Don’t let the Grinch steal the fun from Winter Stations

We know the Dr. Seuss story How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Apparently the Grinch has returned and is attempting to steal the fun and creativity of Winter Stations on the beach.

Students from three universities produce fascinating Winter Station creations alongside professional designers, to provide a cheerful intrusion into the winter blahs on the cold and uninviting beach landscape for a mere five-week period, and some folks complain!

Kudos to the organizers and councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon for affording an opportunity to publicly display their talents.

Bruce Crofts

Kew cenotaph should be a priority

The war memorial continues to be the forgotten casualty in the Kew Gardens renovation plans.

Having been involved in the planning only at the beginning, my concern was updating the memorial to reflect the Korean War and to remember those who served Canada on peacekeeping and combat missions in Rwanda, Croatia, Kosovo, Haiti, Herzegovina and Afghanistan, to name a few.

The City of Toronto owns the war memorial (they fought the ownership and initially insisted it was owned by and the responsibility of the Legion and then the Lions Club, etc.), and we asked that it be brought up to date for the 100th anniversary of the First World War. It wasn’t.

We hoped it would have been updated for the last Remembrance Day. It wasn’t.

The men and women of the ages, who sacrificed themselves for us on the altar of freedom would expect their comrades to be remembered and not forgotten.

Bob Murdoch

Kew Gardens needs questions answered

Re: “Beachers should be thankful for Kew Gardens Project”  [Letters to the Editor, Feb. 9, 2016]:

I might be more positive – even thankful – if only I had confidence in what was coming with the changes planned for Kew Gardens.

The BIA-inspired changes were not because, as Mr. Fox suggests, the entrance to the park was “tired.”

Instead, the rationale had little to do with the park itself:

“The whole purpose behind it was to improve the retail environment on Queen.” (Adam Smith, BIA board member. Beach Metro News, April 1, 2014)

As many readers have suggested, there is nothing wrong with our quiet, pleasant, historic park that a few new paths, additional furniture and improved drainage would not have easily resolved.

Still, potential “whiners” and those “reluctant to change” could – and perhaps did – relax just a bit at the time of the announcement, relying on the words of Ms. Rapoport of Plant Architect when discussing the extent of the proposed changes:

“We think about how we can make the smallest gesture possible to solve problems.” (Beach Metro News, April 1, 2014)

Leaving aside whether changes costing $650,000 could ever be considered a “small gesture,” we are now being told the project is going to cost $1.1 million.

In remarks attributed to Ward 32 councillor McMahon the cost increase was partially due to decisions made to complete the project in one shot, instead of in phases spanning several years. (Beach Metro News January 12, 2016)

Perhaps I missed something, but I don’t recall the initial plan being discussed in such a grandiose time-frame:  phases over several years?  Have there been subsequent additional plans we have not been informed of?

The current situation raises many questions. In pursuit of transparency and healthy community relations, residents of the Beach are surely entitled to a Q&A session hosted by our councillor with representatives from Plant Architect and City Planning in attendance.

G. Beadling

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