About 20 neighbours from George Street and Pembroke Street came out on July 20, 2017, to get the latest information about the George Street Revitalization project at an Open House hosted by the GSR team at John Innes Community Recreation Centre. Here is a sampling of the panels featured:

Summary of discussions during the Open House

Changes from previous presentations

The consultants explained that changes have been related to further development of articulation, detail and material selections aimed at enhancing the building’s ability to knit itself better into the neighbourhood in scale and detail, and compatibility with the Garden District Heritage Conservation District.

Fence location

For the Glenholme Place fence: while some people thought the fence should remain as is, others liked the plan for the new fence that will be installed in the near future. Hidden spaces should be reduced. People felt that the fence at the south lane should remain (this one is not affected by the project).

Height of building

A suggestion was made to have the building two or three storeys lower. Shadowing was a concern for some.

Balance of uses on site

Residents were pleased with the fact that there is a mix of uses and that the number of shelter beds comes down. The mix of different residents and building users should be a positive improvement to character of the neighbourhood and some people thought there should be more affordable housing provided.

Construction Phase

Concerns were expressed about laneway access to garage parking during construction and asphalting, etc. There was also concern about by-law noise control monitoring during the work days and on weekends. Project representatives explained that we are planning to have a neighbourhood committee during the construction phase.

Other

There was interest in knowing how the new development will change the current dynamic of George Street. Hope was expressed for upgrades to the laneways, including treatment of ponding at the south end. There was support for the concept of GSR and the goal of meeting the needs of homeless and vulnerable people.

Two comment cards were submitted. One expressed concern for the well-being of the women and men who currently congregate in the parking lot of the vacant provincial building across the street from Seaton House, engaging in illicit activities and raising issues of community safety. The second expressed welcome for more community housing. “It needs to be in someone’s back yard. They are welcome in mine.”