Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Learn how to flood a rink.

At the Fieldhouse in Sorauren Park this Thursday there will be a clinic on how to best maintain a park rink. Hopefully someone from Friends of Ritchie Parkette can attend to garner some tips and tricks in the zen of ice rink maintenance. Also, if you are interested in helping maintain the rink this winter (flooding and shoveling) reach out to us at friendsofritchieparkette@gmail.com

The Sorauren Hosers volunteer rink flooding crew has joined with Park People to co-host an interactive panel and discussion on natural ice rinks.

The event will feature ice rink volunteers from across the city sharing ideas and best practices.

Registration is free and Park People will serve hot chocolate. Please come!

Thursday, Dec. 12, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Sorauren Park Fieldhouse, 50 Wabash Avenue

Register here:


Friday, November 1, 2013

Great fun at the Halloween party and the rain stayed away!!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Halloween Carnival  
POSTPONED due to Rain

Come Join us on
Sunday October 27th at 2 pm
Please come by at 1 pm if you are setting up a game or are helping out!
Don't forget some spare change for our 50/50 draw.
Peanut/nut free treats are most welcome!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Halloween Carnival

For the friends of Ritchie Parkette

When: Saturday October 26th 
What Time: 2 pm
What if it rains: Rain date Sunday October 27th at 2pm
Where: Ritchie Parkette

Slap those costumes on your kids and come join us for a fun and spooky afternoon at Ritchie Parkette.

This Halloween Carnival will be filled with:

50/50 Draw!
Spooky paper plate ghost craft!
Halloween Ink! (temp tattoos)
Fresh new grass!
An influx of mosquitoes!

Want to help?

Please bring food (peanut and nut free please) for all to enjoy – sweet, savory, drinks, chips, that fancy water with lemon slices

We also need some parents or older kids to run the games

We need a few parents to come early to help set up

Bring some cash to participate in the wild and exciting 50/50 draw. $2 per ticket or 3 for $5! Proceeds go to a local shelter.

Got an idea for a game? Fantastic-come a bit early to set it up. I can give you a bucket of prizes.

Got a way to prevent rain? Fantastic! Please get to work on that immediately.

Hope to see you all there!

A special thank you to Mina (Evan's mom) for purchasing a lot of the trinket prizes.

Got a question? Email me at

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Weston Grant Application Successful!

It was announced yesterday that the W. Garfield Weston Foundation will support improvements to Ritchie Parkette with a $25,000 grant provided through the Weston Family Parks Challenge.

The Rotary Club of Toronto, the Friends of Ritchie Parkette and the Toronto Department of Parks, Forestry & Recreation will use the grant to rehabilitate the parkette’s natural environment, introduce wildlife education and programming.

Although the drop zone ride and giant velcro wall were rejected it turns out that we are approved for the following:

  1. Native species will be planted at the front of the park and some interpretive signage that identifies the plants and describes healthy natural habitats.
  2. A chalk board wildlife and bird sighting display and some signage about birds in the area will be erected with links for posting bird, insect and mammal sightings to this blog.
  3. Access to a water tap for all seasons. This means sandcastles, rivers through sand tunnels and water for the ice rink in the winter.
Thanks to all involved for their time in helping us win this generous grant.

Monday, September 16, 2013

NEW GRASS installed, PLEASE keep off for time being

The title says it all. Our new sod was put down today and we'd like to give it every opportunity to take root. This means that for at least the next week, please try to keep the kids, toys and sand off the grass. If you see other people on there, please say something.

The new fountain is also up and operational and it would be great if we could keep it sand-free so everyone can enjoy it for years to come.

Thanks for your cooperation.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Renovation work set for September 3

The final stage of improvements to the park are scheduled to begin September 3rd and last 2 weeks contingent on the weather. The park will be closed during this time.

There is also great news. We will be getting the frost-free water box which will allow expansion and improvement of the ice rink in the future and also allow for wet and wild summer games. We will also be getting a shed to store rink supplies and any other equipment requiring shelter.

Both these items were originally beyond the budget alloted for the reno, so getting them is a boon for the park and its visitors. It has been a long road getting to this point, I am very excited for what the future holds and would like to thank the city staff for coming through with these bonuses for us.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Warning: Fallen Tree Danger

Please be careful when using the park.  Last night's storm brought down a big tree in one of the neighbour's yards and the majority of it is over-hanging the back left corner behind the hill. The fence is also broken and a serious danger of it all collapsing at any moment is present.

The city has been notified but may not attend to it quickly due to bigger damage around the city. They are also saying it may not be their responsibility, so it is best to simply steer clear of it. I will be taping off the area immediately, please keep an eye on your little ones.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Drinking Fountain

I've received word from the city that the drinking fountain in the park is working again. It's been 4 years and boy am I thirsty!!

Unfortunately, the drain has been irreparably clogged with sand so the water will have to run off onto the path/sand until the summer's scheduled, major reno work gets us a brand spanking new fountain.

PLEASE try to prevent further damage to the fountain and keep an eye on the little ones who are magnetically drawn to shove anything they can into it. Speak up so we all can drink up!!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Our new table has arrived

Ping pong season has begun in earnest! Friends of Ritchie Parkette's solicitations have been heard. In fact the case for ping pong tables in city parks has been so well received that we are told 5 other tables have been made for parks around the city. A bone fide coup!

The general opinion is that it plays very well and looks smarter than expected. Hopefully it is respected and remains in good condition for years to come. Please speak up if you see it being mistreated. 

I am told that even Loblaws sells paddles and balls - so now you have no excuse to get your game on. 

In the photo below undefeated neighbourhood champion, Pepi, proudly sits atop his concrete throne of glory beckoning a worthy opponent to attempt a shot at the title. Any takers?

Friday, May 31, 2013

Councillor Perks lends support to Ritchie Parkette grant application

"As the Councillor representing this area, I support their Weston Grant application as it builds on the work that the community and the city have started. The application proposal, if approved, not only compliments the existing plans through the Parks department but provides additional features that will serve to enrich the site and further the ever growing sense of community that exists because of this park."

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Many are called, few are chosen.

A few short weeks ago it was brought to the attention of The Friends of Ritchie Parkette that The Garfield Weston Foundation was sponsoring something called The Weston Family Parks Challenge. Essentially they are requesting proposals from community groups which if successful would provide up to $5 million in aggregate over a period of three-years to fund innovative park initiatives across the City of Toronto. With the assistance of Park People they will work with communities to generate a broad range of ideas to creatively fund, sustain and engage Toronto’s communities with their city parks and nature.

Some of our members jumped at the chance to fund items requested by the community but weren't in the City's capital budget. These were items like a new rink, a water box to help provide water in the winter to the rink, water play opportunities, a shed and other items to help facilitate kids and adults in enjoying the flora and fauna of the wilds of Ritchie Avenue. With a lot of hard work (huge shout-out to Alanna) our proposal was developed and submitted.

Many proposals were made to the Westons in Round 1 and very few made it to Round 2. I'm elated to report that we are one of the few. We will keep you updated as soon as we hear more. In the meantime, for your reading pleasure:

The full text of the proposal can be downloaded here.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Just to Add...

Mickey Hamill has been missing since Thursday morning, he has an Irish accent and a limp when walking. He was last sighted in the Adelaide downtown east side but from the junction/high park area. Here is the original news release

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Local man missing

A couple people were walking by the park asking if anyone has seen this local man. He has a medical condition. If you see him around please contact the police.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

St. Patrick's Eve Party!

Get lucky!
No, not in the parkette but next door at 75 Ritchie.

Saturday, March 16 at 4:00 PM

Come early: We are planning a Bodhran workshop, with a master Irish drummer for kids and the young at heart. Come out with your families for some good luck and cheer at our St. Patrick's Eve party. There will be Irish stew, shamrock burgers, and green food and drink for kids and adults, as well as lucky challenges and charms for all. Come celebrate all things Irish and see if you can be the one to find the gold at the end of the rainbow. Bonus: if you can catch one of our Leprechauns you get to take him home with you.

Alanna, Hercules, Kaia, Max and Oscar are hosting and have asked me to blog it.

If you get lost: 416-536-2692

Friday, January 4, 2013

The rink is ready

If you haven't already, please suit up and enjoy the new rink at Ritchie parkette. It's open for business and the price is right. We will be planning a skating party one weekend so stay tuned...

Also, post a comment or let me know if you are interested in helping with some evening floods. And if you see that the ice is wet from a flood please refrain from skating on it until it is completely frozen (usually a couple hours).

Thanks again to the neighbourhood elves and home hardware for making it happen.