Meeting Regarding Future of Bickford Park on June 5


The Condors and Falcons in action during a Tee Ball Division game at the Bickford Park North Diamond on May 29, 2014.

The Condors and Falcons in action during a Tee Ball Division game at the Bickford Park North Diamond on May 29, 2014.

Hello Players, Parents, Coaches, and Committee Members

I wish to inform you of a meeting taking place this Thursday regarding the future of Bickford Park and to encourage you to attend if possible and if not then to contact the office of Councillor Mike Layton to let him know how you feel about the future of baseball in the park. I`ve copied below the information which Councillor Layton sent out about the up-coming meeting. This is the next step in what has been a rather long and on-going process. Many of you attended or will remember the open house held at the Bob Abate Centre last year…this meeting will feature a presentation regarding the attempt to incorporate the various interests into a future plan that provides a balance amongst users and uses.

As most of you probably know, Bickford Park is home to our tee ball divisions, the rookie ball and mosquito house league practices, and a weekly mosquito game. We again expanded our tee ball program this year in an attempt to meet the demand…we have twelve teams in our tee ball league…four play Tuesday, four play Thursday, and four play Friday, and we still have people on a waiting list. While we do have some people coming from other parts of the city to participate in our tee ball program, the overwhelming majority of players come from the neighbourhoods close to Bickford Park and Christie Pits. This area is growing considerably in terms of pre-school aged children…in spite of what you will likely hear occasionally, this is not a case of a tee ball program being forced on to an uninterested and unwilling community…the type of opportunities that our tee ball program provides are what most of the families in this area want for their children.

Feedback I received from the stakeholders meeting held recently seems to indicate that Councillor Layton clearly is not in favour of the tee ball program (or other baseball activities) being removed from Bickford Park…however, there is a small and very vocal group who do want just that. This is why I am encouraging you to express your support for our baseball activities in Bickford Park by attending the meeting or contacting the office of Councillor Layton (or both).

If your child has a house league game in our league this Thursday then please attend your game…the point of our taking this position is that we do not want baseball curtailed…so let`s not do that to ourselves. However, if you do not play Thursday, or could attend part of the meeting before or after your game, please do that. Also, even if you or your children are well past the age of playing in Bickford Park, please try to lend your support. One of the most important things about our league is that, regardless of the colour of your uniform we are all actually on the same team…the team that wants great recreational baseball opportunities to thrive in Toronto!

Thanks for your time and attention to this message, and thanks for your on-going support of our league.

Steve Smith

Coordinator, Toronto Playgrounds House League Baseball

If you have additional questions, please contact us at
Here is Councillor Layton`s notice regarding the meeting:
Thank you all for your continued efforts to beautify and improve Bickford Park. I know that it has been some time since we last spoke, so I wanted to provide you all with what has been going on behind the scenes while our frigid winter took over the park and our City. That update is below. Firstly, my office has scheduled the next meeting about the park for:
Thursday, June 5, 2014
6:00pm – 7:30pm
80 Clinton Street, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School
When we last saw each other, Netami Stuart, a landscape architect with the City of Toronto, created a series of maps with various ideas for Bickford Park based upon a series of stakeholder meetings and previous public input received via public meetings and a general survey. These maps were shown at an open house where all attendees were given an opportunity to submit their written feedback and indicate their preferences in the plans with small round stickers being placed directly onto the proposals.
After this, Park staff were going to take the feedback provided (which has been supremely valuable) and determine a more specific vision for Bickford Park. However, shortly after this last meeting, Netami went on maternity leave and the City has been unable to fill her position until very recently. The new landscape architect assigned to the file has now been brought up to speed and is working on delivering new concepts that will specifically reflect the feedback received up to this point, and move us closer to a vision for Bickford Park we can all be proud of.
If you are unable to attend, but would still like to participate, please contact my office at, or simply reply to this e-mail, and my staff will be sure to pass along the materials to be presented at the meeting along with the feedback form.
I want to reiterate to everyone that I understand the urgency to get these improvements completed as soon as possible. Money has been allocated in the 2014 budget toward hiring a consultant to make a vision that the community supports ready for the tendering process.
Thank you again for your assistance on this file, and please do not hesitate to be in contact if you have any further questions.
Yours in community,
Councillor Mike Layton
Ward 19, Trinity-Spadina
Phone: 416 392 4009
Fax:416 392 4100
If you have scheduled a meeting with anyone in Councillor Layton’s Office, you may be required to register as a Lobbyist. The City of Toronto’s definition of lobbying is quite broad. You are advised to check for more information online or phone (416) 338-5858.