No Friday Night Supper or snackbar this weekend at Dufferin Grove

There won't be a community supper this Friday at Dufferin Grove. The snackbar at the wading pool will also be closed this weekend. Below is a public statement issued by CELOS, a research group that over the years has contributed to programming at the park.

Why there’s NO Friday Night Supper nor Weekend playground cafe this week:

- because there are not enough Dufferin Grove program staff left to cook and serve, and clean and help setup and then put away all the dishes.

Why are there not enough Dufferin Grove program staff?

- because in the last $9 billion city budget, there was a tiny item cutting recreation program staff for community centres without walls (i.e. in a park like this one). So recreation management has not allowed replacement hiring of any Dufferin Grove part-time staff since 2011, whenever any current part-time staff leave for other jobs

Why does the City want to cut recreation staff for a park like this one?

- because Recreation management wrote in the 2012 Budget that they want to “harmonize” this park to be like all the others (e.g. no programs, buildings left locked and unused, etc…)

Why cut what’s working in this park?

- because in the last six years, the Parks, Forestry and Recreation operating budget has increased by over $90 million, to $371 million this year. So the city is in trouble and wants to save money.

How will cutting Dufferin Grove staff fix the city’s financial troubles?

- good question. Just basic caretaking for one community centre with walls (for example, McCormick Rec Centre and swimming pool) costs more than all of Dufferin Grove’s program costs put together. Focusing on only one small “un-harmonized” detail takes away what works well without saving significant money and without looking at the whole picture for the public spaces of Ward 18.

If Dufferin Grove Park works so well and is so cheap, how can the programs be brought back?

- by working with City Councillor Ana Bailao, if she agrees, to set up a “Ward 18 Parks Conservancy.” Park users and local staff can work together to show how to spend our taxes and protect our public spaces better than by hitting the financial problem with a one-size-fits all central hammer. To find out more, see the park bulletin boards or go to the “Conservancy” links on

This bulletin is put out by CELOS, the Centre for Local Research into Public Space.