Centre For Local Research into Public Space (CELOS)

See also Site Map

Citizen-Z Cavan Young's 2004 film about the zamboni crisis




 You are on the home page of celos.ca
research by ordinary people that is disciplined, critical, well-documented and public

CELOS: pronounced "see-loss", is a very small, non-profit organization with charitable status (as of 2009), which since 2000 has been documenting our work in the area of public urban space, mainly (but not only) parks. This is who we are and what we do.

Public spaces in this time

still very few campfires

bake oven use allowed

July 2024:

More than two years of varying restrictions blocked activities and social life in Toronto parks and all other public spaces from March 2020 until the fall of 2022. By 2023 Ontario (and Toronto) lifted all of the restrictions, but resuming public life is not automatic. Many parks and rec staff took the chance for early retirement, and that means institutional memory was lost.


Financial Records

Numbers tell a story, although never the whole story. Here's part of the Dufferin Grove story, in the September 2015 newsletter version: the money story.

Here's a comparison of net cost, income and expenses for Dufferin Grove, 2011 to 2018.

The other thing about numbers is they're slippery things and it's easy to make arithmetic and data entry mistakes. The reader will find such mistakes in both the CELOS reports and the City of Toronto reports. If you find more mistakes, that we haven't pointed out already, please tell us at mail@celos.ca. Or tell the city at 311. Or both!

Despite the mistakes, there are patterns that can help teach what works and what doesn't. For 19 years, CELOS and city recreation staff collaborated closely. The follow-up -- what happened when the collaboration stopped -- makes an interesting story too. That's why we've kept on posting the City of Toronto financial records about Dufferin Grove/Ward 18 as well as those of CELOS.

Dufferin Grove farmers' market finances, 2010 to 2018

DG income trends read more >>>

Yearly financial reports


























Read more about Dufferin Grove income trends here.

Comparisons of Dufferin Grove operating costs over time:
More stories, beyond what money can show: here and here

August 8, 2007 letter to the PFR internal auditor

FAQ's about CELOS finances


City of Toronto part-time recreation staff sample wages

Budgetpedia.ca on the PFR budget 2017

see also Website Usage


Disseminating information about public space

For our current set of publishing activities, see

Friends of Dufferin Grove Park began a monthly newsletter in September 2000, which has been published by CELOS since 2003. CELOS also distributes a weekly web newsletter about the Dufferin Park Farmers' market, and an occasional e-newsletter about Toronto city rinks.


Community Consultation

Here is a recent picture showabout the unmaking' of Dufferin Grove Park.'

What is at issue in the bureaucracy of cities

"Of course it is important to the political and social sciences that the essence of totalitarian government, and perhaps the nature of every bureaucracy, is to make functionaries and mere cogs in the administrative machinery out of people, and thus to dehumanize them. And one can debate long and profitably on the rule of Nobody, which is what the political form known as bureau-cracy truly is."
Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem, Postscript.

The 2010 report by Dave Harvy and (Toronto Park People), funded by the Metcalf Foundation Fertile Ground for New Thinking Dave's concludes that it's time for Torontonians involved with parks to join their voices in bringing about park improvements.

You can find out about the Recreation Service Plan by going to this city webpage. You can find out how the consultations were set up by looking at this staff report.

Here is the City's list of "stakeholders" who were contacted to give their opinions about the Recreation Service Plan in May and June, 2011 (and the Parks Plan in September 2011). Here's the city's stakeholder list with contact links. If your "park friends" or advisory group is not on the list of groups who will be asked for their views, you can e-mail 311@toronto.ca and ask them to help you get on it.

Notes on the public consultation sessions:

consultation reports.

Read more on Governance

Content last modified on July 02, 2024, at 11:35 AM EST