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  1. #1
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    Cycling Center for Centennial Park

    I didn't see this posted on here yet. This was posted on Canadian Cyclist a while ago.

    Synopsis: Midweek cycling club (road & cyclocross), is involved with the city in planing for cycling facilities at Centennial park. They have went above and beyond their scope and want to include mountain biking trails and facilities as well. Read the below for more info, I've highlighted the goodies (Skills Park, BMX track, "trick" BMX area, also: there is room for a 4X track on the ski hill there).

    Jason Murray is coordinating the MTB portion for the below, please contact him if your interested in attending: durhammountainbiking@gmail.com.

    The contact for BMX is Nicky Pearson of the OCA, bmx@ontariocycling.org.

    Along with the birthing of the City's MTB Strategy, this only means good things for Toronto MTB and BMX.

    Cycling Centre for Centennial Park
    Courtesy Craig Fagan, Midweek Club

    Meeting of Cycling Centre for Centennial Park on Tuesday, January 29th, at 7:30 pm, in a private room at Canadiana Restaurant, 5230 Dundas St. West, Toronto (see directions below)

    Combined Needs and Fundraising Committees meeting

    Agenda:
    - meet and greet
    - scope of project
    - briefing on "what we need to do" to get federal and provincial funding (by Ihor Wons)
    - general discussion
    - break out into committees and start working the project. The needs committee will be subdivided into road, mountain, bmx and cyclo-cross working groups

    Goal: have this up and running for 2010 cycling season

    Please RSVP your intention to attend and which committee you wish to participate on.

    For more info, please contact Craig Fagan at cfagan@sympatico.ca

    Canadiana Restaurant is donating the use of our meeting room

    Directions to Canadiana Restaurant:
    Subway: exit Kipling Station and walk to Dundas, turn east and the plaza is on the north side; 5 to 8 minute walk.
    From Highway #401/407: exit south on Highway #427 to Dundas Street eastbound and travel eastbound on Dundas exactly six traffic lights to Six Points Plaza which is located just west of Kipling Avenue.
    From Q.E.W. Highway: exit northbound on Kipling Avenue and travel north to the "Dundas Street Westbound" ramp. Six Points Plaza is located on right-hand side on Dundas Street.

    Repeat of (a) previous communication... a quick reminder

    Diagram

    Hi All;

    Below is the proposal for the Toronto Cycling Training Facility envisioned for Centennial Park, Toronto. Below is a notice of meeting to discuss the Centennial Park Master plan. We need to pack this room with cyclists supporting the attached proposal (or something like it). Please pass this on to as many cyclists as possible.

    You will notice that much of the proposed facility utilizes the existing gravel road system with some new path and a BMX track within the hydro right of way, a new climb/descent from the top of the ski hill which also follows existing tails and the extension of the Chalet patio for another 5 m outside of the existing fencing so that we can connect to the north and south side roadways.

    Note: Cross-country mountain bike trails need to be added to the proposal but I do not have the practical experience to direct where they should go or how they should appear except to say they need to be wide enough to enable pedestrians and cyclists to pass each other (the problem identified with many existing trails). Utilizing portions of the Etobicoke Creek ravine require approval of the conservation authority. Such approval may be possible but are not part of the new master plan for Centennial Park

    Road and Recreation: You will also notice that the roadway system offers choice so that not only can multiple programs occur at the same time but also there is enough option to train on different course each week.

    NEW: Mountain Bike... since this communication a mountain bike coach has indicated that the back side of the ski hill may be a perfect place for a "progress mountain bike training facility". We would like to explore fulfilling these needs with the park designers.

    Cyclo-Cross: Continue as we currently do except with more lighting in the flats to enable longer and flatter courses.

    BMX: A track to UCI standards to be built within the new paved area of the currently unutilized hydro corridor.

    Trick BMX: could be added anywhere within the road course, but not currently part of CCA's insurance program and thus may cause liability issues if participants of an OCA sanctioned program utilize it. Also neighbours tend to have mistaken attitudes of Trick BMX athletes.

    Track: excluded at this time but may be added in the future after we have proven that these facilities get significant usage to warrant considering taking the financial and usage risk that a track would entail.

    Why this side of the park?
    - The ski chalet is under-utilized in the non-snow months... cycling would give this 2 level facility additional usage such as classrooms, weight-room and even the patio could be licenced for select races. The absence of a dry lit location is a hindrance to running cycling day camps, the ski chalet is a perfect base of operations/rain-day location for them.
    - There is concern by other park users of conflict between fast-moving cyclists and picnickers, soccer, cricket and baseball players. Being over here we don't negatively impact them which means we won't need as many marshals and set-up would be a lot less effort.
    - There is nothing environmentally sensitive in this area and our courses can easily manoeuvre around hydro towers and other park users like the community garden plots.
    -Washroom and water for bike wash are currently in place and just require minor alteration.

    Needs:
    - All areas identified by double yellow to be asphalt surfaced with photo-cell street lamps on a timer system to enable evening use of the facility.
    - A 250m, 333m or 500m inside diameter 5m to 7m wide paved surface with slightly raised banks circle for both track-cycling training and interval training. Size is determined by whichever size would fit within the width of the hydro right of way. (Note We utilized the model airplane circle for 2 up pursuits as part of our youth cycling program this past May and June, the kids loved it!)
    - Adding showers to the ski centre's chalet and exterior access public washrooms
    - No un-fenced leash-free dog areas within the course or adjacent to it. As existing programming proves, other park usage is compatible with cycling.

    Usage:
    - There is no safe place for children to learn how to bike ride; this path system would give them such a place.
    - There is no regular-fixed place for cyclists to learn how to race their bicycle.
    - 43% of adults ride bicycles on a monthly basis, the vast majority youth 6 to 18 do so on a daily basis. Just as the City has built infrastructure for soccer, baseball, hockey, swimming, cricket to enable people to move from the unstructured neighbourhood empty lots and the rivers and lake to a structured training-playing facility so to does cycling (BMX, road, cross-country mountain biking and cycle cross) need such a facility. The absence of such is a significant hindrance to the growth of the sport. This facility would go a long way to correcting this omission.
    - Midweek currently runs Monday and Tuesday evening programming from April to September; we would move our existing programming into the park, other clubs may do likewise. And Midweek would expand its programming to include a summer day program for children and youth.
    - This facility would enable a group like Midweek to host Friday night races under the lights from May until Labour Day like is done in major cities around the world.
    - Midweek currently runs a Tuesday night cyclo-cross program on the ski hill from September until December (or the ski hill opens whichever comes first). We would expand programming to a second night each week.
    - Midweek currently host International Ranked Cyclo-cross races within the facility each November; the goal is to move these up to World Cup status within 5 years. (This year is the 12th year of such races occurring at Centennial.)
    - Other cycling disciplines (BMX, mountain and recreational) requires safe, traffic-free space, this would supply it
    - It is estimated this facility would be used daily by novices to internationally ranked cyclists to usage levels matching those of Centennial's soccer and baseball fields.

    Funding:
    - It is estimated the cost to do this work is between $0.75 million and $1.5 million. While it would be nice to do it all at once, phasing-in is possible. Since Midweek has a decade-long track record delivering programming we are eligible for Federal grants and Trillium funds for facility upgrades. Other grants and donations may also be available. Plus we can fundraise to deliver the 1/3rd corporate support ($250,000 to $500,000) needed to access Federal and Trillium dollars. Such corporate funds may seem high, when you consider the corporate funds that enabled the national tennis centre this goal is small potatoes.

    For more info, please contact Craig Fagan at cfagan@sympatico.ca

    For more information on Centennial Park's New Master Plan, visit http://www.toronto.ca/parks/parks_ga...centennial.htm
    Jason Murray
    Rep for Ontario, IMBA Canada
    Visit the IMBA Canada site to keep current on all things IMBA in Canada.

  2. #2
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    More Cycling Center news

    Last night I attended the presentation that the Centennial Park staff made to the Toronto Cycling Committee. And I'm glad I did. It gave me an insight that I wouldn't have had otherwise.

    The vibes I picked up from staff were not encouraging. Craig Fagan (from midweek in private correspondence) mentioned that there were no cycling facilities in the original plan, despite that fact that Midweek Cycling has been running road and CX programs at the park for some time now. They can't exactly claim that they didn't know a demand was there. So Craig fought to get some road cycling included, and while it looks like he has succeeded, I think there is a lot more effort required yet. One of the things that Craig would like to see is a high speed paved circuit for criterium races. At the meeting last night the staff said they had reservations about that with respect to the speed and pedestrian access. The also mentioned that they aren't keen on putting a BMX track in the hydro corridor, something about breaking up the park visually. (?) But then they went on to say later that this was a 10-15 year plan and they viewed the park as a place where Olympic level athletes will be developed. So they aren't keen on providing training and competing opportunities for road and BMX, both Olympic sports, in the Olympic caliber park. Huh?

    NOTE: The presentation was very short and I didn't get any chance to talk to the park staff so my vibes aren't based on much at this point. I certainly don't have the whole story from all sides.

    In my opinion our best bet is to attend the meeting that midweek is having next week in the West end. Work with Craig and the midweek club, they have a 10 year track record of delivering programs. They will be able to leverage that into money and time. Money for building, and time of politicians to get the needs heard. They are also open to working with MTBers and BMXers as long as we don't mess with the road circuit or CX course on the ski hill. If anyone in that neck of the woods hopes to see any riding opportunities developed at the park in the next 10-15 years now is the time to get involved. Think big, like an Canada Cup quality 4X course, or an Olympic BMX track. Hopefully a local champion will emerge who can take this and, in conjunction with Craig, run with it.
    Jason Murray
    Rep for Ontario, IMBA Canada
    Visit the IMBA Canada site to keep current on all things IMBA in Canada.

  3. #3
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    I attended the Centennial Park Master Plan meeting about a month ago, and sat at the same table with Craig. The planning consultant made the presentation, and then the audience was permitted to add comments and recommended changes to the master plan as feedback. I gathered from the meeting that the park staff do not have much authority over the design and planned facilities of the park, and that this was determined by the consulting company and metro council meetings and the assigned project manager. At this meeting, we made it well known that biking should be a major part of this plan, and that the chalet and ski hill could be well utilized in the non winter seasons, without having to build much new infrastructure.

    It was clear that the city was embarrassed to have such a large facility that was unable to host any international events, especially swim events, hockey events, and soccer events. But yes, biking could be added to that as well. However, the priority for Centennial Park and any city money is to expand the swimming pool facilities, hockey arena facilities, and soccer facilities.

    While a meeting with park staff would be nice, I would start fishing for the Toronto metro councilors who hold the cards on the future of Centennial Park, and their business buddies if they have any. So far I have not figured out who it is……yet. Whoever they are, they have already shut down the Go-Kart facility with one swoop of the pen.
    SUCCESS - To be able to spend life in your own way

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