Serving Toronto's most liveable community with the Annex Gleaner

FOCUS: Grading our greenspace (Fall 2023)

December 5th, 2023 · Comments Off on FOCUS: Grading our greenspace (Fall 2023)

A report card on our cherished parks

The Village of Yorkville Park pictured here has stood the test of time and remains a “must see” in the Annex.

Compiled and photos by Megan Bocchinfuso

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August 19th, 2022 · Comments Off on GRADING OUR GREENSPACE (Aug. 2022)

The best and worst of the Annex’s parks

Compiled and photos by Fox Oliver

Every year the Annex Gleaner reviews the abundance of parks in the Annex using a variety of criteria. 

While there is no decisive “winner” of the grading, letter grades are assigned to convey the quality of the parks considering aspects such as upkeep, amenities, and accessibility. 

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Tags: Annex · News · Life

NEWS: New mural celebrates Indigenous storytelling (July 2022)

July 18th, 2022 · Comments Off on NEWS: New mural celebrates Indigenous storytelling (July 2022)

Artwork weaves together stories of creation and coexistence

Joseph Sagaj with Elder and Knowledge Keeper Jacque Lavallee (Jacqui Lavalley) and Grandmother Donalda Ashkewe (Winnie Ashkewe). The 86-foot-long mural includes artistic contributions from Denise Aquash, Sonja Clarke, Larry M. Holder, and Mike Rowade (aka Ron Wild). COURTESY JOSEPH SAGAJ

By Meribeth Deen

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NEWS: New highrise planned for Bloor and Spadina (May 2022)

May 17th, 2022 · 2 Comments

Residential development will displace businesses

PROPOSED: Developer’s rendering of the tower. COURTESY BDP QUADRANGLE

By Fox Oliver

A proposed 37-storey highrise in the heart of the Annex could drastically alter the Bloor and Spadina intersection. On November 8, 2021, developer First Capital proposed the construction of a building at 320, 328, and 332 Bloor St. W. 

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Tags: Annex · News

CHATTER: Annex Residents’ Association AGM covers pressing issues (May 2022)

May 17th, 2022 · Comments Off on CHATTER: Annex Residents’ Association AGM covers pressing issues (May 2022)

The ecological restoriation of Paul Martel Park (formerly Ecology Park) was one of the agenda items at the ARA’s AGM. The park is now home to a Bloor Annex BIA-sponsored mural created by First Nations artists led by local artist Joseph Sagaj. NEILAND BRISSENDEN/GLEANER NEWS

The Annex Residents’ Association (ARA) held their annual general meeting on April 21 via Zoom. Those in attendance included members of the ARA, residents and representatives from development teams, city council and Toronto Police Service. The most notable discussions were about improving safety on Avenue Road, the West Annex Heritage Project, vandalism at St. Alban’s Square and the restoration of Paul Martel Park. 

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December 17th, 2021 · Comments Off on LETTER TO THE EDITOR (Dec. 2021)


Thank you for the recent edition and in particular the area park reviews conducted by your writer Madeline Smart, I really loved the coverage of our parks.

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Tags: Annex · Opinion


November 11th, 2021 · Comments Off on GRADING OUR GREENSPACE (Fall 2021)

Albeit small and with no playground infrastructure Gwendolyn MacEwan park is a great spot to stop and have a rest.

As part of the Gleaner’s annual area park reviews, here is Part Two. We grade each park and compare the score with the prior year. We look for amenities, trees, gardens, and cleanliness. We also tell you something you may not know about how the space got its name. 

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Tags: Annex · Life

FOCUS: Park set for eco-restoration (Nov. 2020)

December 4th, 2020 · 1 Comment

A team of Indigenous workers are bringing Paul Martel Park back to life

Paul Richard (left) and Joseph Sagaj, part of a team of Indigenous gardeners, have been working tirelessly to bring Paul Martel Park (located on Madison Avenue, north of Bloor Street) back to its original vision. BRIAN BURCHELL/GLEANER NEWS

By Tanya Ielyseieva

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Tags: Annex · Life

GRADING OUR GREENSPACE: Grading the green (August 2020)

September 9th, 2020 · 1 Comment

Park it here

In this year’s installment of evaluating park spaces within the Gleaner’s catchment area, our observers noted the impressive revival of Queen’s Park North showing what a great city can do when it focuses its imagination and resources. The neglected Euclid Avenue Park, near Koreatown, shows what happens when these resources are withheld. Compiled by Mary An, Tanya Ielyseieva, and Nicole Stoffman.

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OBITUARY: Architect leaves indelibe marks (July 2020)

August 7th, 2020 · Comments Off on OBITUARY: Architect leaves indelibe marks (July 2020)

Martel was a planner and architect who turned parking into parks

Paul Martel (3rd from left) with his loyal band of Ecology Park volunteer gardeners. He saw the project as contributing to the greening and cohesion of the Annex.

By Nicole Stoffman

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CHATTER: Park gets a haircut (Nov. 2019)

December 9th, 2019 · Comments Off on CHATTER: Park gets a haircut (Nov. 2019)

Brian Burchell/Gleaner News

After two Gleaner stories amplifying community concerns over the city’s neglect of Paul Martel Park (on Madison north of Bloor), city staff gave the green space a major clean-up and its long promised new sign. Residents are hopeful that park staff bring the planting beds back to life in the spring.

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CHATTER: Park still ignored by city (Oct. 2019)

October 17th, 2019 · Comments Off on CHATTER: Park still ignored by city (Oct. 2019)

Brian Burchell/Gleaner News

Despite the public outcry city staff have still not taken steps to address the concerns of residents about the neglect of Paul Martel Park located on Madison Avenue. City councillor for University-Rosedale Mike Layton has joined the chorus of those advocating for a solution, “I have made repeated requests to parks staff to have the signage replaced and attend to the overall state of the park. With two retirements of parks managers within the south district, maintenance this year was a challenge as the positions were not permanently filled until the end of the summer.  Now that both those positions have been filled, I’m confident the city will be better able to respond to requests from the community.”

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NEWS: City fails to maintain park (Sept. 2019)

October 8th, 2019 · Comments Off on NEWS: City fails to maintain park (Sept. 2019)

Staff unresponsive to concerns about Paul Martel Park

A graffiti-stained map depicts what once was of the Paul Martel Park.

By Juan Romero 

If you are on Madison Avenue, just north of Bloor Street West, you will see on the west side of the street a place with benches and grass right behind the Spadina bus station; that place is Paul Martel Park, a spot that the city has apparently forgotten about.  

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Tags: Annex · News