Cash for lighting moved to park

[attach]4991[/attach]A council decision to reallocate funding for lighting of a pathway may have safety implications for those who live nearby.

On Sept. 22, Toronto city council opted to shift the $15,000 set aside for lighting of the Dallington Ravine, which runs from Sheppard Avenue East north to Glentworth Avenue, to improvements in nearby Lescon Park. The decision was part of an amendment to a larger bylaw affecting the ongoing development at 25 Buchan Crt.

Citing her concerns before the decision was made, Glentworth Avenue resident Anne Graham sent an email to council informing them of her concerns of the darkness in the area, highlighting a personal experience.

“It was on Glentworth … it was right at the ravine, but up on the sidewalk,” she said of the night she was attacked from behind and taken into the ravine. “I was within yards of a house. People heard me screaming, but they thought I was just a kid playing around in the ravine.”

Graham said it was in May 1980 when she walking along Glentworth that she was attacked. At first, she said, she thought it was one of her sons fooling around, until she turned and saw her attacker.

“Then I knew I better start fighting,” she said. “I was very fortunate, I just managed to fight him off.”

This experience, says Graham, is why there needs to be lighting.

The decision ultimately fell through, as council found the $15,000 was not sufficient enough funding for the required lighting.

Graham says she received a letter from her councillor Shelley Carroll’s office thanking her for her concern and explaining the issue.

“First of all, the cost of putting in one light along the walking path — hardly enough to light the entire way — is about $50,000,” she said reading from the letter. “Second, as part of the agreement between the developer and the city, the developer will be required to light the west side of the path.

“Given that the Glentworth path is fairly narrow, this should be a drastic improvement in terms of lighting,” she continued. “So not to worry that we are abandoning this project without considering the safety reasons behind why the community wanted the path lit in the first place.”

Given that she was a victim of a violent crime, one might expect Graham to be disappointed in the decision. But for the sake of safety, she says she doesn’t mind waiting for the lighting of the north end of the Dallington Ravine.

“If it’s going to cost $50,000 to put one light in, then I can understand why (they decided against it),” Graham said. “Probably to light that area you need two on the north side and you could do with one maybe on the other side.”