Email Update – 1 September 2010

A message from Brooke Biscoe,
Chair, Leaside Gardens Board of Management

1 September 2010

I hope you have had a relaxing summer and are enjoying these last few days before Labour Day when the busy fall round of activities begins again for another year.

At Leaside Gardens the ice goes in this coming weekend and the arena will be open for business as of Tuesday, September 7th. As another season gets underway, I am writing to give you a brief update on several items related to our plans for arena expansion.

Hiring an Architect

First, as mentioned in my last update, a generous financial contribution from an anonymous donor eager to kick-start the expansion process has enabled us to tender for an architect. There was considerable interest among established and reputable firms and ten qualified bids were received. Expansion Committee Chair Paul Mercer and I have been part of the City of Toronto team reviewing the bids and we anticipate that the award of the contract to the winning architectural firm will be made in the next week or two.

The arena board has made a commitment that, once the firm begins its work, there will be an opportunity for public consultation. This will be a chance for our user groups and the local Leaside community to learn about the process, make suggestions, raise concerns and, generally, to have input into the new facility within the parameters of location, design and cost that have already been set. As soon as the details of such consultation are arranged we will share them with you.

User Group Survey

Second, I would like to thank the members of the LHA, TLGHA and LPOA who took the time to participate in our on-line survey earlier this summer. Some highlights of the survey results include:

· over 60% of respondents see the William Lea Room as an important resource in our community;

· 86% believe the ice conditions at Leaside Gardens are good to excellent, with the pool, arena and William Lea Room receiving high marks overall for cleanliness and appearance;

· 87% believe Leaside Gardens has a positive image in the community; and

· nearly 40% of respondent families also make use of public skating hours in addition to their participation in figure skating and/or hockey programs.

The survey results will help guide our efforts as we move forward with expansion and fundraising plans. A more detailed report will be posted on our new arena expansion website to be launched after Labour Day.

How you can help

Finally, it is no secret that we will be launching an arena expansion fundraising capital campaign in the not-too-distant future. You can help us as we prepare for this major initiative in two main ways:

· If you or someone you know might consider becoming a major donor to the campaign, please contact Expansion Committee Chair Paul Mercer at to discuss. We are eager to open dialogue with such persons as early as possible.

· If you know of anyone who would be interested in receiving these email updates and is not currently on our distribution list, please forward their name and email address to Community Relations Committee Chair Allan Williams at The more people who are aware of the activities at Leaside Gardens and our expansion plans the better.

Thank you for your time. And I look forward to seeing you soon as another season begins at Leaside Gardens


Brooke Biscoe
Arena Board Chair.