On February 17 the City hosted a second online public consultation regarding the revitalization of George Hislop and Norman Jewison Parks and Alexander Street Parkette.
The first (online) public consultation took place on November 5. At the February 17 meeting City staff presented the preferred concept plans, informed by the community feedback in November and stakeholder meetings in November and February.
A master plan for the three connected parks parallel to Yonge Street (George Hislop, Norman Jewison and James Canning Gardens) was completed in 2017 and James Canning Gardens is now being renovated in line with that plan.
Alexander Street Parkette, which was not included in the 2017 master plan, has been added to the scope of the project.
According to the City's Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division, the consultation process will "refresh and build on engagement completed to date for the linear parks, and provide opportunities for additional input during the design process."
"George Hislop Park will also have an integrated public art/design element that celebrates LGBTQ2S+ history, leadership, excellence and resilience - a new feature that was not identified in the  master plan."
The consultations, held between late 2020 and early 2021, included:
George Hislop Park is currently closed and will be the first of the three parks to be rebuilt. Parks & Foresty's most optimistic estimate for George Hislop is a start date of mid-2021 with completion in late 2021 or summer 2022. The other parks will follow.
Ongoing updates are being posted on the City's web page, Yonge Street Linear Park Improvements. You can view a pdf of the Feb. 17 online presentation here.
Interest has been voiced to form a Friends of Barbara Hall Park group. Community park groups in Toronto engage in various activities, including organizing volunteers to green and care for their local park, advocating for park improvements and hosting events.
There are no formal rules or guidelines on how a community park group should be organized and operated. Just as every park is unique, every park group is unique and part of the process will be finding a structure that works best for Friends of Barbara Hall Park. Some features of a successful park group, according to Park People, are inclusivity, transparency, community engagement and a spirit of cooperation.
The Park People website offers many resources for new and established park groups, including: