Since 2008, the Thorncliffe Park Women’s Committee has strived to revitalize our community public green space – R.V. Burgess Park. With the efforts of the community, we’ve lobbied the City of Toronto to help improve our park. We’ve been extremely lucky to see a multitude of improvements to R.V. Burgess Park, including benches, a water fountain, and picnic tables; newly planted trees, flowers, and sod, paved paths, power outlets, and an additional storage shed; as well as updated playground equipment and a splash pad.
Thanks to the Thorncliffe Park Women’s Committee’s community revitalization projects, R.V. Burgess Park was the first Canadian park to be named a frontline park by City Parks Alliance – a recognition awarded to “standout examples of urban park excellence, innovation and stewardship.”
City Parks Alliance is "the only independent, nationwide membership organization solely dedicated to urban parks" – by bringing together community leaders, governments, funders, and park authorities, this collective works to "engage, educate and nurture a broad-based constituency to support the creation, revitalization and sustainability of parks and green spaces that contribute to dynamic cities."
This past July, the folks from City Parks Alliance paid a visit to Toronto on a sunny Saturday morning, during which the members of the Thorncliffe Park Women's Committee led an in-depth tour of our community greenspace – R.V. Burgess Park – exploring its past and present, demonstrating naan baking with our famous tandoor oven, and sharing important, exciting ideas, as well as delicious food!
After this successful action-packed visit to our community, the folks at City Parks Alliance have extended an invitation to Sabina Ali – the chair of the Thorncliffe Park Women's Committee to speak as a part of the plenary session at their upcoming international urban parks conference in Minneapolis next summer. The "Greater & Greener 2017" conference seeks to explore the "issues, challenges, and opportunities facing today’s urban parks." As a featured speaker on the plenary panel, Sabina will be presenting the TPWC's work in R.V. Burgess Park, discussing the positive impact that parks and green spaces can have on our urban communities.