Thursday, December 15, 2011

How to donate directly to Bowmore enrichment programs

Want to directly support Bowmore enrichment activities like music instruments, Artist & Scientists in the Classroom or buses to field trips? You can! Here's how:
  • Write a cheque payable to Toronto District School Board
  • Donate an amount over $20 to get a tax receipt
  • In “Memo” section of the cheque, write where the money is to be directed (ie: particular program, needs or department)
  • Ensure that your mailing address on the cheque is correct (for tax receipt)
  • Bring cheque to Bowmore office--Attn: Ms. Baines
  • Ms. Baines will forward the cheque and request for tax receipt to TDSB
  • Cheque will be deposited in the school’s donation account and the funds will be spent according to the specifications on the cheque
  • TDSB will mail tax receipt directly to you


December Newsletter Now Online!

Wishing you and your family a very happy holiday!

Download the December 2011 Bowmore PS School Newsletter here

Dec 16 - Pizza Day (Gr 1 to 5)
Dec 24 - Jan 8 - Holiday Break (NO SCHOOL)
Jan 12  - Junior Ski Trip
Jan 13 - Movie Night
Jan 19 - School Council Meeting
Jan 25 - Grade 6 Information Night
Jan 27 - PA Day

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Update: Proposed Elimination of Fairmount Park Community Centre Programs

Late last week we learned that Fairmount Park Community Centre is one of the 12 shared-use community centres whose recreational programming has been targeted for elimination by city’s Budget Committee. The Budget Committee will make deliberations this week and recommend a budget to Council. Council will vote on the budget in mid-January.

We do not have full details about what precisely will be cut at Fairmount aside from recreation programs, however we do know the following:
  • These recreation programs will not be replaced in other neighbourhood centres. They will be eliminated outright. (More details in the budget backgrounder at this link)
  • We don’t know if the current aquatics programs will be continued to the same degree they are now, but we do know that we will be absorbing aquatics demand from more families in a wider region now that other neighbourhood schools are losing aquatics programming. So the demand for swim classes will be greatly increased.
In the best case scenario, if this budget item passes City Council vote in January, we anticipate that hours of operation at Fairmount will be significantly cut, keeping it open only in the late evenings and on Saturdays. Worst case scenario: We’re worried that the Community Centre might be locked up altogether, with the pool accessed through the small doors on Bowmore only, as a “satellite” aquatics program.

So far in its deliberations, the Budget Committee has not taken into account the importance of access to the Community Centre for tobogganers, skaters, tennis players, wading pool users and general park users. The park will take on a very different character for our families if the Community Centre is locked and dark.

Currently, our kids and families know that the Community Centre is a safe place to go for help or to use the bathroom. We feel that this decision will negatively impact their safety and use of the park, as there will no longer be the safe “windows on the park” or access to the restrooms that our families rely on.

Following is a statement from Councillor McMahon’s office today: “We are working with city staff to identify the specific criteria used to determine the centres and pools slated for closure. Our understanding is the proposed program cuts at Fairmount CC relates to Parks & Recreation programs only and not the pool programs; However we appreciate the cross connection between programs at the centre and pool programs and ensuring they continue to stay connected for the viability of the community. We will be working very hard to ensure we do everything possible to ensure no programming (pool or otherwise) is cut from the budget.”

Right now, you have two ways to make your voice heard, but there is no time to waste:

1. Apply to make a "deputation" (or a short, 2-5 minute presentation) to members of the city's Budget Committee on December 7 (see details below). You must register no later than 4 pm Tuesday, December 6.
  • Deputations will be heard 9:30 am – 9:30 pm on Wednesday December 7th and Thursday December 8th, 2011(if necessary)
  • Plan to speak for 5 minutes (may be cut to 2 mins) and bring printed copies of what you say to give to Councillors
  • Location for Deputations is Committee Room 1, City Hall, 100 Queen St. West
  • Request a deputation NO LATER THAN 4 pm on Tuesday, December 6 by calling (416) 392-1032 or (416) 397-7768 or sending an email to
  • In your request, be sure to ask for your speaking number so that you have a better idea of when in the roster of speakers you will be heard.
2. If you cannot attend this week's hearings, then PLEASE take a moment to email a letter to the Budget Committee at , and cc Councillor McMahon. Please also let us know when you have sent it, by emailing us.

To get your letter started, below is some suggested wording. Please make it your own, with your own thoughts and concerns. And please send it before the end of the day on Tuesday, December 6 to have it entered into the public record.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

re: BU19.1
2012 Capital and Operating Budgets - Public Consultations December 7 and 8, 2011

Dear Budget Committee:

I respectfully ask that this email testimonial be added to the public record for the upcoming 2012 Capital and Operating Budgets, Public Consultations on December 7, 2011.

I am concerned about the proposed elimination of recreational programming at Fairmount Park Community Centre. I ask that the Budget Committee consider the following points:

Located in a vibrant neighbourhood and serving families from every cultural and economic circumstance, Fairmount Park Community Centre is a cherished full service community centre offering aquatic programs along with an abundance of recreation programming for people of all abilities and ages. These programs are nearly always full, many within an hour of registration opening. We have an active Fairmount Park Advisory Council that is willing to work alongside Parks and Recreation staff to find efficiencies and ensure that programs offered meet the needs and demand of our neighbourhood.

Geographically, the centre is in the middle of a somewhat landlocked area, with public transit to the nearest community centres at Main Street or Matty Eckler taking approximately 20-30 minutes. Eliminating programs will create geographic barriers to our families’ access to recreation and sports programs. Having it located adjacent to our community school—and within walking distance to the many other schools that use this facility—also adds to its safe accessibility, by minimizing our children's travel distance between the school and after-school sports and recreation programs.

This facility is adjacent to a heavily-used city park, Fairmount Park, which includes a large baseball diamond, soccer field, tennis courts, wading pool and in the winter, a volunteer-maintained skating rink and popular toboggan hill. All these activities are extremely popular in our community, and rely on accessing the community centre for bathrooms and change rooms.

Perhaps most importantly, the community centre provides eyes on the park and a place of safety, where all our children and families know they can access help if they are threatened or hurt.

I am concerned that eliminating these programs will cost our city much more in the long run. When families have the opportunity to meet, play and talk with each other, we get thriving, sustainable, safe communities. This has deep economic benefit for us all.

Please do not eliminate the recreation programming at Fairmount Park Community Centre without providing an opportunity for our community to talk and meet with Parks and Recreation staff, to find better ways to make programs at Fairmount both viable and sustainable.

I urge you to allow for collaboration with local residents for each of the affected Community Centres, to find efficiencies that will help our neighbourhoods thrive, without losing these cherished community assets.


Friday, December 2, 2011

URGENT UPDATE! Our Pool & Community Centre is in Jeopardy

It is with heavy hearts that we tell you that the Bowmore/Fairmount Park Community Centre is one of the 12 facilities targeted by Toronto's Budget Committee for program elimination, along with eliminating another neighbourhood pool (at Duke of Connaught).

Read Dec 2 Toronto Star story

All recreation programs at Fairmount, including the extremely popular ballet, martial arts, arts & fitness programs, along with other enrichment opportunities for our families, will be eliminated if the Budget Committee approves the plan. Budget planning meetings are being held all next week, with public hearings on December 7-8.

Also deeply worrying: While our pool is not on the list of seven that will be immediately axed, it is hard to imagine sustainable pool programming (staff hours etc) if all other programs are removed.


Speak up.
Many of you signed the petition last June, and sent us your heartfelt testimonials. We will ensure our councillor uses them when speaking at the budget meeting. If you have not yet submitted your testimonial stating why the pool and Parks & Rec programming is important, please email one to us immediately. We will gather and forward all testimonials (past & present) to the Budget Committee and cc Councillor McMahon, Chris Spence, Sheila Cary-Meagher, TDSB and other relevant players on your behalf. Let's tell them that jeopardizing our children's health and safety by eliminating sports, recreation and swim literacy programs is not the way to cut costs! 

Attend the public hearings December 7-8
Bowmore parents should register to depute at the Budget Committee on December 7/8. To register call or email the Budget Committee rep, Merle MacDonald, at or 416-392-7340. City Council committee agendas can be viewed at: . If you do plan to depute, please let us know so we can strategize around messaging from Ward 32.

Use it or lose it!
TOMORROW IS THE REGISTRATION OPENING FOR RECREATION & SWIM PROGRAMS (see below). If you cherish our community centre, please take time to review and make use of the many programs available to us in our neighbourhood.

Spread the word
Help us distribute flyers, and tell everyone in our neighbourhood about this threat to our community.

We are working with our city councillor to plan our community reponse to this threat. We will keep you informed as we learn more. Please let us know by email if you can help distribute flyers and help us find other ways to spread the word. Without delay, we must let the city and Budget Committee know how much our community values this vital neighbourhood asset.

About the Fairmount/Bowmore Pool Committee: Formed in June 2010, our goal is to keep our community centre thriving. We have been collecting petitions, writing testimonials and securing media coverage. We maintain an open communication channel with all concerned parents, Councillor Mary Margaret McMahon, and Trustee Sheila Cary Meagher. If you can help, please contact us via email.

Parks & Recreation Winter Registration Deadline - Tomorrow!

A reminder - registration for Winter Skating & Swimming lessons and March Break Camps start December 3rd! Browse program offerings and register online here.

Aside from a VERY  busy swimming program, Fairmount offers Arts, Fitness & Wellness and Sports programs. These include:

For Children
-Arts & Crafts
-Preschool Music
-Floor Hockey
-Martial Arts
-Preschool Sports

For Adults
-Tai Chi

All the programs for Fairmount are listed here. Get familiar with the wonderful programming available to our families, and make use of this important community asset, while we still have it!