Citizens Concerned About the Future of the Etobicoke Waterfront

Updated: Nov. 22, 2015

Skateboard Park

[Home] [What's Up] [Development] [Skateboard Park]

Welcome to the new Skateboard Park Page. So much has happened, and continues to happen, that the old page was getting too big and cluttered. We will keep the most current information here, and continue to update the old page, now renamed “Skateboard Park Background” so that you can still follow the whole saga. Click here to visit the Background page.

What’s New

Renew your membership for 2016 on line.

The Sherway Trail Needs Your Help and Support

November Bird Walk Report

Long Branch Neighbourhood Association Inaugural Meeting

Lake Shore West Cycle Track Public Meeting - Dec. 8

Report on the Community Consultation Meeting for a 25 Story Condo in Mimico

Photos From the Colonel Sam Smith Park Wetland Lookout Ribbon Cutting & Tree Planting

April 2, 2009

On Monday, March 30th, another meeting was held to present the plan for the skatebaord park in the 8th Street Parkette, and hear residents concerns. Click here to read coverage from Tamara Sheppard in the Etobicoke Guardian.

March 6, 2009

On March 3rd, the Community Working Group announced their recommended location for the Ward 6 Skateboard Park. They have recommended the 8th Street Parkette, located on the south side of Birmingham Street between 8th & 9th Streets.

Expect at least one more public meeting before the project moves forward.

Click here for Etobicoke Guardian coverage of the March 3 meeting.

January 13, 2009

Follow the Progress of the Working Group On-Line

Meeting notes from the Community Working Group are now being posted on the Lura Consulting website. The third meeting is being held this week, but so far, only the first meeting’s notes are posted.

LuraClick here to visit Lura’s Ward 6 Skateboard Park page.

November 4, 2008

The process of planning a skateboard park in Ward 6 is finally restarting. Lura Consulting has been hired to facilitate the process. A 12 member community Working Group is being formed to advise the City on site selection criteria, assess locations against these criteria, and to identify the most appropriate location for the skateboard park.

May 28, 2007

Funding Deadline Looms for Skateboard Park

During a meeting last week, one City official made it clear that a decision would be made very soon about whether or not to keep the skateboard park in the budget beyond 2007. Despite our concern about the site originally chosen, CCFEW and several other community groups are still interested in seeing the project go forward in an appropriate location.

To that end, CCFEW, along with New Toronto Good Neighbours, the Lakeshore Planning Council, Friends of Sam Smith, and Sumo Skateshop sent this letter to Brenda Lribecz:

Brenda Librecz
General Manager
Parks, Forestry and Recreation
City of Toronto

May 25th 2007

Dear Ms. Librecz:

Re: Ward 6 Skateboard Facility

Since the Ciy’s decision not to locate a regional skateboard facility in Col. Sam Smith Park we have been expecting your department to begin a new site selection search and have been looking forward to participating co-operatively in such a process.   We hope that you will shortly be making a decision about the funds that have been allocated for a skateboard facility in Ward 6 and setting a new schedule for construction. We would like you to consider the following points in your deliberations.

1.  When a skateboard facility was first suggested by local groups it was to be local facility and not the regional one that the City eventually proposed.   We do not believe that for the $500,000 allocated it is possible to construct the kind of facility that last year’s plans described.   A local facility will be easier to site and could be designed to meet the needs of our skateboarders.

2. We recognize that there is unlikely to be unanimity about whatever site is selected.  However we believe that if the selection process is transparent and if the community is involved in the selection of criteria and their evaluation that it will be possible to locate a facility in Ward 6 that will be supported by the majority of residents.

3. We realize that to site and construct a facility in this budget year will now be difficult but we urge you to begin the process as soon as possible to restore the community’s confidence in Council’s commitment to providing skateboard facilities.

4. We suggest that the City’s Public Consultation Office be asked to lead the consultation process. We are confident that their procedures and guidelines will ensure sufficient community involvement to pave the way for acceptance of this project.

Click here to view the signed letter as a pdf.

May 2, 2007

This Editorial posted on the Etobicoke Guardian website yesterday questions the idea of putting a skating oval into a contentious location when there is so little apparent support for the idea:

Listen with open mind, open ears on Etobicoke park plan

We too, hope that the City is listening!

April 26th, 2007

Here We Go Again!?

The idea of putting a skateboard facility in Sam Smith Park appears to be dormant, if not completely dead, for now but the accompanying ice skating track is not a dead issue. It was revived at poorly publicized, but well attended public meeting on April 19th. We learned unofficially (but accurately) the date time and location weeks in advance, but the first official notice appeared via e-mail on April 16th.

A crowd of about 75 people packed the Power House to voice their opposition to the plan, the process, and the type of project chosen. There was much more discussion of how better to spend the recreation dollars than there was about the plan itself. There was also concern expressed that there has been no follow through on the first recommendation from
Councillor deBaeremaeker's report from last year: “fulfill the former City of Etobicoke’s original 1996 promise to create a citizens’ advisory group to help protect and restore Colonel Sam Smith Park to its full ecological potential”.

We thought this was the most important recommendation to come out of the whole skateboard park debacle. It is this kind of advisory group that can build consensus and head off future conflicts that waste everyone's time, effort, and money.

The meeting was attended by Councillor Grimes and Kevin Bowser, the new Parks Director for the area. Mr Bowser heard for the first time at the meeting that the Lakeshore wants a community centre before money is spent on anything else.

April 24th, 2007

The April 19th meeting on the ice skating trail was covered by Tamara Sheppard in the Etobicoke GuardianSkating trail incites ire, confusion

September 26th

Sam Smith skateboard park plans officially dead

 - Etobicoke Guardian

Councillor Mark Grimes told the Guardian last night that he has accepted Councillor De Baeremaeker’s recommendation and taken Sam Smith Park off the table as a site for a skateboard park. There are several other recommendations in the report and we will be encouraging Councillor Grimes to follow through on them as well.

Monday, September 25th

Councillor De Baeremaker’s Report Released

Question #1 - Should the skateboard park be built in the proposed location within Colonel Sam Smith Park (adjacent to the “Power House”)?

My Answer - No, my recommendation to Councillor Grimes is that the skateboard park should not be located at the proposed location within Colonel Sam Smith Park because of ecological, historical and recreational reasons.

Click here to read the full report

Press coverage:

Etobicoke Guardian, September 21st

Councillor can't endorse Sam Smith for skateboard park
'The writing is pretty much on the wall:' Grimes

Other recent press coverage

You can now see what people are saying about the skateboard park at Friends of Sam Smith Park blog. Already posted there is an e-mail from Mark Grimes’ office promising further public consultation.  It’s not yet clear how public that consultation will be or what the mandate will be of the committee he has promised. Will this be another hand picked committee? Will they be restricted to considering the four sites already short listed?


On July 5th, 120 - 150 uninvited guests showed up for an invitation only meeting where the plans for the skateboard park were being presented. This generated a lot of public interest in the issue, and went a long way towards encouraging Mark Grimes to allow more public consultation. This was a very significant turning point in bringing the issue to wider public attention. Click here for the presentation made at that meeting (1.8MB pdf)Click here or on the image below for the site plans presented at the meeting (1.7 MB pdf) (Note: you will need to rotate the image 90 degrees. Sorry, it came to us that way.)


Some other Interesting links:

How Halton Region conducts public consultation

How the city of Seattle plans skateboard parks

[Skateboard Park] [Skateboard Park Background] [Site Photos]

Top of Page

Home     Contact

Web Hosting by 1&1 1and1