City of Toronto Parks, Forestry, and Recreation Department's Curling Strategy, Interim Phase 2 Report
The City of Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation (PFR) published their Interim Phase 2 Report as part of their Curling Strategy (see link below). This report identifies options to meet the demand for curling identified in the Phase 1 Report published in the summer of 2020.
It reflects the work that PFR has done along with the Stakeholders Group to keep this important project moving forward despite the impact COVID-19 has on us all. Publishing this report announces to the curling community in Toronto that while the project has been delayed, it is still very much active and has PFR’s commitment to see the analysis through to completion.
We continue to move closer to the new facility we need in west Toronto however there are major challenges ahead including the final search for a preferred design option, selection of a specific site, funding options, when the final proposal will go to Toronto City Council for approval. PFR is planning the next Stakeholders Group meeting near the end of February to discuss these challenges.
If you have any questions or comments, let us know at email@example.com.
September 29th, 2020
City of Toronto Parks, Forestry, and Recreation (PFR) Department's Curling Strategy Metting
Another milestone in our project was reached on Tuesday, Sept. 29th with the City of Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation's (PFR) Phase 2 meeting with its Stakeholders Reference Group. This is a group of knowledgeable curling spokespersons who provide PFR with direction and expertise on the sport within Toronto.
The purpose of the meeting was to build upon the positive findings from Phase 1 which determined there were serious gaps in meeting the demand for curling in Toronto and in particular the west end of Toronto. PFR wanted to gather input on the first draft of their Phase 2 report - finding viable options for closing the gaps identified in Phase 1. Phase 2 will also determine costs and funding options.
The detailed content of the meeting must remain confidential at the request of PFR until Phase 2 is complete and the ultimate report is posted for public viewing.
Here are a few general highlights without getting into specifics -
It was a very professional and well run event.
PFR restated that there are gaps in meeting the demand for curling. They were still supportive and committed to the project.
Curling "Models" were reviewed. These are the various ways a new curling facility might be managed.
Facility options were presented alsong with assessment criteria. This all aligned very well to the range of options that we developed within WECC. At this stage the options are still quite general.
PFR also presented criteria which will help assess locations for any facility.
It must be stressed that this is very preliminary and it is not a given that any option will meet the criteria presented. There is much work left to do.
A follow-up meeting will be setup by PFR in early December to explore these options and locations in more detail in order to complete this phase of the project.
Once completed, the Phase 2 report will be brought before City Council. The original target for going to City Council was the 4th quarter of 2020. However, due to delays including COVID-19, the report will likely not go to City Council until the beginning of 2021.
The project is moving in a good direction.
August 29th, 2020
Parks, Forestry, and Recreation (PFR) has Published the Final Phase 1 Report on their Curling Assessment
This includes the high level go forward plans on Phase 2 and lastly the Reporting Out Phase to Toronto City Council.
Phase 1 (determine gaps, trends and opportunities): The official Phase 1 report was published on the City website on Friday Aug. 14, 2020 A link to the report was sent out to all of our WECC Stakeholders and is included below for general viewing. WECC is very encouraged by the findings of the report. WECC's assessment is that the report demonstrates a strong need for additional curling facilities, not only in the west end but also across the city. It is a strong foundation for Phase 2.
We must bear in mind that this is just the assessment of needs. While critically important, there is much more work required to create a new curling facility.
Phase 2 (how to address the gaps - structures, locations, costs and funding): This phase will determine the viability of creating the physical curling facility. Obviously it is critical. PFR has set Sept 29 has the date of the next PFR stakeholders meeting. The exact process PFR will follow has not yet been announced. WECC will continue to share our existing material on these topics from our work done over the past year.
Reporting Out/Phase 3 (create final recommendation with full detail and present to city council). The target is December and a vote in City Council on any recommendations. To be become reality, Councillors must vote “yes” to a new facility. Leading up to this final presentation of the report and the subsequent vote on it, it is critical that all those across the city who believe curling needs to grow with the creation of additional facilities must express their support for the project with their local City Councillor.
July 23rd, 2020
COVID-19 Update from the Toronto Curling Association
The direction from the federal and provincial government regarding COVID-19 guidelines is being updated daily, so TCA facilities will be adjusting their re-opening strategies accordingly. Please refer to your curling facility website or to the TCA website for updates.
WECC announces the formal replacement of "Curl Etobicoke" with "West End Curling Centre"
The West End Curling Committee has formally changed the name of their planned facility from "Curl Etobicoke" to "West End Curling Centre". This change
has been made to reduce confusion by using the same logo/branding for both the committee and the centre.
May 30th, 2020
City of Toronto Parks, Forestry & Recreation Completes Phase 1 of Their Curling Assessment
PFR (Parks, Forestry & Recreation) completes the first phase of their Curling Assessment - the interviews with the curling club managers and other club contacts to
understand the current situation, membership issues and trends.
PFR has received the green light to set up a Stakeholder Reference Group meeting. This is the second phase. In light of the COVID-19 restrictions, they're working
with colleagues at the City to convene this via a digital formate, likely WebEx. This approach is new for them and they still have some details to work out.
All things considered, given the impact of COVID-19, PFR is doing well to stay rough on schedule. They are not suggesting any change to the Q4 target for their report.
Have your say now by taking this link:
Story by Tamara Shepard, Etobicoke Guardian (Toronto.com)
St. George's Golf and Country Club will end its curling operation at the end of this season. The West End Curling Committee is working with the city and advocating for a city-run curling facility in Etobicoke to accommodate the 377 displaced. Read the full article … here
Story by Bonnie Sacchetti, published in the Etobicoke Guardian (Toronto.com)
The month of April for curling in Canada usually marks the close of curling for the season. However, this year, it marks the closing, for good, of yet another curling club
in the west end of Toronto. St George's Golf & Country Club. Read the full article … here
March 1st, 2020
City of Toronto Creates Curling Strategy Website
As part of the City of Toronto’s Parks, Forestry and Recreation Department’s assessment of curling in
Toronto, they have created a new curling specific website. This is for all community members to log
their comments, suggestions, needs, and preferences as it relates to adding greater curling capacity in
Toronto. This is especially important for Toronto’s west end which in the greatest need. The new
website is a direct line to the Parks, Forestry and Recreation Department and is dedicated to this
project. Have your say now by taking this link:
Note, this does not replace contact you should have with your local elected officials on this project.
Those local elected officials still represent your needs and you should contact them directly since at
some point in the future the city councillors will be voting on the matter of a new curling facility
assuming Parks, Forestry and Recreation recommend that. We need that vote to be “YES”. To find
tips and links to help you do this, follow this link to the WECC Contact page
February 26th, 2020
CurlOn and the Ontario Curling Council to Join WECC Meetings
It is important that CurlOn (Ontario Curling Association) and the Ontario Curling Council
understands and work collaboratively with WECC. That will be enabled with the decision to
have a CurlOn/OCC director, Jonathan Giancroce, participate in WECC meeting. CurlOn and
the OCC has been a strong supporter of WECC and this relationship will help create the new
curling facility we all need.
January 18th, 2020
Note from Bill Baker, Chairperson of the 125th TCA Goldline Men’s Curling Championships
The 125th TCA Goldline Men’s Curling Championships wound up last weekend. I think
everyone involved enjoyed the tournament and it ran with very few problems thanks to my
great committee and the help from the 14 different curling facilities we used through the
We had 216 teams entered this year, which is down by 2 teams from last year. Unfortunately
we had teams on a wait list that we could not accommodate because we had used up all of
the available ice in the city!
With the recent closure of the curling sections at Scarboro Golf & Country Club and Weston
Golf & Country Club, and the announcement that this is the final year for curling at St.
George’s Golf & Country Club, we have a serious problem here in the GTA. There are simply
not enough curling facilities in the city for the demand. This problem will continue to impact
the tournament I run, but more importantly will limit our ability to introduce this sport to the
growing number of interested participants in the city.
The interest in curling is growing around the world. Here in the GTA clubs that hold “Learn to
Curl” sessions report large numbers of attendees. These clubs are then challenged to find
these prospective curlers spots in their leagues to participate.
We need new curling faculties in the GTA.
The West End Curling Committee (westendcurling.com) was formed to try and address this
issue as the west end of the GTA is in the greatest need. After this year there will be no
curling facilities in the west end of the city of Toronto beyond High Park.
We have been overwhelmed with support from our fellow curlers this past year...Thank you to everyone who signed our petition, came out to our fundraiser,
emailed your encouragement, visited our website and those who contacted their City Councilor/MP/MPP to make them aware of the lack of curling facilities
in the west end.
Happy New Year
December 20th, 2019
Encouraging First Assessment Meeting with City of Toronto
On December 20th, WECC met with Councillor Holyday, Parks and Rec staff, and City Planning staff. You may remember at the City of Toronto Executive Committee meeting
held in October that we won the support of Mayor Tory and the Executive Committee. The Mayor tabled a motion requesting the Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation Department to
work with WECC in assessing what is needed to address the crisis in curling in West Toronto. We were truly encouraged to hear Councillor Holyday and the city staffers have an appreciation for the situation.
There is much work to do, but we are ready to do whatever is needed!
One thing we know for sure is that when this goes to Council it will be a city wide initiative and we need ALL councilors on board not just those in Etobicoke. So, for our New Year's
wish we ask each and every one of you to please call, email or write to your councilor. A copy of a sample letter is available here for your use.
December 9th, 2019
Curl Etobicoke Becomes Incorporated
WECC announces that the curling facility it is working to create not only has a name but it is also now
incorporated as a Not-for-Profit corporation…Curl Etobicoke Inc.
WECC will remain the parent organization driving the further planning and implementation of Curl
Etobicoke. As time goes on all the operational aspects of the new facility will migrate to Curl
When Curl Etobicoke is a complete and operating entity, WECC’s role will diminish and likely wind-up.
November 24th, 2019
Fund-Raiser Bonspiel - A Huge Success!
On Saturday November 23rd, St. George's Curling Club hosted the first WECC Fund-Raiser Bonspiel. What a great day. We had teams from all over the GTA, 12 teams in total, 48 people, and many others who attended for lunch. Thank you to all the people who came in support of the work WECC is doing to create a new curling facility in the West End. The money raised will help toward the cost of the project going forward.
It was a real bonus to have Councillor Stephen Holyday attend. He had an opportunity to meet a variety of curlers and heard their stories about why curling is important to them.
A particular thank you to Bonnie Sacchetti and her organizing group.
November 23rd, 2019
An Official Name - Curl Etobicoke
The name of our envisioned West End curling facility is now official, Curl Etobicoke. This is the first step towards creating the not-for-profit corporation behind the name.
November 17th, 2019
Fund-Raiser Bonspiel Fills Up
We're happy to report that the bonspiel is full! However, you can still join us for lunch $40, register at firstname.lastname@example.org and then e-transfer the cost of lunch to email@example.com OR drop in during the day, watch some curling and bid on some fabulous silent auction items. Bidding on silent auction items runs from 9am to 3:45pm.
Hope to see you all next Saturday!
Remember, your support is vital for curling in the west end!
November 4th, 2019
Goldline Curling Supplies Steps Forward
Goldline Curling Supplies has stepped forward as a major sponsor for our WECC Fund-Raiser Bonspiel on November 23rd at St. Georges Golf and Country Club, Toronto.
Lots of amazing curling stuff! Thank you Goldline!
"GOLDLINE THE CHOICE OF CHAMPIONS"
October 23rd, 2019
WECC Gets Support from the City of Toronto's Executive Committee for Study into the Needs of Curling
At the City of Toronto Executive Committee meeting held on October 23rd, WECC won the support of Mayor Tory and the Executive Committee. Mayor Tory tabled his motion requesting the Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation Department to work with WECC in assessing what is needed to address the crisis in curling in West Toronto.
This is a very important step forward in our goal of providing the much needed new curling facility in West Toronto. It enables us to partner with the Parks, Forestry and Recreation Department to develop a plan for the future.
October 13th, 2019
Kraft Heinz Project Play Update
Many of you know WECC entered the Kraft Heinz Project Play Contest which was offering $250,000 to the winning project. Our project was called Etobicoke Curling Centre and was competing against many other projects from across Canada. Over the past couple of months supporters of our project have been submitting photos and stories making the case for our project to make it to the next round - the final four projects and the ultimate final vote to pick a single winner.
Some of you might already know our Etobicoke Curling Centre missed the cut for the final four projects.
Dissapointing news of course, however we knew our project was stretching the limits of the scope of this contest. The projects selected are strong contenders and have a shorter time horizon than ours. But still, you miss every shot you don't take and so we had to take a shot.
We have captured all the stories and photos from the website in case the organizers start to purge content. The stories are wonderful and we can re-use these stories in our future efforts. It is important to realize the 29 stories submitted by our supporters demonstrated such heartfelt emotions toward curling in general and to our project specifically that it has made the whole process worthwhile. We won in a different way. If you want to be inspiried, go to the Kraft Heinz website and re-read our stories under our project.
WECC thanks everyone who took the time and made the effort to submit a story. You spoke with eloquence and conviction. Well done. And now it is back to work and we have much work to do.
September 17th, 2019
WECC Representitive, Bonnie Sacchetti voted onto the TCA Board
At the Toronto Curling Association Board meeting held on Sept. 17th, 2019, WECC member Bonnie Sacchetti, was voted on to the TCA Board. This is in recognition of the important interdependence of the Toronto Curling Association and the West End Curling Committee as both work to improve the state of curling facilities in the GTA.
October 12th, 2019
Announcing the New WECC Website
The new website will reach a broader audience across the curling community who will benefit from this new curling facility. It will allow two-way communcation, between organizers and supporters.
October 12th, 2019
Plans for Fund-Raising Bonspiel Move Forward
Details are being developed for the fund-raising bonspiel to be held at St. George's Golf and Country Club on Saturday November 23rd. Current plans include the opportunity to play with curling celebrities. Funds raised will go toward costs of a new curling facility.