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Councillor’s Corner: Leiper opposed to any urban arena closures

Submitted by Jeff Leiper, Kitchissippi ward councillor

As the weather warms and the days get longer, things get busier in Kitchissippi. Read on to find out what’s happening in your city.

This summer, the City will be rehabilitating the aging sewers and watermains under Scott Street, from west of Athlone to Smirle. This work will also include the widening of the multi-use pathway and will require the closure of Scott to eastbound vehicle traffic. During construction, which will start in spring 2020 and is projected to finish in December 2020, eastbound vehicle traffic will be detoured onto Richmond-Wellington from Churchill to Holland and north to Scott Street. This detour will require some roadway modifications and temporary parking restrictions on Richmond-Wellington. We will have more concrete details about what these changes will mean for your street very soon — keep an eye on the newsletter for that information.

In February there were some media stories about the potential for the City to close some of the older, urban arenas. It’s important to note that no decisions have been made about whether these closures will occur, and soon there will be a new round of public consultations that would lead to a council decision on a process for determining which, if any, of these arenas might close. Keep an eye on the newsletter and the City’s communication channels for more about that consultation. I have been aware for years that Tom Brown is threatened by these closures, and I am wholly opposed to closing any of the urban arenas until there is a comprehensive and funded plan to replace them. I am working with my colleagues in the other affected wards on putting together an open house on this subject and will have more information about that available soon. In the meantime, you can read my thoughts on this at kitchissippiward.ca.

The MTO is replacing Queensway bridges in the core over the next several years, as well as noise barrier replacement work. These projects may have traffic and nighttime construction noise implications for your neighbourhood. You can find more info about this work and provide comments online at highway417-midtownbridgesandimprovements.com, and we’re currently asking the ministry to hold community meetings to discuss specific impacts.

We have pop up office hours coming up in March. These hours are for residents to speak with me one-on-one, no appointment necessary, about all things Kitchissippi. We’ll be at Bridgehead (317 McRae Ave) on Thursday, March 4 from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., Happy Goat (35 Laurel St) on Wednesday, March 11 from 4 to 11 p.m., and at the Cupcake Lounge (324 Richmond Road) on Tuesday, March 24 from 1 to 4 p.m.. Can’t wait to share a coffee and a conversation with you.

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