Tiny community rallies for its parks

Governor's Bridge community holds annual picnic and celebrates opening of new playground

Not too many people in the city have heard of the small neighbourhood called Governor’s Bridge but it has been getting a lot of attention recently from all three levels of government.

Tucked away in a corner of the Don Valley, the community of Governor’s Bridge consists of no more than four streets but its small size and relative isolation are partly why local residents are so proud.

“It think between the perfect location and the nice people and the fact that it’s pretty secluded, you really couldn’t ask for better,” said Karri Paradi, a resident whose family has been organizing community picnics for decades.

Governor’s Bridge residents and their ratepayers association recently held their 43rd annual community picnic, only this year’s was more significant than most. The event was also held to celebrate the opening of a new playground at Nesbitt Park, a project headed by the area’s ratepayers association. Among the attendees at the ribbon-cutting ceremony was the outgoing-councillor for Ward 29, Case Ootes.

“What became very clear with Nesbitt Park was with all the sewers they were putting in and they were upgrading the size of the pipes, they were tearing it to shreds,” said Cheryl Drynan, president of the Governor’s Bridge ratepayers association.

The playground itself was past its prime and was scheduled to be rebuilt by the city in 2012. Drynan made inquiries to the city to find out if the playground could be upgraded sooner since the park was already in disarray.

“All they were prepared to do pretty much was to fill it back in and put some sod down and it was like well, that’s not really going to work for us,” Drynan said.

The association began working with councillor Ootes’ office to find a solution and got exactly what they were looking for.

“It turned out that there was actually federal money available that had to be used within a certain timeframe,” Drynan said.

Thanks to Canada’s Economic Action Plan, this small neighbourhood got a large sum to help refurbish Nesbitt Park.

“We had $25,000 from the provincial government and then $100,000 strictly for play equipment from the federal government,”
Drynan said.

The improvements to Nesbitt Park have made it the envy of the surrounding area, especially in North Rosedale where they are still going through the process to revamp Rosedale Park. Kids from around the area now flock to Nesbitt to enjoy the new structures.

“Rarely a day goes by that you go by that park and it’s not filled,” Drynan said. “It’s always very, very busy now so the reception has been huge.”

The Governor’s Bridge ratepayers association already has its sights set on further improvements to the area. They aim to make a roundabout in the area more aesthetically pleasing in addition to improving a small triangular parkette.

About this article:

By: Tristan Carter
Posted: Nov 2 2010 12:05 pm
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto