A dozen residents from the Wigmore Park neighbourhood in the Victoria Park and Eglinton area gathered at Sloane Public School on Wednesday June 12, 2013 to officially kick off the new ‘Friends of Wigmore Park’ group. Local residents Claudia Araya and Suzanna Negrini started Friends of Wigmore Park a year ago. While the group’s online presence and initial planning and formation have spanned the past year, this was the first community meeting for these parkmakers to begin visioning and planning for a better park.
Residents arrived with a variety of priorities for the park. The meeting was informed by a survey of over 40 community members at Sloane Public School’s fun fair on May 25th. Four priority areas emerged for the community:
- Park Events
- Park Fixtures
- Park Greening
- Park Capital Improvements
The attendees broke into groups and tackled the priority they were most interested in, exploring what was possible and setting rough timelines and goals to accomplish their vision.
Some fascinating history and context arose from the discussion. For example,
- The number one need as expressed by the community is a splashpad. The baseball diamond that edges the park was built atop a splashpad that was built in the 1970s, and a water access point still exists at the site.
- No water feature such as splashpads exist within 2 km of the park, making it a prime location for the community.
- Wigmore Park’s direct connection to the ravine system brought out interesting questions about land ownership and responsibility for maintenance. While the park beds and grounds are well maintained, the ravine system has encountered severe erosion from recent storms.
- There is lots of potential for the park greening to coincide with the eco schools initiative at Sloane & Victoria Village Public School. Programs such as the Adopt-A-Park-Tree are a great way to get students out to their local park.
- A Farmer’s Market and Movie nights in the Park were suggestions that the events group put forward as a great way to engage a neighbourhood where there are so many new families.
The Friends of Wigmore Park is excited to share their priorities with their city councillor and park supervisor. They’re just getting started on their path to a better park, and we’re excited to help make it happen alongside the Wigmore Park community.