Locals divided over new ramp at Ramsden Park
Courtney Greenberg, CTV News Toronto
Published Friday, August 11, 2017 1:06PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, August 11, 2017 6:57PM EDT
Some residents living near Ramsden Park are upset about a costly accessibility ramp that will require the removal of a number of mature trees.
The ramp is expected to be built at the park, located near the TTC’s Rosedale Station. But residents told CTV News Toronto that mature trees will be felled and the cost of the ramp is way too high.
Trees have already been marked to come down to make room to install a 186-metre steel ramp.
“We don't see the point of damaging this beautiful natural feature at such a humongous cost for no use to the residents,” said area resident Irina Stoian.
The cost of the ramp is $766,000 –- and residents who believe there’s no need for the ramp are furious. They say there are three other accessible entrances to Ramsden Park.
Mark Grushenko lives in the tower right next door.
“There could be delays and cost overruns. It’s probably going to cost almost a million dollars and the city's always talking about staying green. We don't need to tear up the green.”
The residents have started a campaign to save the trees and money. They point to the fact that the park is not maintained in the winter and say a steel ramp would be iced over and not usable many months of the year.
“Currently the park is flooding during rain and hard to navigate in the winter so if the city has money in the budget, they should use it for that to upgrade and maintain what's already here,” said Stoian.
Though other neighbours say another ramp can only make this park more accessible to anyone who isn't able to use the stairs.
“I think there are people in Belmont House in wheelchairs. This is their access point, their most proximate natural access point, to enter,” said Bill Schiller.
The planned ramp is part of a bigger $7 million dollar revitalization of Ramsden Park.
Residents have been told the trees will come down in the week after Labour Day.
With files from Natalie Johnson