An open house held at Canad Inns Transcona on May 16 was meant to tie up some loose ends.
But the city-hosted information session, providing Transcona residents with information about leisure options in the community, raised some new questions as well.
A major reason for that was the announcement of the Park City Plaza complex at 1500 Plessis Rd. two days prior. In addition to hosting the new Transcona Library and perhaps a new YM/YWCA complex, there will be 1,154 units of multi-family housing on the site. The event provided more detailed concepts than was revealed at the official announcement.
"There are pros and cons," said Transcona resident Theresa Zabowski, noting the increased congestion would be a con, even with the connection of Kildare Avenue W. and Reenders Drive with the new Transcona Boulevard.
She also hoped to find out more about the pricing of the units, though the only initial indications were that the city was calculating its tax boost based on each unit’s assessment at $225,000.
"I do think Transcona needs something like this. It’s going to revamp the old Transcona a little bit," she said.
Munroe Avenue resident Jordan Skowronek, who often visits friends and family in Transcona, was also concerned about traffic created by the new development and how the city is handling it.
"I’m concerned about the Ed Schreyer Parkway (which will be north of the development)— it appears they’re going to send it to Regent," he said. "I think most people here are hoping they use the existing Ravelston and (join it with) Plessis."
Though a number of residents attended to get information on Park City Plaza, others were looking for updates on other recreation sites in the community, ranging from the redevelopment of the Transcona Centennial Pool, the addition of a third sheet of ice at the East End Community Centre, and what they could expect from the new library.
The open house follows up on three recreation-based open houses held in 2010 and 2011 that had at least 175 people and garnered at least 100 responses from each session.
John Kiernan, the city’s manager of urban design, explained the city’s thought process over the last several years.
"We had three open houses sessions that were really designed around feedback, and then based on that, council made some decisions related to our capital budget," he said. "This was to close the loop with the community."
Manager of library services Rick Walker said at 14,000 square feet, the new Transcona Library site will be nearly double in size to its current site at 111 Victoria Ave. W., allowing the site to function as more of a "community hub".
"We’re putting program rooms in, as well as programming for adults and children," he said.
"(We’re putting in) tutorial rooms — students need space where they can work on projects."
Walker added the library, tentatively set to open in 2015, will have lounge furniture for visitors to relax, while there will also be a heavy emphasis on technology with several public computers.