Report from the PARA Beautification Committee
The PARA Beautification Committee has created a 5-part plan which will enhance the neighbourhood. Its purpose is to celebrate both the historical significance of Playter Estates as a legacy of the Playter family who were important pioneers in the history of the City of Toronto and also draw attention to the natural history of the area, most especially the butternut tree that once covered these lands and now is becoming extinct. Detailed plans were presented at the PARA AGM in April, 2018.
To recap, that 5-part plan includes:
- Dedicated “Playter Estates” street signs with a butternut tree logo atop – to be erected within the entirety of PE.
- An entry feature including plantings and a proposed Corten steel sign, cut to say “Playter Estates” (similar to the one in the Don Valley that says Pottery Rd.). This “entry project” to be done in conjunction with the Toronto Parking Authority and Beautiful Streets in the area of Playter Blvd, just north of Danforth Avenue.
- Historical Plaques – likely 2 of these – one celebrating the Playter family/Playter Estates to be installed near/at the parking lot at Danforth and Playter Blvd. and the other on our natural history (the butternut tree) possibly at/near Jackman School
- “Green and Clean” projects – advocating for environmental/green standards such as more trees at parking lots, improved street abutments, and supporting our own PARA Urban Forest initiatives
- Individual historic “Century House” plaques – we both endorse and want to promote this Heritage Toronto program to individual home owners so that our neighbourhood is more readily identified for and celebrates its important architectural history. For more information about the Historical Plaque Program and to see sample house plaques, use the following link.
In support of Initiative #5 above – the Heritage Toronto Century House Plaque program – promotional postcards were delivered in late September, 2018 to homes within PARA’s boundaries, specifically to those homes that appeared to be eligible for the prestigious Heritage Toronto Century House Plaque. Costs ($250) are to be born by individual homeowners. Some of these handsome plaques have already been installed in the neighbourhood (for e.g. see 16 Browning Ave. and 56 Playter Blvd.) We also arranged for Camille Begin, Director of Heritage Toronto, to speak further about Century House plaques at the October 23rd, 2018 PARA members’ meeting.
Fundraising (Phase 1) of $10,000. was “kicked off” at the PARA AGM in April, 2018. The goal was an estimate and is expected to be sufficient to cover the entry sign and the street signs. Monies raised so far have come from 4 sources – individual donations, PARA itself, movie companies working in the area and a May, 2018, PARA-ROM Walk. The total raised as of September, 2018, is about $5000. We’re at the half way point! We hope PARA members will support these plans with individual donations. No work can begin until the Phase 1 funds are fully in place.
The Committee remains somewhat frustrated at the pace of work with the City (Toronto Parking Authority and Beautiful Streets) and we are awaiting further drawings and costs. Be assured, we continue to press for movement on the project! We will report on this again at a future time.
Questions, comments or interest in joining the Beautification Committee can be sent to Anne Ellis, Chair at firstname.lastname@example.org