CANCELLATION OF THE HUMBER BAY PARK PAVILION

I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to provide feedback and suggestions on the Humber Bay Park East and West Master Plan and Pavilion project. I have read each of your emails and as many comments as I can on social media.

I'm here to work with - and on behalf of - the community. If the community does not want a new facility built in Humber Bay Park East, I will cancel the project.

I heard opposition to the pavilion at the community consultation, via email, and on social media. I am aware of a petition to stop the building entirely, and the Humber Bay Shores Condo Association has informed me they do not support the pavilion in Humber Bay Park East.

I can't speak to each and every one of you individually, so I meet with the Humber Bay Shores Condo Association regularly as they are a strong link to this community. I have been hearing for years that Humber Bay Shores needs a new facility and meeting space to serve the community.

In 2013, I moved a motion at City Council requesting the City develop a comprehensive plan detailing the necessary capital and operating changes needed for Humber Bay Shores Park, Humber Bay East and Humber Bay West Park to meet evolving community needs resulting from local intensification and growth. 

My original plan had been to repurpose the Eau Du Soleil sales centre building as a new community facility, but City Parks staff's assessment was that the building does not meet the City's standards. While this could have been the end of the project, I worked with the city and developed a different proposal, replacing the old buildings in Humber Bay Park East with a brand new, purpose-built facility to serve the community in a variety of ways.

Humber Bay Park East is a man-made park that was always intended to be a vibrant destination on the waterfront. The ponds and amenities surrounding them are currently dilapidated and in a state of disrepair. Where there was once scenic ponds with lights and music for people to enjoy while ice skating in the winter, there are now rotting boardwalks, cracked and broken lights, and desolate abandoned buildings. The goal was to have this new pavilion replace the current run-down buildings and help bring vibrancy and community back to the ponds.

When I was elected in 2003, I quickly realized we had fantastic community spaces and buildings, but absolutely no capital funding allocated to maintain them. For years I have been fighting for every possible development dollar to fund these projects. The Mimico community also desperately wants and needs a new community centre. The proposed location of the pavilion on the Waterfront Trail, would serve both Humber Bay Shores and Mimico while we work towards a new facility for that community.

Both locations, the current sales centre and Humber Bay Park East, are Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) land, and the TRCA has actively supported the pavilion in its proposed location in the park. The proposed site would complement increased use of the ponds, is accessible via the Waterfront Trail, and has ample access to existing parking.

It is clear that a vocal segment of residents do not want anything built in Humber Bay Park East. I am here to tell you that if it is the will of this community to cancel the pavilion project - I will cancel the pavilion project. The Humber Bay Parks East and West Masterplan can continue without the pavilion.

While the city was clear the sales centre was an unsuitable building, I moved a motion at Etobicoke York Community Council this week requesting City staff from all departments assess the viability of the sales centre, in its current location, as a City-owned community facility. The report will be prepared and available within the next few months.

The City has allowed for comments on this project until March 8, 2016 through the consultation process, so please continue to provide your feedback to me at councillor_grimes@toronto.ca and the Project Manager at nstuart@toronto.ca. If the majority of comments that come in are in opposition to the pavilion, I assure you, I will cancel the project.