2006-2008 Archives

25 May 2008
RAYS inaugurates first neighbourhood-wide yard sale May 31; fundraiser for Wabash/Sorauren

Join the neighbourhood-wide yard sale! May 31, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., rain or shine. The organizers are asking participants to donate 10% of sales to the Wabash Community Centre campaign.

13 March 2008
Fieldhouse open house April 19, ribbon cutting with Mayor on May 5

Mark these dates in your calendar… on Saturday, April 19, you’ll have a chance to tour the new Sorauren Park Fieldhouse from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. during an open house. Then on Monday, May 5 at 6:30 p.m., join Mayor Miller and other luminaries as the Fieldhouse is officially opened with ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The April 19 open house coincides with Ward 14 Environment Day on Wabash Avenue. Bring your hazardous materials and old electronics for proper disposal by the City. May 5, meanwhile, marks the first day of the 2008 children’s sports season at the park.

Learn more at the new information web site for Sorauren Park, www.SoraurenPark.com.

10 February 2008
Fieldhouse opening day coming; new Sorauren Park web site launched

Phase 1 construction of the Fieldhouse is virtually complete. Watch for exciting news of an official opening and public tour in April… date to be confirmed. Also stay tuned for news about a community planting event for the grounds around the Fieldhouse.

In other news, the Wabash Building Society has launched a new information web site for Sorauren Park, to coincide with the opening of the Fieldhouse. This “operational” site, www.SoraurenPark.com, contains information about all park activities and links to user groups; think of it as the electronic bulletin board for the Park and the new Fieldhouse.

The BuildWabashNow.org site will remain open as the advocacy site for the Wabash Building Society and its continuing mission to complete the redevelopment of the Wabash industrial property for community use.

13 January 2008
Fieldhouse “phase 1” almost complete


The excitement is mounting! If you’ve walked or driven by Sorauren Park lately, you’ll notice that contractors have made great progress on the new Fieldhouse at 50 Wabash Avenue. Phase 1 is almost complete, meaning the Fieldhouse will be ready for community use soon!

Even as we get ready to celebrate this milestone, the Fieldhouse will remain very much a “blank canvas.” The shoestring budget provided washrooms, new mechanicals and windows, wall finishings, and lighting, but not much more.

The main floor has meeting space, the washrooms, and roughed-in plumbing for a kitchen still to come. The top floor is a wide open room with wonderful lighting and views of the park. The basement has some storage space.

In the months ahead, the Wabash Building Society, the City, and other community groups will be preparing plans for an open house and all the remaining finishing touches, including landscaping. Watch also for the launch of a new web site devoted to the park and Fieldhouse.

How would you like to see the Fieldhouse developed? What sort of programming should be put in place? How would you like to see it made an important hub of community life? Now is the time to start making concrete plans as the Fieldhouse is a new community asset “owned” by us all.

Send your thoughts to WBS chair Doug Bennet at dbennet-at-sympatico.ca, or contact Ward 14 Councillor Gord Perks. Watch for notices of an opening event, meetings and more as we get ready to welcome the Fieldhouse to the neighbourhood.

3 October 2007
Fieldhouse construction begins!

A dumpster at the site and removal of the old windows a sign of things to come!

After a delay this summer, construction of the Sorauren Park Fieldhouse began this week! “I got woken up this morning by the sound of loud hammering and normally I’d be pretty peeved but when I realized work was starting on the Fieldhouse I was overjoyed,” writes one neighbour and supporter.

Construction will take a few months but the first phase of the Fieldhouse will be completed before the start of the 2008 kids’ sports season, meaning we’ll have real washrooms and meeting space.

The Wabash Building Society continues to work with the City on operational plans and invites feedback from the community. At this point it’s envisioned the washrooms will be open during regular programming at the park. For other uses of the Fieldhouse, models being looked at include the Swansea Town Hall and the Dufferin Grove club house.

Congratulations to the community for achieving the Buy A Brick fundraising goal of $20,000! We reached the target at the Roncesvalles Polish Festival… but the campaign continues as we are on a shoestring budget… and if you haven’t sent in your pledged funds, please do so soon. Check out the impressive virtual brick wall.

Thanks again to our partners at the City, both in Councillor Perks’s office and at Parks, Forestry and Recreation, for their dedication to this project.

26 June 2007
City issues construction tender, work scheduled to start August

The construction tender for renovating 50 Wabash Avenue into the new Sorauren Park Fieldhouse has been issued by the City. You can see the reference on this page; scroll down to find Sorauren Fieldhouse:

The closing date is July 3. If all goes according to plan, construction will begin in August, with a December completion date for Phase 1 (bringing the building up to code for occupancy and providing the washrooms).

The Wabash Building Society continues to meet to discuss fundraising events (this is a shoe-string budget, folks) and operating plans for the new facility. As you know we have also received a $10,000 grant from the Wal-mart/Evergreen Green Grant program for landscaping purposes.

We’re thrilled by the latest development and want to thank our partners at the City, both in Councillor Perks’s office and at Parks, Forestry and Recreation, for their dedication to this project.

Also thanks to everyone who has bought a brick in the Buy a Brick campaign, including Maia Lazarus’s 7th birthday party friends (among the latest donations). It has made a huge difference. Check out the impressive virtual brick wall.

Keep your eyes on the park, and stay tuned for more developments.

26 May 2007
Fieldhouse receives $10,000 Evergreen grant for landscaping

The Wabash Building Society has been awarded a $10,000 Wal-Mart Evergreen Green Grant for the Sorauren Park Fieldhouse Landscape Project.

The grant will be used to fund landscaping activities in 2007 and 2008, related to the development of the Fieldhouse on the Wabash property at Sorauren Park.

“The overall quality of applications was very high which made the selection process difficult,” writes Evergreen’s Stewart Chisolm in announcing the WBS’s grant. “The large number of applications submitted clearly indicates that this grant program is helping to fufill an important need.”

Evergreen is a national charity dedicated to creating and sustaining healthy, dynamic outdoor spaces – in schools, communities and homes. It believes local stewardship creates vibrant neighbourhoods, a healthy natural environment and a sustainable society for all.

Special thanks to WBS directors Kathy Allan and Susan Vandendam for working on the successful grant application. Let’s get planting!

21 April 2007
Donations and pledges reach $18,000 with Environment Day success

Environment Day on Wabash Avenue was a great success for the environment… and the Sorauren Park Fieldhouse Buy A Brick campaign. Residents pledged or donated another $1,500 at the Wabash Building Society booth, bringing the campaign to $18,000 so far (scroll down for the Chimney Fund-o-meter and the Buy a Brick pledge form).

Thanks to all the volunteers and the families and individuals who donated to the campaign. If you’ve paid up, make sure to see your name on the Virtual Brick Wall. If you haven’t paid yet, send your cheque today to get your names on the wall.

23 March 2007
Fieldhouse construction can begin!

Long-term vision, courtesy Oleson Worland_Taylor Smyth Architects

Good news! Here’s the latest update from Ward 14 Councillor Gord Perks, as posted on his web site:

“I am pleased to announce, as your Councillor, that The Wabash Community Fieldhouse which will serve Sorauren Park can now go forward. With passage of the City’s Capital Budget, construction of the fieldhouse, a long-term dream of local residents, can begin this year. With assistance from Mayor Miller & Parks staff sufficient City funds have been found to start the project this year despite the financial challenges facing our city. As a Budget Committee member, I can assure you that the City’s financial challenges are real.

“City funds will now be added to community donations collected by the Wabash Building Society, and monies secured from residential development in the area, to permit renovation of 50 Wabash Avenue. This modest two storey-building will serve as a fieldhouse for activities at Sorauren Park, providing a meeting space for the community and support for the many recreational activities at Sorauren Park. For the first time, when the building is complete, the park will have washrooms!

“Once again, thanks to the dedicated volunteers from the non-profit Wabash Building Society, and previous elected officials, without whom nothing would have been possible.”

The Wabash Building Society would like to thank Councillor Perks, Mayor Miller, our previous councillors Sylvia Watson and Chris Korwin-Kuczynski, MPP Cheri DiNovo and MP Peggy Nash, staffers at Parks, Forestry and Recreation, local businesses and residents who have made this possible. Watch for more updates.

3 February 2007
Fieldhouse designs under way; City urged to commit adequate funding; rink instead of a pool?

Community members got their first view at preliminary plans for the new Sorauren Park Fieldhouse at the special RMRA meeting on Jan. 30 focused on the Wabash site.

Architect David Oleson, retained by the City’s Park, Forestry and Recreation department to prepare the architectural plans, unveiled designs that would create a modest Fieldhouse with accessible washrooms, a meeting space, a small kitchen, and storage in the renovated building at 50 Wabash Avenue (the small “pink” building on the site).

Richard Decter, assistant to new councillor Gord Perks, and Diane Stevenson of PFR also provided an update on available funding for the project.

The Wabash Building Society has asked for additional City funds to ensure the Fieldhouse project is not “stillborn” and can be completed this summer. Councillor Perks and his staff is working to secure this funding during this budget cycle. But nothing is guaranteed, and the community is urged to write Mayor Miller (a Fieldhouse supporter), Councillor Perks and Parks, Forestry and Recreation general manager Brenda Librecz to ensure funding is secured.

MPP Cheri DiNovo also attended the RMRA meeting and pledged to seek any provincial support that might be available.

Wabash Building Society president Doug Bennet also updated the community on concepts for 40 Wabash Avenue, the larger abandoned building on the site that has been targeted for redevelopment into the new community centre. He reported the WBS has reluctantly concluded an indoor pool on the site in not likely to happen anytime soon because of the enormous cost ($8 – $10 million) and the fact there are nearby facilities such as Parkdale and McCormick pools.

Instead, the WBS has turned its thoughts to outdoor skating pads (hockey and pleasure) to occupy the currently empty and fenced-off space between the two buildings. City research has shown there is a shortage of rinks in the old City of Toronto, demand is high, and outdoor artificial rinks are much less expensive than indoor pools. Outdoor rinks can also be used in the summer for skateboarding, ball hockey, tennis and other uses. As well, the WBS is exploring new technology that could pump heat out of the ground to freeze the ice and into a new arts, culture and recreation facility in 40 Wabash.

Bennet referred to the success of Rennie Rink in Swansea, which is the second-most popular rink in the entire City after Nathan Phillips Square. He also presented some possible rink layouts at Wabash; click here to have a look. In the 2005 community survey of residents’ desires for the new community centres, “rink” was the top write-in request.

The February 27 RMRA meeting will focus on Sorauren Park as a year-round centre of activity. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at Fern Avenue Public School.

4 November 2006
Ryerson students, community imagine new pedestrian bridge over railway tracks

The Wabash Building Society is working with fourth-year urban planning students at Ryerson University on a “visioning” project for a pedestrian bridge that would cross the railway tracks at Sorauren Park/Wabash Community Centre, linking ward 14 and ward 18 and also connecting to the future Railpath recreation trail.

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