Pocket Dreams

In early 2018, the PCA created a survey to find out what Pocket residents envision for the future of the community. The questions asked were based on feedback received at last year’s AGM. Close to 150 Pocket residents responded to the survey.

Now that we know what people want, it will take lots of volunteers to help implement the priorities. Let us know if you can help. Drop a line to [email protected].

We learned that:

  • 94% of respondents love how vibrant and active our community is and want to continue participating in movie nights, the neighbourhood party and Art in the Park.
  • When we asked about ideas for making Phin Park even better, 65% of people supported getting a repurposed shipping container to use as a clubhouse in the park. Other new ideas for the park including hosting a farmers’ market, adding a fire pit or pizza oven, installing a fitness circuit, building a washroom, updating the playground, and painting the wading pool bottom.
  • Next to holding events, the community thinks it is important to check on and provide support to vulnerable neighbours, including the elderly, especially during emergencies.
  • The community also showed significant support for the work of the safety committee, for continuing to support the First Nations School of Toronto and the Madinah mosque, and for exploring volunteer opportunities for neighbourhood youth.
  • A significant number of respondents were strongly in support of coming together as a community to deal with climate change and becoming Canada’s first carbon neutral neighbourhood.
  • Community matters to people and we need the whole community to achieve our goals!

Here are the details of what we learned:

1.  Pocket Residents love how vibrant and active our community is.

We asked how residents feel about our neighborhood events, and almost everyone said we should continue to organize and promote events like movie nights, the Pocket party, and Art in the Park.

2.  Art in the Park, in particular, is highly thought of by most Pocket residents. We asked for our neighbor’s thoughts on Art in the Park:

  • 50% think Art in the Park fosters community
  • 35% think Art in the Park meets our equity and outreach goals
  • 35% said they didn’t know much about the program, but thought it sounded great!
  • While 15% of people thought 5 weeks of Art in the Park was enough, 12% preferred when it ran 9 weeks
  • 3 respondents told us they didn’t like Art in the Park

3.  We also asked specifically about the Annual Pocket Party.

  • A majority of respondents attended the party last year.
  • 37% told us they love that the Party now takes place in the park
  • 25% loved the kids’ activities
  • 15% favored the potluck dinner, while 145 gave a shout out to the live entertainment
  • 2 respondents expressed a preference for the party taking place on the road as in years past

4.  We asked our neighbors questions about Phin Park, and how we might go about making the park even more enjoyable.

  • 65% supported getting a repurposed shipping container to use as a clubhouse in the park
  • 42% supported creating a garden committee
  • 32% favored installing an insulated storage shed for concession and art supplies
  • 17% could get behind commission a wood or stone carver to work in the park
  • Other suggestions put forward included:
    • Hosting a farmer’s market in the park
    • Adding a fire pit or a pizza oven
    • Installing a fitness circuit
    • Building a washroom
    • Hosting open air children’s concerts
    • Updating the playground and children’s pool
    • Painting the splash pad bottom

5.  Because the park provides so many opportunities for children and families, we asked residents if the Pocket should be doing more to engage teens.

  • 51% felt we should explore volunteer opportunities for youth
  • 47% voted we create a youth club to organize events and/or outings
  • 37% liked the idea of organizing art/trade workshops for teens
  • 36% supported setting up basketball/road hockey tournaments
  • 10% felt teens are engaged enough
  • Other suggestions put forward included:
    • Hosting Sunday afternoon informal music jams with local musicians
    • Forming a youth council that is eligible for volunteer hours
    • Leaving the basketball nets up 24 hours a day

6.  We asked about some specific Pocket Dreams, including exploring ways to help the Pocket become Canada’s 1st carbon neutral neighborhood.

  • 37.6% gave the idea a 10 out of 10
  • 52.5% of respondents gave the idea at least 8 out of 10
  • The average answer was 7.2 out of 10

7.  We asked about the work of the safety committee, including distributing signs to slow traffic, and working with the city on speed limits and traffic calming measures.

  • 53.5% of people gave this work a 10 out of 10
  • 77.55% of respondents gave the idea at least 8 out of 10
  • The average answer was 8.3 out of 10

8.  We asked our neighbors if the PCA’s work should include helping to build an inclusive, diverse community, and if so, how we should go about it.

  • 75% of those who answered felt we should plan to check on and provide support to vulnerable neighbors, including the elderly, especially during emergencies
  • 53% felt we should increase support of the First Nations School of Toronto
  • 48% felt we should increase support of the local Mosque
  • 23% felt we should increase support of the French Catholic school in our neighborhood
  • 23% felt we should try to increase the availability of affordable housing in the Pocket
  • 11% felt we should offer information about becoming foster parents and supporting vulnerable children
  • 10% felt our community is fine the way it is
  • Other specific responses included:a
    • Run bystander intervention workshops
    • Make sure all neighbors feel welcome at Pocket events
    • Train the PCA board on anti-oppression

9.  Lastly, we asked neighbors about all of the Pocket Dreams referenced in the survey, and asked them to identify what felt most important to them.

  • 71% singled out community events
  • 67% identified helping neighbors during emergencies
  • 44% selected road safety
  • 32% supported gardening in Phin Park
  • 32% singled out helping at-risk kids
  • 30% chose building a carbon neutral community
  • 30% identified working with the First Nations School of Toronto
  • 28% selected a club house for Phin Park
  • 25% supported engaging teens
  • 17% chose affordable housing in the Pocket
  • 14% chose subsidized first aid training
  • Fewer than 10% of respondents chose wood/stone carving in the park and looking for foster families
  • Write-in answers included increasing our tree canopy, adding a fire pit to Phin park, and having concerts and a farmer’s market in the park


2014 Pocket Dreams Survey Results

Many thanks to everyone who submitted their ideas and suggestions to the Pocket Dreams project to help the PCA determine where we should put our efforts in order to improve this neighbourhood for you!

Last January at the AGM we asked Pocket residents to draw up their dreams for the Pocket, which resulted in a wonderful, inspiring and creative list of ideas. In order to decide which of these dreams the PCA should help to realize, we asked a question in the form of an online survey, to which 175 residents responded. Each respondent was allowed to choose up to 2 answers. These are the results:

What change(s) would most improve the Pocket?

  • Improve Phin Park (bike racks, sculptures, etc.)  31 % or  54 votes 
  • Develop a public garden to improve access to food  17.8 % or 31 votes
  • Hold more social events in the Pocket  16.7 % or 29 votes
  • Improve the path from Condor to Chatham (lighting, levelling, etc.)  47.7 % or 83 votes
  • Carry out residential greening initiatives (green roofing, solar power, etc.)  18.4 % or 32 votes
  • Establish an emergency management system (in case of electricity fallout, extreme heat, etc.)  17.8 % or 31 votes 
  • Develop a neighbourhood support system (for seniors, disabled, etc.) 24.7 % or 43 votes

We also received dozens of very useful comments that we will take into consideration.

The PCA will now review the outcome of the Survey internally and assess how we can best address the needs and desires of residents. We will continue the dialogue with the Pocket’s residents as we work towards a plan of action and implementation to help realize some of these dreams. Close collaboration with and involvement of our members will be crucial to make any of these dreams a success; as we couldn’t do it without your input and support.

Please keep a close eye on the PCA website, Pocket Facebook group and PCA e-newsletter, where we will share further news and announcements about the Pocket Dreams.