Last week, Toronto park advocates Park People released their inaugural report timed to coincide with the City budget deliberations and consultations on a new Parks plan. You can download the four page report here – http://www.parkpeople.ca/storage/PP%20Paper%20No2-Singles.pdf
Some of the key recommendations include: our parks would be better if they were staffed with a dedicated city worker in each park, had an active local “Friends Of” group and were supported by private donations.
Some great recommendations, but what does it say about the city’s priorities when parks that in years past had full time employees in charge of their maintenance and upkeep must now rely on citizen run volunteer groups to help keep them running smoothly? Here’s some numbers from the report to underscore how important parks are to the people of Toronto:
- 1600 parks in Toronto
- 84 sq km or 20,500 acres of parkland and natural spaces in Toronto
- 13 per cent of the city is occupied by parks and natural spaces
- 1.3 million Toronto residents visit a park at least once a week
- 365,000 visit a park every day