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Visiting Fairbank Memorial Park, York, Toronto, Ontario: saving a green area from developers
An open air neighbourhood hub
This Park, in York, Toronto, Ontario, was dramatically saved from developers in the late 20th century (1)(2). Fairbank Memorial Park is a well established City Park area near the intersection of Eglinton Avenue West and Dufferin Avenue in York, now within the City of Toronto.
Especially in the summer months, the Park is used for a variety of sporting, recreational and other activities; it includes two open air swimming pools, and play area for children. Sports played include baseball and basketball. The Park's trees and foliage seem a dense, green contrast to the highly residential area which surrounds it in the immediate neighbourhood: the Portuguese and Italian communities are particularly well represented in Fairbank, a suburb of York. For years, during the summer, a local church has engaged in open air witness in the Park. The Park extends to 3.5 hectares.
In the late 80s and early 90s, controversy arose when some local politicians later found to have been accepting illegal payments from a contractor tried to promote the establishment of high-rise buildings on the site of Fairbank Memorial Park. Councillor Frances Nunziata is credited with having successfully fought the scheme. Eventually the local politicians in question and the contractor were convicted of illegal activity in relation to the plan to dig up the Park. For her part, Councillor Nunziata subsequently served as Mayor of York in the 1990s, prior to the incorporation of York in the City of Toronto, on which council she continued to serve as an elected representative (2).
The word 'Memorial' in the Park's title is to commemorate Canadian war veterans.
The neighbouring Fairbank Memorial Community Centre hosts a large variety of artistic, musical, sporting and Seniors' events.
Fairbank Memorial Park is situated at 2213 Dufferin Street, York, Toronto. Ontario.
March 17, 2014
(1) I must add that I am not writing this with any particular animus against developers; in the case of Fairbank Memorial Park there was evidence of irregular doing in relation to the then-proposed future of the Park planned by some local politicians, and the relaying of criticisms are limited to these known aspects.
(2) See also: http://www1.toronto.ca/parks/prd/facilities/complex/502/index.htm
(3) Councillor Nunziata was later to serve as Speaker of Toronto Council.
Some sourcing: Wikipedia
Also worth seeing
In Toronto itself, outstanding sights include the Ontario Legislative Assembly Building, Queen's Park, Old Fort York, Union Station, the Royal York Hotel, Old City Hall, Osgoode Hall, Campbell House, the CN Tower, a great wonder of Canada — and many others, close to the Downtown area; near the city's northern boundary, Black Creek Pioneer Village is a popular attraction.
How to get there: Air Canada flies to Toronto Pearson Airport, with wide North American and other connections, from where car rental is available. (Distance from Toronto Pearson Airport to 2213 Dufferin Street, York: 15.7 kilometres). Travellers may wish to travel by public transit, via the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) route 29+. Please note that some facilities may be withdrawn, without notice. You are advised to check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information. Please refer to appropriate consular sources for any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities.
MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.
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