Category Archives: Toronto parks and recreation

Lawrence Heights skateboard park

New facility opens after four years of pressure by local kids
By Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier May 18.)

Shaquille Williams, second from left, has been pushing for a Lawrence Heights skateboard park since 2006. It opened May 1. Photo by Kris Scheuer/Town Crier.

Teen Shaquille Williams has been waiting four years to hear the sound of boards and bikes rolling through Lawrence Heights.
Williams and his friend Joshua Orticello pushed for a local skateboard park for nearly four years and it opened May 1 at Lawrence Ave. West and Varna Drive.
The pair, both 14, solicited a campaign promise from councillor Howard Moscoe in 2006 and went door to door getting over 200 signatures in favour of the skateboard park.
The persistent youth followed up with Moscoe and city officials in order to ensure their dream came true. Continue reading

New contract for beach volleyball

John Morrison built up business of volleyball at Ashbridges Bay over 14 yrs
Accomplishments being ignored and was shut out of new contract says Morrison
He owed city money at end of last contract and didn’t bid on new deal
By Kris Scheuer
(Written April 8 for Town Crier.)

John Morrison’s dream of continuing his beach volleyball partnership with the city was spiked when council awarded a new contract to another major player.
The Ontario Volleyball Assocation was the only bidder for the five-year contract to run beach volleyball at Ashbridges Bay and on March 31 the city sealed the new deal.
Morrison’s company TESSC Inc., better known as Not So Pro Sports, has been running beach volleyball at the site with various city permits and contracts for 14 years. His previous city contract expired last September and he has yet to settle up for $327,875 he owes.
But for Morrison that’s where the story begins not where it ends.
“They say pay up your bill and thanks for the last 14 years — don’t let the door hit you on the way out,” said Morrison. Continue reading

City owned ski hills may be run privately

Proposal for contracted out ski hills has some nervous
City looks to save $700,000 cost to run three facilities
By Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier March 4)

Earl Bales ski hill may be contracted out to save money. Photo by Francis Crescia/Town Crier.

Clive Kessel is concerned about the future of Earl Bales ski hill.
The city owns and operates ski hills at Earl Bales and Centennial plus the Glen Rouge Campground, but it is considering asking the private sector run these facilities.
“Our fear is no one would take it over,” said Kessel, who pays the city to use the facility for his North York Alpine Race Club. “Then what will the city do?”
The city says its losing $700,000 a year on the three sites and is considering private sector operation as part of their on-going budget discussions.
Kessel says the ski lifts on site are old and costly to maintain plus insurance for the site could be more expensive for a private operator than the city, all factors which may deter a business from coming in to run the hill.“There’s a real risk we’ll lose the facility,” said Kessel. Continue reading

Ted Reeve Arena strike impact?

Is it open or not?

By Kris Scheuer
I got an e-mail July 5 from a guy in New York who is planning to be in Toronto later this month for an event at Ted Reeve Arena.
He wants to know if the arena itself is open due to the city strike. As it’s a Sunday night, I did my best to search out an answer for him.
It is one of the temporary dump sites, but I don’t believe that affects this indoor arena as it is my understanding all the dump sites are outdoors.
The city’s website indicates this arena is run by an independent board appointed by the city. I put in a call at 416-694-6893 to the arena at 175 Main St. at Gerrard. I got the voicemail, but there was not mention of the strike.
I will of course call Monday morning to speak directly to staff at the arena or ask a city spokesperson.
Let me know if you know the status of Ted Reeve Arena. Is it open during the strike? You can leave me a comment or click on contact me and send me an e-mail. Thanks.