Kitchissippi Q&A – What’s up with Westboro’s Winston Square?

Q: What’s up with Winston Square?

A: This question is a bit of a cheat, because it hasn’t come from one person (as the other questions have) but from an amalgam of Twitter wonderings and neighbourhood chatter.

Winston Square used to look like this:

winstonsquare-BEFORE
Yoga instructor Megan Martin, along with Winston Square organizers Lee Ann McLellan, Westboro BIA Executive Director Mary Thorne, and McKellar Park resident Patti Church. Read the piece that goes with this photo right here.

Now it looks like this:

winston1

Winston Square has been a long time coming, and I’m very happy to report that the official opening is taking place on Saturday June 6 and continues on Sunday. The schedule of events has been posted to the Westboro Village BIA website and includes a flag-raising, a ribbon-cutting ceremony, the Nepean High School jazz band and Scottish dancing. There’ll be refreshments and a BBQ by Piggy Market as well.

As a longtime resident, I have to say that it’s wonderful to have a space like this. I know I’m not alone, because it’s been well-used in the weeks leading up to the opening. It’s common to see little kids on their trikes, couples out walking their dogs, and families sitting down to enjoy an edible treat. (And sadly, smokers tossing their butts on the pavement. But this can be addressed.) [story continues below]

A sneak peek at the seating at Winston Square.
A sneak peek at the seating at Winston Square.

winstonsquare-seating2

The furniture is sculptural in nature, adding something more to the space than just the typical park benches. “It really fits the look,” says Mary Thorne, the Executive Director of the Westboro Village BIA.  “I can’t wait to see all the green on the walls.”

Those “walls,” designed to look like the silhouettes of homes, will eventually be covered by Virginia Creeper. Thorne says it’ll take about a year to fill in. [story continues below]

Virginia Creeper will eventually create living walls at Winston Square.
Virginia Creeper will eventually create living walls at Winston Square.
There's growth happening at Winston Square.
There’s growth happening at Winston Square.

“It’ll grow and grow, and nothing will stop it,” she laughs. “Which is exactly what you want.”

Here’s something interesting: more than a few motorists have attempted to drive across Winston Square – and around the flagpoles – in an attempt to get to Richmond Road. It was happening so frequently that the City had to place a barrier at the Winston end.  Is it permanent? Thorne says “yes and no.” Patio tables and chairs will soon fill the space and provide more visual cues to drivers hoping for a shortcut. “It won’t be such an open vista,” says Thorne.

There’s special lighting that is yet to be installed: a 7’ laser-cut chandelier that features flora and fauna that is indigenous to Westboro, forever immortalizing our local squirrels and rabbits.

“It will be a real showpiece when it comes in,” says Thorne. “Hopefully sometime in the summer.”

Organizers are busy scheduling different kinds of performances at Winston Square for the summer. (There are a few fun things planned for Westfest too.) Weekend programming is varied, with broad appeal – think music, art, yoga – but they’re still looking for performers. So if you want to perform at Winston Square I encourage you to fill out an application on the Westboro Village BIA website.

I think Winston Square is a great addition to our neighbourhood and I’m looking forward to checking out the inaugural weekend. Thorne said it best during our chat about it:

“These kinds of events create community, bring people together in a common spot to get to know each other and share ideas. What makes a community is when people gather.”

I couldn’t agree more!

Andrea Tomkins,
Editor

 Is there an issue in your corner of Kitchissippi that’s been puzzling you? Perhaps there’s something you’ve always wanted to know but didn’t know who to ask. Send your burning questions (Kitchissippi-related of course) to us and we’ll help find the answer. Read what questions your neighbours have been asking right here.

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