Dr. Rita Cox park dedication a success!

Posted on October 24, 2008


On Wednesday night of this week, we dedicated a new park in honour of Dr. Rita Cox, community activist, librarian and renowned storyteller. I joined Dr. Cox, City of Toronto staff, prominent Torontonians and members of the community to officially open the Rita Cox Park on Machells Ave, just north of Lamport Staduim. On such a cold, winter-like night, I was so pleased to see many people come out to support this incredible woman. Take a look at the photos I just uploaded to the website gallery!

Rita Cox is an exceptional individual who, through her love of the spoken and written word, has inspired people of all ages and has opened the literary world to her audiences. Rita’s work touches the lives of residents in the Parkdale community, especially children and newcomers to the city. Dr. Cox has pioneered and/or worked with a number of Parkdale agencies including Parkdale Project Read, Gallery 1313, Parkdale Intercultural Association, Parkdale Community Information Centre, and Parkdale Activity-Recreation Centre (just to name a few!) In naming a park in her honour, we celebrate Dr. Cox’s achievements and continuing contributions to the community.

Born in Trinidad, Dr. Cox joined the Toronto Public Library as a children’s librarian in 1960. In 1972, she became the head of the Parkdale Branch, and launched literacy programs and other initiatives that promoted multiculturalism throughout Toronto. During her tenure, in 1973, Dr. Cox pioneered the library’s Black Heritage and West Indian Resource Collection, which was renamed in 1998 to the Black and Caribbean Heritage Collection. It soon became one of the most comprehensive collections of its kind in Canada. Today, it continues to be a source of pride in the community.

An active member of the Black community, Dr. Cox established Cumbayah, a festival of Black heritage and storytelling. A number of her stories have been published, including her own children’s book entitled “How Trouble Made the Monkey Eat Pepper.”A renowned storyteller who has entertained audiences worldwide, she has also maintained the Toronto Public Library’s storytelling legacy by training a whole new generation of storytellers, many of whom are current library staff.

After her retirement from the Toronto Public Library in 1995, Dr. Cox was appointed a Citizenship Court Judge by the Government of Canada.

Dr. Rita Cox has won numerous awards, including the 1986 Canadian Library Association Public Service Award and the Black Achievement Award. In 1997, Dr. Cox was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada for her outstanding work in storytelling and literacy. Both Wilfrid Laurier University and York University have awarded her honorary doctorates.

Rita Cox Park is located at 14 Machells Ave. and is one of the City’s 1,473 named parks operated by Parks, Forestry and Recreation.

Ward 14 Tree Advocacy – on the ground and running!

Posted on October 24, 2008

Last night I held a meeting to discuss how to increase the tree canopy in Parkdale-High Park. The meeting was attended by several residents who have been doing amazing work in their neighbourhoods to promote tree plantings and proper tree maintenance. Please see the attached brochure for more information on this exciting initiative.

Trees provide improved air quality, a cooler micro-climate, storage and recycling of rainwater, wildlife habitat, greener street connections to parks, healthy and interesting streetscapes, a renewed neighbourhood identity, increased property values and reduced energy costs.

The City of Toronto will visit your home and plant a free tree on your front property. Once an appropriate location has been determined, you usually have a choice between two or three trees. Once the selection has been made the city return to your property and plant the tree, free of charge!

If you are interested in having an inspection conducted of your front property to see if you qualify for a free tree please call 416-338-TREE (8733).

LEAF (Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests) will pant a tree for a small fee in your backyard. Contact LEAF at 416-413-9244 or visit www.leaftoronto.org

If you would like more information on how to start a tree advocacy group in your neighbourhood, contact the RMRA Greening Committee at greening@rmra-to.org. The WBRA (West Bend Residents Association) also has some helpful tips on a water brigade that is volunteer run that goes around the neighbourhood to water newly planted trees. For information on this exciting project, contact westbend resident David White at dvdwht@sympatico.ca.


Bloor/Dundas Avenue Study – next meeting

Posted on October 24, 2008

Please be advised that the next meeting for the Bloor/Dundas Avenue Study is a Local Advisory Committee meeting, held on:

Wednesday, November 5
6:30 p.m.
Loyola Arrupe – Main Floor Dining Area
1709 Bloor Street West

Signs will be posted directing folks to the meeting area.

Note: The public are welcomed to attend the LAC meetings and observe the LAC discussions. To ensure a focused discussion that will provide an opportunity to review the study materials to date and provide opportunities for feedback as we move forward (see page 6 of the Avenue Study terms of reference), we ask that members not appointed to the Local Advisory Committee reserve their comments for the Bloor Dundas ‘Avenue’ Study public meetings, or submit their comments directly to City Planning lead Corwin Cambray at 416-397-0244 or by email at ccambra@toronto.ca

We encourage all residents, business owners and stakeholders to participate fully in the larger community meetings for the Bloor Dundas ‘Avenue’ study, because your comments, questions and concerns spark further discussion at the LAC meetings and assist with the study’s progress. You may also want to connect with your area Resident’s Association, Business Improvement Area or community agency (see list of LAC members below) to ask that your comments be included in the LAC discussions.

LAC membership includes representation from:

  • Area Residents
  • Bishop Marrocco / Thomas Merton Catholic Secondary School
  • Bloor By the Park B.I.A.
  • Councillor Gord Perks, Ward 14, Parkdale-High Park
  • Friends of Dundas and Bloor
  • High Park Community Advisory Council
  • High Park Residents Association
  • Lithuanian Lutheran Church
  • Loblaw Properties
  • Loyola Arrupe
  • Roncesvalles Macdonell Residents Association
  • Roncesvalles Village B.I.A.
  • South Junction Triangle Residents Association
  • The Crossways Complex
  • Vilnius Manor
  • WestBend Community Association


Update on Garbage Bin Delivery in Ward 14

Posted on October 24, 2008

The following is an update of the Garbage Bin delivery for Wards 13, 14 and 18 (areas west of Dufferin Street, south of Bloor Street West to the Humber River).

Solid Waste Management is advising that a number of residents who ordered the Medium-size Garbage Bin will not have these bins delivered prior to November 1, 2008 (the start date for the Solid Waste fees). Due to the high number of residents City-wide who chose this size, they will not be able to produce them in time for delivery by November 1st.

Residents who do not have their bins will be receiving a supply of temporary pink garbage bag tags to use until the Garbage Bins are delivered. These temporary bag tags will be mailed via Canada Post to affected residents this week. The 10 bag tags can be used until the new Garbage Bin is delivered. Solid Waste Management has advised me to anticipate that these Garbage Bins will be delivered prior to November 30, 2008.

October 2008