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July 5, 2004
Quality of life for Torontonians front and centre with Parks and Recreation's new strategic plan
Toronto City Council's Economic Development and Parks Committee today approved
the Parks and Recreation strategic plan entitled Our Common Grounds. The Plan
outlines 52 recommendations to guide the delivery of Parks and Recreation
programs and services to enhance the quality of life for all Torontonians.

The 15-year action plan brings together the three strategic goals of Parks and
Recreation: Environmental Stewardship, Child and Youth Development and Lifelong
Active Living. Toronto is home to many diverse populations with equally diverse
needs. Through the Plan's 52 recommendations, Parks and Recreation will bring
the diverse communities together on our common grounds.

"Our Common Grounds is a realistic plan that sets the tone and future direction
for Parks and Recreation and addresses the many challenges and opportunities
ahead," said Brian Ashton, the Chair of the Committee.

The strategic plan is the first deliverable of ReActivate TO!, a process to
review Parks and Recreation programs and services. ReActivate TO! sought the
opinions of both staff and members of the public and, to date, has engaged more
than 3,000 individuals, including youth and children. The feedback collected
through 12 public and 33 staff consultation sessions and a survey was used in
the development of the Our Common Grounds document and forms the basis of the
52 recommendations on the future delivery of Parks and Recreation programs and

Parks and Recreation has targets within the plan by which to measure its
progress, including:
· increase the tree canopy to cover 30 to 40 per cent of the city's land area
from 17 per cent
· ensure that 80 per cent of parks users are very satisfied with the quality
of park visits
· increase the number of youth in Parks and Recreation programs by 40 per cent,
· increase by 20 per cent the physical activity level of Torontonians.

"Residents told us that they view Parks and Recreation as a key contributor to
the quality of life of Toronto's communities and neighbourhoods," said Brenda
Librecz, Acting General Manager of Parks and Recreation. "The face of this city
is constantly evolving. With Council's approval, Our Common Grounds will
provide the framework to effectively deliver Parks and Recreation services that
are reflective and responsive to the changing needs of our city's diverse
communities, from the Rouge to the Humber and from the Oakridges Moraine to
Lake Ontario.

The Plan will now be forwarded to City Council for discussion and approval in
July. A three-year business plan will also be developed and presented in
December 2004. For more information on Our Common Grounds, visit:

Media contact:
Economic Development, Culture & Tourism Media Hotline,



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