Community

Bench for Crossing Guard - January 2012
Annette Public School Parent's are thinkig of designing a bench for a crossing guard at the South West corner of Annette Street and Clendenan Avenue. The bench could also be used by students waiting for a pick up by parents after school. We have still to decide if the bench could proceede as a neighbourhood beautification program or some other municipal program. The idea is to involve grade 7 & 8 students as much as possible in a design and selection process.



Solar Power Education Project - November 2011
Mark Rozkowski from High Park Architects proposed a new initiative to install a dual axis solar tracker with solar panels on the school roof. The Degertracker 300EL model is an advanced solar tracker and will be donated to school and all related work: required building permits and installation etc. will be done on volunteer basis. Students would be able to maintain and monitor the system performance online under the supervision of the science teacher. The program could teach children about sun movements,  atmospheric impact on solar output, electricity principles (voltage, amperage, watts, electricity current phases etc.). It can also be  used as a demonstration how green technology can reduce environmental pollution and reliance on fossil fuels. If we could have the solar system run as Feed in Tariffs Provincial program the revenue generated by it could fund other student's science programs.










The Junction Public Space, St. John's Plaza - September 2010

View after construction
Design layouts were completed at High Park Architects and coordinated with the Junction Residence Association, area Counsellor and City Agencies. The plaza was officially opened on September 2, 2010 with cutting ribbons, speeches and the press snapping pictures. It is an important public space addition to our neighbourhood. I hope we that with time we would do more of those spaces. The plaza has a cozy feeling to it. The quaint cedar gazebo centrally located. Numerous benches and decorative boulders to sit on. Even 6 or 7 trees located on the west side of the plaza look much healthier and happier now. The open planting areas around them allow for much easier water and air penetration. The cobblestone were reset more evenly then before and the surface was polished and treated to bring up natural stone colours. The plaza ties seamlessly with adjoining streets. So if you are walking along Dundas Street, Clendenan Avenue or St. John's Road the approach to the square is easy and inviting. I hope with time some restaurants would open along this stretch with street patios, umbrellas and tourists to add hustle and bustle feel to this neighbourhood street. The renovated plaza has a definite "curb appeal" and with time will become an urban meeting place for Junction residents and visitors alike

St. John's Square, Junction's New Public Space - August 2010
View during construction

After many month off discussions and meetings, Public Space Improvement Working Group comprised of the Architect Marek Rozkowski, Junction Residents Association representatives, the Councillor for the High Park area Bill Soundercook and the City Staff members, has finally approved the architect's design layouts and instructed City's Construction Manager to proceed with building the square as per drawings and specifications. The construction includes building 15' DIA cedar gazebo, laying down and polishing cobblestone pathways, placing decorative boulders, reconfiguring benches location, installing new tables for board games and other custom designed street furniture and creating open planting area around existing mature trees. Official Plaza opening is planed for the end of August.








Junction New Cultural Centre - February 2009
High Park Architects was asked to do Preliminary Plan Review and other analysis as a part of a search for a Junction Cultural Center location. A new opportunity presented itself at 200 Annette Street location. The existing church building is for sale and some of the Junction area residents were interested in purchasing the building and converting it into a community Cultural Centre. The Centre could be a home to a dance studio, design centre, community celebrations, gatherings etc. However there are some problems with this property. First of all there is unresolved environmental issue concerning fuel tanks that were buried there a long time ago with the potential of site contamination. Next there is a lack of sufficient parking spaces even thou this could be addressed by the future development. The zoning is also an issue since the existing MCR zone does not permit for any commercial applications. Committee of Adjustment hearing could shed some light on this issue but nobody applied for it yet. Preliminary Plan Review was already done by the City examiner in December 2008. Finally the property could be purchased by other buyer that would prefer a different course of action

Junction Square, accommodating existing infrastructure - January 2009
If we keep the surface on the current level we will not interfere with underground infrastructure and existing surface drainage patterns. That would require eliminating from the current design the benches parallel to Dundas street and keeping only two tiers stadium seating “surface mounted”stances that are perpendicular to Dundas street. This configuration coupled with placing a few bollards in strategic locations will allow free movement of pedestrians, bikes, emergency and city maintenance vehicles and inhibit passenger cars and trucks movement.

The Junction Public Space Initial Design - September 2006

Junction Public Space - needs and idea discussion drawings produced by High Park Architects based on the initial idea expanded to incorporate ideas from the last Junction Residents Association meeting. A build it ourselves initiative of volunteers that are focused on developing partnerships and raising the means to create a street scape open space on the roadway on Pacific Avenue North of Dundas St West to the just before the lane way.
Goal, to create a public space in the Junction, that is community governed, and services the community interests, providing a location for cultural, everyday activities and the event needs of the Junction.







Marek Rozkowski is member of the following community organizations:
Parent Council at Annette Street Public School in Toronto
Junction Business Improvement Area
Public Space Commitee for Junction Residence Association
Arts Junction