Toronto’s City Park Is Being Neglected
Submitted by Karen Ghenne
I’m writing about the City Park which hosts the War Memorial Pool, the Little League Field, shelter house, tennis court, basketball court and supposed playground. Going back several years, I had an opportunity to see the proposed plans for the park while the city was applying for the grant to renovate. I would first like to question the fact that the improvements made at the park do not match the plan submitted with the grant application! First of all the walking track was supposed to go all the way around the park! It it only encircles the Little League Field. Also, the playground equipment between the ball field and the tennis court(s) was to be removed so a basketball court could be added next to the two tennis courts. Also the tennis courts were to be completely renovated and a new playground was to be erected.
Anyone who has been to the park knows these improvements were not made! Instead of adding the basketball court next to the tennis court, one of the tennis courts was converted to a basketball court, thus robbing city residents of already minimal court space. We had already lost the two tennis courts at the High School to the school buses several years prior. The tennis court was resurfaced period. The lines were NEVER even repainted on the resurfaced court. Ever try playing tennis without the lines? The “playground” amounted to one ` new piece of equipment! The playground at the City Park is a disgrace while a brand new playground was added next to the Roosevelt center. I must ask if the City applied for a grant and proposed specific improvements and then never made the specified improvements, where is the money? And is the City going to use what’s left to finish the park?
I would also like to point out that the park is a mess. I live behind the tennis courts and the weeds around it are sky high. There is garbage all around the area and down over the hill towards the alley. The tennis court which never seems to have a net, has broken glass all over it and of course, no lines to play tennis if one wanted to! To sum it up, it’s a disgrace to the City.
I don’t want to sound like I’m nitpicking, but keep in mind THIS is the City Park! Is this the best we can do? I see improvements all over town and applaud these great efforts to make the City a better place to live, but what about the park, and more specifically the tennis court and surrounding area? First, I can see that the powers that be have absolutely no interest in tennis! But, what about the people who do? They have to drive to Weirton or Steubenville to have access to a decent court! This is ridiculous considering this city once had 4 courts which it neglected and are now substandard due to the neglect! And can’t the park have decent “new” playground equipment for the children? There are many children in the surrounding neighborhoods, not to mention the children who frequent the park for Little League games and picnics at the shelter house. Also the walking track, which is wonderful, constantly has cars blocking it so walkers are constantly hindered. Last, not only is most of the equipment substandard the entire area is not kept up like it should be. That park could be beautiful with even a minimal effort. It’s almost as if the City Government “forgets” that it’s there.
When people or businesses are considering relocation, recreation IS a major factor. We have a wonderful park with many possiblities and lots of room for improvement. Are we going to let it dilapadate to the point that it’s beyond repair? Are we going to let people come into our wonderful community and see a substandard “City” Park? Please everyone, give this the consideration it deserves and speak out so the City of Toronto will develop this great asset and keep it up to par. Also, ask them WHY they never renovated the park to the grant specifications. I’ve been waiting years to see the plans implemented, and I suppose I’ll be waiting a lifetime. If I sound harsh I’m sorry, but it’s a shame that this wonderful park is being overlooked and not being afforded the opportunity to become the great asset to the city, that it does have the potential to be!