Keep your promise to increase community access to sport
This petition made change with 2,189 supporters!
As part of the Toronto plans for the Pan American Games, the University of Toronto back campus field project will see two synthetic turf fields installed to greatly improve playing time, quality of play and player safety for all levels of sport and recreation. A Toronto city councillor has put forward a motion to designate the back campus field as a heritage site thereby condemning the plan that has been in place since 2009. This knee-jerk reaction threatens to cripple plans that will benefit the community on multiple levels. The promise of bringing high quality facilities to the city must be kept.
The vote is happening TODAY which leaves only a few short hours to show the councillors of Toronto that should be supporting this venture instead of hindering it.
There are numerous benefits that the development of these facilities will bring to the city of Toronto. The following 3 only scratch the surface, but can give you an idea of how important this facility will be for the city:
1. The field in its current state can only be used a few short months of the year due to drainage and difficult upkeep conditions. Bringing in an artificial surface will triple the amount of time that this space can be used. There is a serious lack of sporting facilities in this city. The addition of these multi-purpose fields will increase the amount of sport and recreation for students at U of T and those in the local community. This will transform a space used sporadically into one that will be of constant benefit to the health and lives of the people living in the city.
2. Leave a legacy from the Pan American Games of access and opportunity. In addition to community access, these facilities will provide a pathway to excellence for athletes who would otherwise have no facilities of international standard to compete or train in Toronto. In this city there are many who have been able to compete at the highest level of sport, but only by leaving Toronto. There are many others who have had the talent and drive to achieve excellence, but not the support to find the necessary resources to travel to compete.
3. Increase the sense of community in the area by bringing people together through sport. Sport fosters positive values which extend across language, boundaries and culture. These facilities will provide a place for people to mobilize through recreation, increase collaboration amongst each other and continue the tradition of using the area for sport and recreation purposes.
This facility will prove to be a great asset to the city and we should not stand aside and let city councilors continue to flip flop on issues. This is good for the city and we should let everyone know that.
The following points address the questions put forward in regards to the heritage of the space:
· Open natural grass field providing unobstructed public access, a place for formal and informal sports and other unorganized recreational activities. The new synthetic turf fields will maintain the current format of the field providing unobstructed public access, a place for formal and informal sports and other unorganized recreational activities. In fact, only the dimensions of the playing field will be synthetic turf. The large surrounding areas to the south, west and north will remain fully treed and will still have natural grass.
· Open routes across the field. The field is currently fully fenced on the north and west side, and there are partial fences on the east and south sides. The current fencing scheme does not allow for accessible routes across the field at this time. The future fencing scheme will allow for north/south access down the middle of the fields as well as two new pathways allowing full east/west access across the southern and northern sides of the fields.
· Historic English elm trees. An arborist review and report has been conducted for this project, including a detailed tree protection plan. The arborist will also be on site during construction to ensure the proper approach to all trees and tree protection zones are complied with. The entire design of the field was moved completely to the east side of the site in order to more fully protect all the trees on the west side of the site, including the elms.
· Treed edges along Hoskin Avenue and Tower Road. The trees along Hoskin Avenue and Tower Road will not be removed for this project and will be part of future enhancements to the grass and tree landscapes of the field.
· Views from the field to surrounding historic buildings, including University College, Hart House, Wycliffe College, Massey College, Trinity College and Soldier’s Tower. The enhancement of these fields will continue to highlight the beauty of the surrounding historic buildings and this project will not obstruct the current views from the field.
· Potential archeological resources. Phase 1 and 2 Archaeological Studies were undertaken for the back campus on behalf of Infrastructure Ontario. These studies concluded that comprehensive filling and grading over several decades has removed all archaeological potential and all cultural heritage value or interest.
Please use your voice to let councillors know the artificial turfs will benefit the city in the best way for the space. Add your name to this petition, and be part of bringing sport into our city.
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