Park's field to be renewed thanks to mayor's help

[attach]6253[/attach]The sports field at Memorial Park will be out of commission starting in late fall for turf maintenance, work precipitated by Mayor Rob Ford himself.

After years of heavy use, the pockmarked field at Chaplin Crescent and Roselawn Avenue needs top dressing and seeding to spur turf renewal. The work is set to begin in late fall, and finish by early spring.

Memorial had been on a backburner list of fields destined for repair work, but it was made a priority in late June after Ford requested [url=]a site visit[/url] with Parks general manager Jim Hart, local councillor Karen Stintz, Forest Hill CI principal Peggy Aitchison and Ron Singer, a community coach at Forest Hill CI.

Singer said he brought concerns about the uneven field to the mayor a few weeks before the site visit.

“For some time, I knew the field was in a terrible situation,” he said. “It doesn’t look good, it looks almost like it’s unsafe.”

After the site visit, it was obvious the field is in a sorry state, Hart said.

“Everybody standing on the field agreed the condition isn’t what it should be,” he said.

The field is owned by the Toronto District School Board, but through an agreement that dates back to 1970, the city is responsible for maintaining it. Nearby schools use it during the weekdays, while the city permits out the use on evenings and weekends, said Bob Crump, manager of North York district parks. The school board would foot the bill for any capital infrastructure projects for the field, such as artificial turf or new goal posts. There are no current requests for capital projects at Memorial, a board spokesperson said.

The field is most frequently used by the North Toronto Soccer Club and the North York Baseball Association.

According to Crump, the estimated cost of the facelift is about $6,000.