Petition against bench removal in Allan Gardens

Petition against bench removal in Allan Gardens

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ella stylls started this petition to Kristyn Wong-Tam

Almost one year ago, all the benches (around 15-20 in total) near the dog park in Allan Gardens disappeared and never came back. This past weekend (April 27, 2019), the four benches that remained around the circle where the paths through the park meet, were gone. The park supervisor explained that the removal was due to “vandalism” and after repair and “refurbishment”, the benches will be “relocated”, with a new location still to be determined. One local community member received a similar but more specific answer from City Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam’s adviser, who told her that a Toronto Parks’ representative said that the “benches had been vandalised with racist graffiti and were sent out for repair”. In addition, the Parks employee also noted that “this incident also coincided with some resident requests to remove benches due to community safety concerns”.

We are surprised and have immediate concerns about this decision. First of all, the benches were located in an area that park-goers sit and meet friends and family members. Many parents and children have fond memories associated with them. Secondly, as we know, there are always all kinds of graffiti on those benches, and park staff would clean them up regularly. Having to remove the entirety of the benches to address this issue does not seem entirely realistic.  As for the community safety concerns, we want the administration to tell us what those specific concerns are. We think the decision-makers need to address the root of the problem. Bench removal won’t resolve the safety problem, but will only hurt the great majority of innocent park-goers.  

The lost benches in Allan Gardens are located around central meeting areas and are dear to people’s memory and use. Since other areas in the park are green spaces and not necessarily suitable for the elderly, those with mobility needs, or for anyone who wishes to meet and converse without sitting on the ground, we, as the regular park-goers or residents around Allan Gardens, request to send the benches back to the original meeting areas after any repairs are made, not those isolated corners that are inconvenient to most of us.

We, as the people who use the park daily, believe we have rights to participate in the decision-making about the removal and relocation of the benches and we will make our voices heard. We will stick to the issue and do follow-ups until the beloved benches are back, to the members of this community and to the familiar areas that help enrich our lives and our communities.

Please sign this petition to support us in getting answers, of who took the benches, why did they do it, and where do they intend to put them. Ultimately with your support we will get the benches back in the park for community use.

 

 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
At 200 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!