[End of update]
In previous blog posts, I’ve described plans discussed in the context of the Mississauga Waterfront Connection Environmental Assessment Project regarding the sand beach at Marie Curtis Park between Etobicoke Creek and Applewood Creek.
The sand beach was also part of our walking conversation during the May 5, 2013 Jane’s Walk in Long Branch from Etobicoke Creek to the Colonel’s homestead site. As well, it may be noted that David Switzer has added a comment at a subsequent blog post regarding the following message from Kenneth Dion.
Kenneth Dion, Manager, Special Projects – Project Management Office, Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA), has shared the following email response to an earlier email from Jaan Pill regarding the sand beach at Marie Curtis Park
Kenneth Dion has given me permission to post the response to the Preserved Stories website. Following his response, I have posted my earlier message regarding the sand beach at Marie Curtis Park.
Mr. Dion’s response affirms my sense that the Mississauga Waterfront Connection E.A. Project and all other initiatives related to the redevelopment of the Lakeview Area demonstrate an exemplary communications strategy and a strong focus on ensuring that meaningful input from residents is an integral part of the planning process.
I follow stories related to community input related to planning projects in both Toronto and Mississauga. Knowing about the work that is being done on both sides of the border, to ensure that citizen input is taken into account in a meaningful way, is a source of tremendous inspiration for me.
Kenneth Dion writes:
Dear Mr. Pill
Thank you for your emails and I do apologize for the delay in our response.
First off, I wanted to thank you for your kind words about the process we have undertaken regarding our consultation for the Lakeview Waterfront Connection EA. We firmly believe that any such major investment in the future of the community requires strong public engagement. We have the benefit of a highly educated, passionate and engaged community in the Lakeview area and we have strived to reflect or at least address concerns and issues raised throughout the process.
I did want to provide some clarification to your specific question regarding whether Marie Curtis Park provides the “last remaining natural beach in the Toronto area”. Based on the topic in question, I am assuming that the implication is that “sand beaches” are deemed to be “natural beaches”. In reality, there are many natural beaches on Lake Ontario and other Great Lakes that consist of rocks that are significantly larger than sand. As such, when we propose the creation of a cobble beach in the area, these are materials that would be deemed “natural” in the context for the area – the beach at Rattray Marshes is a good example of a cobble beach.
However, I will assume that the question is intended to inquire whether Marie Curtis Park provides the “last remaining sand beach in the Toronto area”. There are several sand beaches remaining in the Toronto area. The most extensive is Woodbine Beach in Toronto which was formed through the deposition of sand eroded from the Scarborough Bluffs. Other sand beaches can be found on the Toronto Islands, Bluffers Park and at the mouth of the Rouge River. More locally, sand beaches are found along the City of Mississauga shoreline at the Suncor Energy site and Fusion Park near Oakville.
During our last Public Meeting and through subsequent conversations that followed, including your own emails, we did hear a fairly strong desire from the community to retain the sand beach at Marie Curtis Park West to the extent possible. As you are aware, the majority of Alternatives considered did not extend very far into the Marie Curtis Park area. However, those Alternatives required significant hardened structures to stop the Alternative from extending into the Marie Curtis Park area. The Preferred Alternative proposed a shoreline configuration that did not require such a hardeneded structure in the east end, as the intent was to have the cobble beach blend into the sand beaches as it approached Etobicoke Creek in a more natural fashion, and was part of the reason why the alternative was selected.
Following the receipt of those comments, the LWC Project Team challenged our Coastal Engineer to explore how the majority of positive features of the Preferred Alernative could be retained while maximizing, to the extent possible, the existing sand beaches at Marie Curtis Park. This exercise to the Coastal Engineer has resulted in a delay in our schedule for reporting back to the public by a few weeks, but I believe he has developed a solution that will go a long way in addressing concerns raised by members of the public about the sand beach.
If you have any further comments or questions, please feel free to contact me or Michael Charendoff.
Kenneth Dion, MSc
Manager, Special Projects
Earlier email message from Jaan Pill to Michael Charendoff/TRCA
—– Forwarded by Michael Charendoff/TRCA on 05/09/2013 11:59 AM —–
From: Jaan Pill
To: Michael Charendoff ,
Date: 04/10/2013 10:51 AM
Subject: Re: Comments regarding Lakeview Waterfront Connection Project Environmental Assessment
Good to read your message. I’ve copied this message to people connected with Long Branch who may have an interest in the topic.
Some people I’ve met, on the street or at a local supermarket, have asked me about the plans regarding the beach between Etobicoke Creek and Applewood Creek in Marie Curtis Park.
I’ve suggested they may wish to speak with you if they have questions or thoughts they may wish to share.
1. My own thoughts have to do with the memory of the mouth of Etobicoke Creek:
But that was then and this is now.
2. I would be interested if there is evidence that you are aware of to back up or refute a comment shared by a Long Branch resident that the beach in question may be the last remaining “natural beach” in the Toronto area.
By natural I assume the reference may be to the fact that the sand still functions in the way that sand functions in a natural beach.
3. With regard to my own thoughts about the current beach proposal, I would say that it’s wonderful to have a natural beach.
I would also say that, as I’ve mentioned, I’m impressed with the communications associated with the Mississauga Waterfront Connection process. That inspires in me a sense of confidence. I have faith in the quality of the deliberations, and in the process by which community input is taken into account, at all stages that I have observed in the course of the planning process.
If in the end a pebble beach makes the most sense, in the current circumstances and in the larger scheme of things, then perhaps that is the way to go. However, that’s my personal view, based on a limited understanding of the facts and options, and others may have other views.
4. It’s my hope that the concerns and views of Long Branch residents will be taken into account, whatever those concerns and views may be.