President’s Report Summer 2012
Our project to build a new community centre for Heron Park is proceeding apace. The City earmarks funds for renewal of existing structures, and in 2014 the Fieldhouse in Heron Park is scheduled to be updated. We are lobbying to have this money re-directed to a new community centre instead, and it’s not unsubstantial – some $350,000 I gather. Meanwhile, the process of establishing a charitable foundation for fund-raising (so that you can donate and get a charitable tax receipt) is moving forward, albeit at a somewhat glacial pace. About a month ago I received a letter from Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) stating a representative would be assigned to our file “within 5 months”. Three weeks later I received a letter acknowledging receipt of our application. It listed a whole bunch of information that I had carefully included in our submission as “not provided”. Sigh. In any case the process should be complete some time this fall at which point we will be launching a major fund-raising initiative. Stay tuned!
Recently I, along with the presidents of the other community associations in Capital Ward, along with Councillor Chernushenko, was invited to a breakfast with Mayor Jim Watson. At this meeting we were able to raise issues that were of concern to our areas (and Watson tried to sell his LRT plan to us). I raised the aforementioned community centre concern. I should note that our fellow Capital Ward community associations are very much supportive of our community centre plans. They are willing to dedicate a substantial portion of the cash-in-lieu of parks funding that is available to the ward to our project when the time comes. There was polite disinterest in Watson’s LRT plan among the participants. Also, his “Let’s all move forward together on Lansdowne” note was met with a telling silence. (The “City Beat” guy came along for the ride but I managed to keep him quiet. Mostly.) It was a good to see the Mayor take the time to meet with community people and to hear our concerns.
Development seems to be developing on Bank Street at Rockingham Ave with new retail space planned on the lot where the former Blockbuster store is located. This is currently a bit delayed due to opposition from a neighbouring business but I expect that it will proceed soon. As part of this process there will be landscaping improvements made to Timermans Park next door. Money to do this has been made available through the cash-in-lieu of parks funds made available to Capital Ward. Thanks to Councilor Chernushenko for this! Also, once the development is completed there should be no more problems with flooding on Gilles St. In other development news there is a property on Rockingham a couple doors away from Bank St whose owner is planning a new building on the site. This is somewhat concerning since I don’t think we want to see Rockingham Avenue commercialized. These developments merit careful consideration.
At our June meeting (which will be in the past by time you read this, but is in the future as I am writing it) we will have a presentation from city PR people on the current LRT plan. This should prove interesting and I will report full details next Herald. At present I think we can justifiably feel somewhat less than impressed with this plan, since it will probably entail transferring from a bus to a train at Hurdman in order to get downtown.
We are looking at forming a Traffic Committee that would be invested with the task of detailing the traffic and pedestrian issues that we have in Heron Park and working with city traffic managers to try to get something done about them. For example, one concern that has been raised is the difficulty in crossing the off ramp on Heron Road that goes to Bronson and Riverside if you’re walking along Heron Road to get to the O-Train. If you’re interested in getting involved with this or any other Heron Park Community Association initiatives, you can contact us through our website, heronpark.ca.
We will not be holding regular meetings during July and August, but we will be having a Pool Opening Party on June 30. Thanks to the work of many concerned members of the community, the Heron Park pool will be open on weekends, but closed on Fridays. The city parks people wanted to close it both Saturdays and Sundays, but we have avoided that rather silly schedule. If you have small children, I hope that you can make use of the pool this summer – it is a nice resource to have and, as the old saying goes, if you don’t use it you lose it!
I hope that you have a safe and enjoyable summer.