DBIA to re­claim Wa­ter St. paved area for park ex­ten­sion

The Peterborough Examiner - - Local - TAY­LOR CLYSDALE PETER­BOR­OUGH THIS WEEK

A paved area at the end of Wa­ter St. near the down­town No Frills is be­ing turned into park space for a new ex­ten­sion to Mil­len­nium Park in Peter­bor­ough.

The project, led by the Down­town Busi­ness Im­prove­ment Area (DBIA) as­so­ci­a­tion, will hap­pen this year and see around 300,000 square feet of space opened up.

At a DBIA break­fast meet­ing on Wed­nes­day, DBIA ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Terry Guiel said the project is the largest the or­ga­ni­za­tion has ever made, with plans to spend $87,000 on the re­de­vel­op­ment.

This is the first in a se­ries of projects un­der the Down­town Vi­brancy Project which will see old and un­der­used ar­eas given new life.

It is planned to see the “reimag­in­ing some of our pub­lic spa­ces down­town,” said Guiel, not­ing it will be “look­ing at re­pur­pos­ing ar­eas that are re­ally not func­tion­ing to the de­gree they should be func­tion­ing, dead ar­eas.”

The new de­vel­op­ment is meant to be a more vi­brant park space down­town for fam­i­lies to play in.

The lo­ca­tion will be de­paved and added to the ex­ist­ing park. The plan is sub­ject to city coun­cil ap­proval in June.

While city coun­cil ap­proval is not guar­an­teed, many mem­bers of coun­cil came to the break­fast meet­ing and seemed to re­spond pos­i­tively to the con­cept.

Guiel said the project should be ap­proved, as it will cost noth­ing to tax­pay­ers.

With funds com­ing from the DBIA, grants and do­na­tions, no fund­ing is be­ing asked of from the city.

“From the city all we want is ap­proval,” he said.

Guiel says the project may have cost hun­dreds of thou­sands of dol­lars, but with the help of mem­bers of the com­mu­nity and other or­ga­ni­za­tions of­fer­ing their ser­vices for free the price tag is well be­low that.

The project is also see­ing an “ag­gres­sive” dead­line, ac­cord­ing to Guiel, as it is ex­pected to be com­pleted this sum­mer.

Michael Gal­lant, an ar­chi­tect with Lett Ar­chi­tects who is work­ing on the project, said he’s been work­ing on a con­cept since the fall and hopes it is the first of many new re­de­vel­op­ments done by the Down­town Vi­brancy Project.

The work could see as much as 12,000 square feet of pave­ment re­moved for the Mil­len­nium

Park ex­ten­sion, he said, but that amount could be sub­ject to change.

The Down­town Vi­brancy Project will also do a pi­lot project with street cor­ners be­ing beau­ti­fied by pub­lic art installations fea­tur­ing ca­noes, he said.

There’s also some “land­scape in­ter­ven­tions in ex­ist­ing greenspaces” at down­town lo­ca­tions.

“The Cham­bers Lot (off Hunter Street) … has a lot of great green space but it needs some love,” Gal­lant said.

Dur­ing his pre­sen­ta­tion at the break­fast meet­ing Gal­lant told those in at­ten­dance the park ex­ten­sion will tie into the up­com­ing re­de­vel­op­ment of Wa­ter and Ge­orge streets which is aimed to make the area more pedes­trian and cy­clist friendly.

“We want to make sure there’s some con­ti­nu­ity in th­ese ar­eas,” Guiel said.

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