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E-BLAST: Make the Most of Summer in Don Valley North!

Summer is officially here! We're in for some beautiful sunny days next week, and what better way to enjoy summer than exploring our own backyard right here in Don Valley North? Let’s take a look at the exciting events and great amenities that Don Valley Northerners of all ages can enjoy in the months ahead.

Canada Day

Canada Day is right around the corner, and there are fantastic events happening across the City. If you feel like venturing a little further east into Scarborough, you can enjoy a full day of Canada Day activities at Thomson Memorial Park. There will be a free pancake breakfast, live music and performances, carnival games, face painting, an artisan market, and much more. The festivities will take place from 9 AM to 4 PM, so you can drop by any time and enjoy the celebration.

If you’d rather stick around Don Valley North, stop by our local history museum at Zion Schoolhouse (1091 Finch Ave E). From 11 AM to 5 PM, they’ll be hosting outdoor and indoor activities for the whole family to enjoy, including paper crafts and the opportunity to try your hand at stilts! Of course, there are a number of other Canada Day events taking place across the City, including nighttime fireworks displays at Ashbridges BayCentennial Park (Etobicoke)Milliken Park and Stan Wadlow Park.

If you’re planning to set off your own fireworks, remember that they are only permitted on your private property until 11 PM on Canada Day. Fireworks are not allowed in parks or on beaches, or in a street, a parking lot, on a balcony, or on any private property that is not your own. The City has a helpful website with everything you need to know about setting off fireworks safely:

Don Valley North Summer Events

My office has also planned a few fun events so far for the summer months. To kick off the season, we have Summer Celebration at Oriole Community Centre on Saturday, July 13! Stop by any time between 1 PM – 4 PM for a community barbeque, ice cream truck, face painting, a bouncy castle, and so much more. We’ll have tables from local community organizations and some fabulous basketball programming happening in the gym. This is one of my favourite events of the year and I can’t wait to see our community come together a few weekends from now.

We’re also hosting three outdoor movie nights in parks across Don Valley North:

  • Monday, July 22nd: Ruddington Park

  • Monday, July 29th: Linus Park

  • Friday, August 23rd: Parkway Forest Park

Each movie night will feature a different family favourite—keep an eye on the E-Blast for more details in the coming weeks. I think there’s no better way to spend a summer evening than enjoying a free movie in your local park and always love seeing neighbours enjoy a film under the stars.

An outdoor movie night in Parkway Forest Park a few years back!

Finally, my signature Park Pop-Ups are back this summer! It’s my favourite way to chat with the community about what’s going on in your neighbourhood. Be sure to check your mailbox for a flyer letting you know where I’ll be setting up my pink tent next.

Summer Recreation

There are also so many fabulous outdoor and indoor amenities that you can enjoy right here in Don Valley North this summer. We have wonderful parks all over the ward that include everything from playgrounds to outdoor sports amenities like tennis and pickleball courts, baseball diamonds, soccer fields, basketball courts, and more. Some of them also have pools, wading pools, or splash pads, including:

  • Bayview Village Park

  • McNicoll Park

  • Bellbury Park

  • Oriole Park

  • Allenbury Park

  • Ethennonnhawahstihnen' Park

  • Parkway Forest Park

  • Van Horne Park

If you’re looking to cool off and get out of the sun, you can also take a trip down into our incredible ravine system. I wrote about our ravines in depth a few weeks back, and encourage you to get out for a stroll along one of the trails sometime this summer. It’s a great way to enjoy the natural beauty of Don Valley North and learn a bit about our local waterways.

A photo of the beautiful East Don Ravine.

There are also great indoor summer programs on at our local public library branches and community centres.  Our community centres offer everything from family board game nights to yoga, sports and open gym activities. Toronto Public Library has a great summer program called “Summer Wonder” that offers free programs for kids 12 years and under, including arts, STEM workshops, a summer reading club, camps, and more. And of course, they’re also a great spot to sit and relax with a summer read.

Remember, you can also utilize Toronto's Heat Relief Network if you need access to a cool space:

Summer Reminders

With all the fabulous things happening in Don Valley North in the coming months, you’re bound to be out in the neighbourhood more often and might notice a few things that need attention. I wanted to end off by sharing a few reminders so we can all enjoy Don Valley North as much as possible this summer.

First off, I’ve heard a few complaints about overgrown grass and weeds in our parks and along the City’s right-of-way over the past month. We had some rainy weather in May that prevented our maintenance crews from sticking to their usual grass cutting scheduled—if the ground is too soft, the mowers will dig deep trenches that no one wants in their local park. We should be back on track for our cutting schedule this summer, but if there are any issues with overgrown grass in a park or along a road near your home, please let my office know. The DVN team will be more than happy to have it attended to.

I also wanted to remind folks about the property standards expectations for your own lawns. “Turfgrass” (regular grass) on your lawn must be kept below 20 cm, and this includes on your boulevard, too. Property owners are responsible for cutting the grass on the strip of land between the sidewalk and the road in front of their homes. If you live on a corner lot, this applies to the side of your property as well. Remember that we all play a part in making sure our neighbourhoods are up to shape.

Finally, a quick reminder about parking. I know that some of us host more visitors in the warmer months, but remember that almost all streets in North York are subject to an unsigned three-hour parking maximum. Streets with different parking rules will have the appropriate parking signs. Be aware of parking on your street, and report any ongoing concerns to Toronto Police Parking Enforcement:

I hope that these reminders help you make the absolute most of summer in Don Valley North, or wherever you live in the city. As I send this out, we’re still in the midst of a busy Council session. I’ll share my regular Council Updates in the E-Blast next week.


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