Brick project backed up

A grassroots project to improve Riverdale Park has failed to take root this year, according to the project’s organizer.

As reported in the Dec. 2010 edition of The Bulletin, Randy Brown of Cabbagetown Art and Crafts was spearheading a project called Bricks in the Park to put

>brickpersonalized bricks, sold by subscription, in the pathways at Riverdale Park. The project is modelled on successful installations in Glen Cedar Park and Forest Hill Village Park—but the Riverdale Park project itself has been stalled by assorted snags in planning and implementing the final pathways scheme, plus delays in the production of the bricks themselves.

In an Oct. 21 letter to the approximately 90 brickholders, Brown said, “We were promised by parks that the whole pathways project would be done by last spring; that plan was cancelled. We were then promised that this project would be completed this fall and the engraved bricks would be placed in the centre where the pathways cross. That plan has now been cancelled.”

Brown confirmed to The Bulletin that the current proposal from the parks department involves temporary placement of the engraved bricks in a small plaza just outside the gate of Riverdale Farm. The plaza, which is about 90% complete at press time, is now covered with plain bricks laid loose, which can be easily replaced by the engraved bricks. These are now being manufactured by Stafford Monuments of Whitby and should be delivered in early December.

Brown’s main concern at the moment is to obtain assurances from Parks that once laid in their temporary location at the gates, the bricks will indeed be transferred to the re-surfaced crosswalk in the spring of 2012. As The Bulletin went to press, he was meeting with Parks staff on this point.

Councillor Pam McConnell told The Bulletin, “I’m excited about the implementation of Cabbagetown Art and Crafts’ brick initiative. Many individuals in Cabbagetown and beyond have already put in their order and are looking forward to seeing their contribution to the improvements in Riverdale Park recognized.”

She continues, “Installation has not occurred as quickly as had been originally hoped because of the opportunity to incorporate them into exciting improvements to the park that weren’t envisioned when the brick program was put in place. [Brown] is working closely with parks staff and my office on an implementation schedule that is timely and flexible. I’ve been given assurances that the manner in which the engraved bricks will be placed alongside non-engraved bricks allows them to be easily moved from one location to another as the remaining pathways and plaza areas are constructed.”

“All of the bricks will end up in the right home for them as soon as possible next year,” she concludes.

It is still possible to order individualized bricks for the installation. Contact cabbagetownartandcrafts.org for details and a copy of the order form.

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