Join the virtual #PumpkinParade2020

The bad news: no City permits for Pumpkin Parades this year due to COVID-19 and the challenge of controlling crowds.

The good news: Carve your pumpkin and join the Sorauren Park #PumpkinParade2020 global event!

Here’s how it works: Instead of bringing your jack-o-lantern to the park on November 1, take a picture of your handiwork and post it on social media starting at 6 pm on November 1. Use the hashtag #PumpkinParade2020 and also tag @SoraurenPark.

Friends of Sorauren Park social media moderators will share, retweet, repost to a global audience. We’ll create the world’s greatest gallery of pumpkin art.

No special carving experience necessary. All jack-o-lanterns most welcome (and feel free to include the creators in the frame.) Pumpkin democracy in action!

City starts community centre consultations Sept. 22

A City of Toronto video invites you to get involved in planning the new Wabash Community Centre at Sorauren Park

After a COVID delay the City of Toronto with its consultants and architects is starting community consultations for the new Wabash Community Centre at Sorauren Park.

The first event is a Virtual Town Hall on September 22 from 7 to 8 pm. Virtual small group discussions follow on September 28, and an online survey will run from September 14 to October 5. All details including registration information is posted on the City’s project page. Look under “Get Involved.”

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Take the Tree Tour of Sorauren Park

Join Dakoda, Cedar and Jon for the Sorauren Park Virtual Tree Tour, a series of eight special short videos

Did you know Sorauren Park is home to one of the few surviving elm trees in Toronto? Do you know which tree in the park evolved to proliferate through a special relationship with mastodons? Do you know which park tree is a Great Tree of Peace for the Haudenosaunee Confederacy?

Expand your knowledge of the trees of Sorauren Park by taking the new Sorauren Park Virtual Tree Tour, hosted by our young interviewers Dakoda and Cedar, with special guest expert Jon Hayes of the High Park Nature Centre. The series highlights six special trees, with an introduction and conclusion, and is part of the 25th anniversary celebration of Sorauren Park.

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Sorauren Park life now on YouTube

Visit our new YouTube channel… new videos added regularly.

Since we can’t show movies in the park this year, the Friends of Sorauren Park are making our own movies, and bringing them to screens across the neighbourhood and around the world.

Sorauren Stories is our 2020 summer video program, starting with the ongoing Dogs of Sorauren Park series, a new People of Sorauren Park series, and the upcoming Trees of Sorauren Park and 25th Anniversary special. Videos will appear on all Friends of Sorauren Park social media platforms, and will also be compiled on our new YouTube channel, with closed-captioning.

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Farmers Market open every Monday 3 – 7 pm

Your reminder the Sorauren Park Farmers Market has returned to the park’s Town Square at the usual time, 3-7 pm on Mondays.

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Sorauren Stories comes to a screen near you

For a summer like no other, the Friends of Sorauren Park have launched a fun new program to enjoy and learn about the park while keeping everyone safe. Sorauren Stories is a series of videos and video events about the park, its people and pets, its natural history, its human history, and its power to inspire.

The series is rolling out across Friends of Sorauren Park media platforms including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, our website and newsletter, with interactive elements in the park itself.

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Community centre survey results and presentation

The Friends of Sorauren Park presented the results of its Wabash Community Centre survey and consultation process June 4 at FOSP’s first-ever webinar.

More than 100 people registered for the event which was also attended by Councillor Gord Perks and City staff.

FOSP chair Joël Campbell and directors Stephen Dorsey and Donna MacMullin walked participants through the survey results. (View the full presentation deck.) Almost 1,200 community members responded to the survey.

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Sorauren Farmers Market reopens July 6

Wear your masks at the Market

After many months of closure due to the pandemic, the Sorauren Farmers Market got the green light and will reopen in Sorauren Park at the usual time, 3-7 pm on Mondays on the Town Square.

COVID-19 means farmers’ markets will look and feel a little different with special physical distancing and hygiene protocols. You might not be able to see the smile on your favourite vendor’s face because of their mask, but please know they have missed you and are very happy to see you!

To comply with Public Health recommendations please note the following:
● Shop quickly, ideally one person per household
● If you are unwell, stay home
● Wear a mask
● Maintain a safe distance from others, be patient and kind – this is challenging for everyone
● Please pre-order with vendors online – this way you can visit the pre-order pick-up window for a speedy visit
● Follow the one-way direction of the Market
● Please do not touch the food – your vendor will pack for you
● No eating in the Market area – take your food and eat at home or in the park.

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Support the businesses that support Sorauren Park

Image of heart over aerial photo of Sorauren Park and neighbouring communities

Over the years many local businesses have supported the programming, activities and projects that make Sorauren Park a treasured part of the community. They’ve done this with cash sponsorships or donations, in-kind donations of goods or services, or other types of support.

Now is our time to support them (even more!) to keep our community strong and ready for a return to normal, whatever the new normal looks like. Use our directory below to support our supporters, and check business status.

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Railpath extension final design protects for link to Sorauren

Map from West Toronto Railpath final design showing future link to Sorauren Park
Railpath extension includes provision for future bridge into Sorauren Park

The final design for the southward extension of the West Toronto Railpath continues to include a provision for a future bridge into Sorauren Park. A February 26 public meeting in a packed room at Museum of Contemporary Art showed the plans in maps and diagrams.

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Diamond Schmitt Architects hired for Wabash Community Centre

Photo of old brick linseed factory, bright sunlight on the west wall

The old linseed mill at 40 Wabash Avenue, site of the future community centre

The City of Toronto has hired one of Canada’s best-known architecture firms to design the new Wabash Community Centre at Sorauren Park. Diamond Schmitt Architects was awarded the work after an open bid process. Councillor Gord Perks confirmed the news at the November meeting of Friends of Sorauren Park.

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Get your portrait at the park and support the Friends

Get your forever Park Portrait – family, social circle, you and your partner, yourself, or you and your pet – and support the non-profit Friends of Sorauren Park

Have you read about pandemic “porch portraits”? Here’s our version: Park Portraits, a way to remember a summer like no other, and to support the non-profit Friends of Sorauren Park.

Gather your family, partner or your social circle. Or come by yourself, and maybe bring a pet. Book a time online, and our portrait photographer Enrique Baniqued will take your portrait in our attractive park setting.

The cost is $25 per portrait, with proceeds to support the activities of Friends of Sorauren Park.* You’ll have the option to contribute more if you like.

Park Portraits are part of the 25th Anniversary celebration of Sorauren Park. If you like, you can also choose to have your portrait featured on our Sorauren Park social media channels (opt-in) as part of the celebration.

You’ll receive a high-quality, high-resolution digital file. As an option, we have made arrangements with Envoy Business Services Roncesvalles and Prints Charming for printing and framing. We’ll send the file for printing and framing, and notify you when it’s ready. You’ll pay the additional fee at pick-up.

Costs:
Digital high-resolution portrait file: $25 minimum contribution (paid online at time of booking)
Option: Hard-copy print at Envoy, sizes 4 x 6, 5 x 7, or 8 x 10, $1.00 each, or 11 x 14, $1.25, on card stock (paid at pick-up)
Option: 4 x 6, 5 x 7 and 8 x 10 frames $25-$45/frame; 11 x 14 frames $35-$80/frame at Prints Charming (paid at pick-up)

Booking Dates & Times
Monday, August 31: Book between 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, September 2: Book between 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Book using our online form.

Portrait sessions will last 10 minutes and your exact time will be confirmed via email on a first-come, first-served basis. Please arrive 10 minutes before your confirmed time and practice physical distancing from other groups and the photographer.

Location:ALL PHOTOS WILL BE TAKEN at the bench on the south side of the baseball diamond, near the Fieldhouse, 50 Wabash Avenue.

Book your memorable Park Portrait today!

*Friends of Sorauren Park is a non-profit community group that has fundraised to develop the Fieldhouse, the Town Square and the bake oven. In ordinary years, the Friends provides free programming at the park including outdoor movies, the natural ice rink, and festivals. We run communications channels to promote park activities and news, and have advocated for the new Wabash Community Centre for more than 10 years. This year, thanks to donors and a Canada Summer Job grant, the Friends were able to hire two summer student interns to produce Sorauren Stories, an ongoing video series bringing park life to a screen near you. We look forward to resuming regular programming asap!