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, May 6, 2013. Category: Photos.

Silverbirch Boathouse—-Moving Forward

Image of the Silverbirch Boathouse from the City of Toronto Archives (1934)

Silverbirch Boathouse—-Moving Forward

Last Thursday we had a very exciting meeting about the Silverbirch Boathouse. The meeting was prompted by news from Parks Forestry & Recreation of a plan to increase public use of the site by issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a private operator to manage the facility. I asked that this process be slowed down and that the community be consulted.

What I Heard at the Meeting:

  • There is no desire for a private entity inside the Silverbirch boathouse;
  • As it stands today, the facility is not operating in a satisfactory way;
  • An array of good ideas for how the facility could be run;
  • Residents did not feel engaged in the process;
  • Current permit holders deserve proper communication and process with respect to the future of the facility.

I was heartened by the high degree of passion and the numerous constructive plans that were offered. After hearing the views of permit holders and residents, I have asked that Parks Forestry & Recreation not issue a RFP and instead investigate options for enhancement and activation that respect the buildings users and heritage. And, Parks, Forestry & Recreation has agreed to do so. No changes will be made to the operation of the facility until Parks, Forestry & Recreation staff develop a strategy to better involve the community to devise a future course of action.

Plans for a RFP and the imminent cancellation of permits have been cancelled.

This decision will ensure that this quiet section of our community remains un-commercialized and peaceful now, and in the future.

I am cognizant that this important and historic building could be better managed by the City. The community wants the Silverbirch boathouse to be run more effectively and transparently, and I believe the answer to this problem is increased community involvement and guidance.

Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation staff will contact permit holders, keen residents and local community groups soon with a strategy for public input and consultation.

Thank you,

Mary-Margaret McMahon

Accessibility Walk – Queen Street East

On November 13 Councillor McMahon held an accessibility walk in Ward 32 along Queen Street East. The goal of the walk was to identify issues dealing with accessibility along the Queen Street Corridor. In attendance were city workers Mark van Elsberg from public realm and John Zapotoczny from right of way.