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On Monday, vote for better parks

When we released our Parks Platform, Growing Parks From the Grassroots, we called on mayoral candidates to explore our ideas and include parks in their own platforms. We’re happy to say they have.
Our platform focussed on 10 practical, meaningful actions that could be achieved in the next term of council. These ideas addressed building strong community partnerships, animating parks through creativity, proactively planning parks, and keeping parks in good repair.
Many of these ideas are found within the mayoral candidates own platforms, including:
  • Better partnerships with volunteer-led park friends groups and community non-profits, including waiving permit and insurance costs for their events.
  • A focus on proactive park planning and linking parks into a network through projects such as the Green Line along the Dupont hydro corridor.
  • A stronger staff presence in city parks, so communities know who to contact.
  • Better engagement with foundations, non-profits, and the business community. 
Below we’ve highlighted a few of the candidates’ ideas and provided links to where you can read their full platforms. Click here to listen to the three major mayoral candidates debate parks policy at the Toronto Star’s Big Ideas debate held on October 20, 2014.
Election Day is Monday, October 27th.

Olivia Chow

Olivia Chow’s platform focuses on improving access to parks by removing cost barriers, modernizing the permit system, providing a better staff presence, and increasing access for families, groups and neighbourhoods.
Some highlights:
  • Create better partnerships with local park friends groups, including waiving permit fees and covering insurance costs for their fundraising events held in parks. “Citizens shouldn’t be out-of-pocket when they are making communities stronger,” she says.
  • Modernize the city’s permit system by putting permits, as well as Toronto Island ferry tickets, online.
  • Posting contact information for a city staff person in a park so people know who to contact.
Read more here.

John Tory

John Tory’s platform focuses on proactive park planning to keep pace with growth, better partnerships with the private sector and community volunteers like park friends groups, and highlighting Toronto’s ravines.
Some highlights:
  • Encourage a more welcoming attitude towards park volunteers, such as park friends groups. “Charging these groups permit fees so they can donate their time and energy to improve their local parks is counter-productive,” he says.
  • Look to hydro and rail corridors to expand Toronto’s network of parks, with specific mention of the Green Line.
  • Improve access, way-finding and public art in the city’s ravines through a citywide ravine strategy.
Read more here.

Doug Ford

Doug Ford hasn’t released a parks platform, but at the Toronto Star Big Ideas debate on October 20th, Ford spoke about the need to do more to engage the private sector in park revitalizations and improvements, such as new playgrounds.

Learn more about our Parks Platform >
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