that some of the same park neighbours who shouted at Mayssan yesterday also asked to take some of the straw and dirt for their own backyard gardens. Not a good idea, maybe?

2. There is no interest in the neighborhood to have yet another meeting with these folks right now. After their no-show for the composting toilet meeting, they have little credibility. They will need to get it back. Suggestion: Dufferin Rink has over 10,000 visits a season. Many of the regular users are local. Ms.Seljak and friends could set up a winter rink display of how they would prefer the green space of the park to be, and people can discuss it with their neighbours as they spend time at the rink. (The rink house is full of those kinds of discussions all winter.) There's lots of room on the walls, to show something beautiful about parks. Then there can be a garden meeting at the end of the rink season when people have got over this bump and gardening seems more urgent.

3. If Ms.Seljak would like to help get more grass into the park -- as you know, some of us have asked about re-sodding some of Arie Kamp's flowerbeds now that he's retired. Would they like to help?

From Jutta Mason to Parks supervisor Peter Leiss, Oct.12, 2006

Hello again Peter. Carol Seljak sent an e-mail around today and I think it needs some adjustment for the facts. You did not challenge any of it. May I?

1. the project was not "co-sponsored by the Friends of Dufferin Grove Park." No such organization exists; see:

The park has a very large number of loyal friends, however, many of whom think the FoodShare teaching garden/youth garden is great. But that doesn't let them "co-sponsor" anything. Co-sponsoring is what we want Parks to do.

2. the pile of dirt is not manure. It's leaf compost, as is evident to any gardener.

3. The location was checked with the park's on-site staff. Many of the Dufferin Grove casual staff have worked at the park for years and they know, as do most park users, that the corner where the garden was meant to be is the least "contested" area of the park. No one plays sports or picnics there because it's too close to the road and the park has so many other more pleasant areas to do those things. (Fourteen acres).

4. Green space is not usually defined as simply grass space, as Ms.Seljak does. Since the park regained a few of its gardens over the last decade (it was a horticultural showplace in the thirties, known all over the city), promenading among the gardens and admiring the horticultural variety there has become a big draw for park users. You'll see them every evening and weekends.

5. "Our Common Grounds" was approved by City Council, I think. Youth work and community gardens featured prominently in the goals set out for Parks, Forestry and Recreation. If some of a park's immediate neighbours refuse gardens, or youth programs, does that mean there won't be any? Does your Division have any liberty to try something new, or are you entirely at the mercy of nay-sayers? Does even a 10x15 meter youth garden (yes, that's the measurement) in a 6-hectare park now need a public meeting before it can go ahead?

From Parks supervisor Peter Leiss to Jutta Mason, Oct.12 2006

We have a meeting scheduled with Food Share this afternoon at 5:00 pm. Food Share would like as much community invovlement as possible.

(:sidebar-right-narrow:) (5) City commitment to have community consultation (:/sidebar:)

From City Parks manager Sandy Straw to Jutta Mason and others, Oct.12 2006

Since this is a joint project Foodshare and Parks Forestry / Recreation Division Peter and I will work with Foodshare and follow the community garden process. This project and its focus on community involvement and youth outreach fits well with each of our goals and interests.

As part of the process Parks and Foodshare will ultimately call and host a community meeting on this project in keeping with our commitment to community and the community garden process.

From Parks supervisor Peter Leiss to on-site park staff Mayssan Shuja, Oct,.23 2006

The compost will have to be used in the park (spreadout) on gardens, around trees and on the turf or removed completely. I anticipate that this will be done over the next 2 weeks.

From on-site park staff Mayssan Shuja to Foodshare garden staff Ravenna Barker, Oct.27 2006

I hope the move has been going well. I wanted to give you a little update on the garden.... We went to cover up that one stretch of straw and it seems that someone - maybe parks people, maybe other folks, have taken away the straw and cardboard that was put down just in the last section. Also, I'm not entirely sure, but it does appear that more of the garden has gone missing since then. We weren't sure how you would proceed so decided to tidy up the compost heap a little, take up the straw bales, and are following up with Peter about completing the removal of the compost. What do you think should be done in that section?

I am worried about people removing bits of the garden - and think that its really important to get a little sign up sooner - with both Food Share's name and Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation. With a number to call and saying that this is a proposed test site of a youth teaching garden - with a public meeting in the spring. Something like that anyway. We have wood and paint and can help.

(:sidebar-right-narrow:) (6) Repeated vandalism of the gardens (:/sidebar:)

From Foodshare garden staff Ravenna Barker to Mayssan Shuja, on-site Park staff, Nov.2 2006

The move has gone relatively smoothly, and we're beginning to unpack and settle into our new digs. We're so glad to finally be in the neighbourhood! I am really looking forward to FoodShare and Dufferin Grove being able to work together through the years.

We're happy to work with you on a sign for the site. We'd like Peter Leiss's approval before we go forward, since he was pretty emphatic in the meeting about not wanting any signage to go up.

From park on-site staff Mayssan Shuja to Foodshare, Parks staff, Recreation staff, Nov.8 2006

I'm afraid I have some bad new, as of Saturday night, the entire south side of the garden has been turned over. Yesterday, the west side. So there is straw and soil and cardboard all mixed up. I'm afraid it looks quite sad. I've attached a few pictures to this email. Maybe be you already know about this. Would it be good now if you and your crew would come by, take a look and tell us what rescue work can be done. Peter has completely removed the compost pile, so now just a little raking is needed.

%block lframe%Gardens-Photos:FoodshareOct11.jpg | %center%[-October 11-]

%block rframe%Gardens-Photos:Foodsharegarden11Nov06.jpg | %center%[-November 9-]

I've been trying to come at odd times of the night and morning to see who has been doing the vandalism but I can't seem to catch anyone!! I think its probably a good idea to let it be known publicly that this project is a work in progress and can't just be ripped apart.

The sign. Peter suggested we wait till after the elections. He's now away for this week, the election is next Monday, and I feel that we should have a sign up right after. Definitely contact him to let him know and I have cc'd him on this email.

From on-site park staff Mayssan Shuja, posted on the park web site home page, Nov.11

Over the last three weeks, the garden has been repeatedly vandalised. As of today, Saturday, November 11th, 2006, the outline of the garden (the only thing that was laid down) has been completely overturned. In certain sections, parts of the garden are missing. In others, straw and cardboard and compost are mixed up all together. It also appears that someone has raked the ground under the garden so that no grass will be able to grow there.

This destruction in the park has been reported to the Police. We ask that anyone seeing the vandals to call On-Site Park Staff Emergency number at 416-896-8942 or the Police. If you have any information you can send us an email at, leave a message at the rink house at 416 392-0913, or call the Non-Emergency Police Phone number at 416-808-2222.

From Parks supervisor Peter Leiss, Nov.13 2006

We are in the process of scheduling a meeting regarding the garden and other issues. It would be useful to delay any repairs and signage until after we have had the meeting. Could you let Food Share know that they should not do anything at this point.

From on-site park staff Mayssan Shuja to Parks supervisor Peter Leiss, Nov.13 2006

I'm a little bit confused about your last email. The garden is in REALLY bad shape. I thought the policy in the park was to repair vandalism immediately, to avoid further damage. The sign is informative only, with contact information. Already this has been on hold for weeks. When is the meeting schedule for. FoodShare is able to come this Wednesday to clean up. Please advise.

Update, Dec.1 2006

The City maintenance crew removed the debris left as a result of vandalism to the garden. There is no information sign at the site but there will be an information bulletin board about the Foodshare youth teaching garden inside the rink house all winter.

From Ravenna Barker, Foodshare, to Mayssan Shuja, Dufferin Grove Park on-site staff, Dec.10 2006

I was putting together a budget for what we need for the garden there at Dufferin Grove, and I realized that I didn't know if there was a water connection anywhere near the location of the future garden. If not, we should probably be planning to have one installed (yes?). Also, I wanted to know about tool storage. Obviously we're going to need a place to store our tools. I was wondering if this had been thought through yet, and if the plan was for us to have a shed in the garden, for us to store in existing facilities, or something else.

The second thing that I'm writing about is I want to get in touch with Peter Leiss to see what's happening with the public meeting and to see if perhaps we can get that happening sooner rather than later.

From Mayssan Shuja, Dufferin Grove Park on-site staff, to Ravenna Barker, Foodshare, Dec.18 2006

I'm sorry its taken a long long time to get back to you. The rink season started at Dufferin and it is packed!! So no calm till about April! Here's some overdue answers:

1/ There is a water connection on the north side of the path near the garden's proposed site

2/ Tool arrangement - we have a pool side/garden shed. Its quite full though with a lot of pool stuff. Depending on what you need to store - it would probably be a neat idea to have a box built - big enough to store shovels/hose/etc... but small enough to be mobile. We can leave it near the pool side with the other boxes, or even near the garden? Something to think about.... We have acquired some wood - so we just need hands.

To e-mail Peter Leiss - to be honest - I'm not even entirely sure he's still the park supervisor, or that he will be come the new year. He hasn't responded to my last emails and there is paper work that suggests its Dave Chapman. I'll make sure to check though. Sandy certainly is the manager and will be, and it might be a good idea to get in touch with her since she is setting the meeting up and was interested in having this garden. The meeting - I would suggest to have after the rink season is over. End of March. From our experience, having a meeting any earlier would be premature - folks just are not thinking about spring when the ice is out. Since the final vandalism and instruction to take no action on the garden - there has been no word from Peter/Sandy regarding the garden.