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Monday, July 28, 2008


"Colonel Samuel Smith Park recognizes one of Etobicoke's first settlers. in 1793, Smith, of the Queen's Rangers, was granted Crown land by Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe. Smith's tract eventually extended from Lake Ontario to Bloor Street, between Kipling Avenue and Etobicoke Creek, and included some of this waterfront park. The park surrounds the former Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital, established and operated by the province from 1888 to 1979. It was the first health care facility in Ontario to use a decentralized "cottage" system. Generous lands surrounding the building were devoted to agriculture and gardening. Patients helped to construct most of the buildings here. The farms and gardens, maintained by patients, were both therapeutic and productive - a model of self-sufficiency and modern treatment. Colonel Samuel Smith Park provides a scenic access point to lake Ontario and the Waterfront Trail. This significant public greenspace and heritage resource includes a 21.5 ha lakefill area created by The Metropolitan Toronto and Region Conservation Authority between 1983 and 1992. Habitat restoration projects include Carolinian tree and shrub plantings and the creation of a 3.6 ha wetland (a partnership project between Metropolitan Toronto, the province of Ontario and the Government of Canada). These projects help advance Metropolitan Toronto's goal for a healthy waterfront offering unique recreational opportunities. Colonel Samuel Smith Park officially opened September 8, 1996."

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


A recent phone call to Sarah Hall from LURA Consulting (the company that was hired to facilitate the last public meeting on the proposed skating tail and to write the summary report) elicited the following response "We had a large number of comments come back to us, so we are just finalizing the report now. We hope to have it out to participants as soon as possible. I apologize for the delay."
It will be interesting to see whether the report sticks only to comments directly related to the narrow range of questions they put forward (i.e. some general tweaking of the concept plan) or truthfully addresses the large body of opinion that, for varied and sound reasons, rejects the proposal altogether .
Posted by Terry Smith


Waterfront Toronto and Toronto and Region Conservation
invite you to join us in celebrating the Mimico Waterfront Park – Phase 1!
Activities include official opening ceremonies,
a fish check-up and community BBQ.
Monday, July 28, 2008 at 2:30pm
Mimico Waterfront Park, behind Storefront Humber,
located at 2445 Lakeshore Blvd. W.
For more information, please contact: Catherine DeAbreu
Tel: 416-661-6600, ext. 5305

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


There is a new website for kids that details things that they can do this summer to burn off energy. It profiles city parks and lists activities that can be done in them. Below is a quote from the Colonel Samuel Smith Park page. Note the emphasis on passive, nature-focussed activities and the delight that kids experience when they're up close and personal with the natural world, a must for kids to develop the appropriate sensitivity and value base our planet so desperately needs now and in the future. This is what Friends of Sam Smith Park has been saying for a long time now - that those rare places in the city where this can happen need to be preserved, protected and enhanced, not encroached upon by interests that wish to pop into them activities and facilities, no matter how valuable and important to the community, that can be located elsewhere.
The web address is
"The kids will especially love stopping by one of the viewing decks, where you can often spot groups of baby ducks and swans, turtles sunning themselves on the rocks, beaver dams and even the beavers themselves, if you are lucky! Make sure to bring along a camera and binoculars as there are over a hundred bird species which can be spotted in the area, as well as their nests often hidden in the reeds."

Posted by Terry Smith