If you build it, they (still) won’t come.

Smack in the middle of Raymore Park is a pair of baseball diamonds occupying a space that extends from the valley walls almost to the river. They have sat unused for the past 6 years. In spite of this, the grass is cut regularly and the infields have been graded until recently.

Looking south from the smaller diamond.

Looking south from the smaller diamond. The bleachers are falling apart.

I emailed our Councillor (Doug Ford) last March about the lack of use:

The south end of Raymore Park has a couple of baseball diamonds that have sat unused for at least 5 years. The bleachers beside the north diamond are in a dangerous condition and attract an assorted collection of drinkers and pot smokers as well as lots of garbage. In spite of this, the diamonds are faithfully graded several times a season even though nobody books or uses them and it would be impossible to play there because the base lines are obstructed by 20′ tall sumac.This whole field comprises several acres and is never used as it is too far away from the parking lot. It is however mowed several times a season.

Perhaps it might be a good spot to let nature take over (as has been done in the field to the south) as well as stop grading the diamonds.

I enclose some photographs to illustrate the situation.

The park manager phoned me and said that there may be plans to replace the diamonds with either a soccer field or a cricket pitch (there is a FIFA quality soccer field in Lions Park across the bridge and lots of cricket pitches in the Humber Flats). During the summer a team of workers cleared the bush away from the large diamond. Several workers spent at least 5 days on this task.

Looking north from the larger diamond.

Looking north from the larger diamond. Brush was cleared from behind the chain link.

This is a huge piece of land and could be an amazing wildlife haven along the Humber corridor. If planted with native trees it could be an attractive wooded area in a few decades. Believe it or not, until 2000, the enlightened minds in the parks system used to spray this area with Roundup (weed killer from the lovely people at Monsanto) until the practice was banned by City Council.

Hopefully, some more enlightenment will trickle down.

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