Earlier this year, I had the privilege of bringing greetings on behalf of the city for the second straight year to the Creative Retirement luncheon, a group of active and engaged senior citizens.
As the St. Vital councillor I have been pleased to work on a number of projects which benefit local seniors.
These projects include the introduction of pedestrian benches on John Forsyth Park trail, the South St. Vital Trail, and the Seine River Trail. About two months ago, after a year of paperwork and lobbying, I won approval for a new crosswalk on St. Anne’s Road, north of Warde, to connect the south St. Vital Trail and the Seine River trail, an issue which had been raised repeatedly in my visits with seniors in such St. Anne’s Road buildings as Vic Wyatt House and Seine River Residence.
I have also been pleased to see the city introduce lines for "pickleball" (a version of tennis/badminton popular with seniors) at city tennis courts in St. Germain Park and at Dakota Collegiate. I plan to do more to promote pickleball in the ward to help keep seniors active.
To better understand the needs of local seniors, I have held coffee meetings throughout the ward. At these meetings many issues have been raised which have now been addressed, such as:
• A new sidewalk alongside Dakota House replacing a cracked, uneven surface.
• A relocated bus shelter outside of 60 Chesterfield Ave. (the old one blocked exit from the bus for anyone using a walker).
• The completion of the long-delayed park behind the Canoe Club condos.
• The addition of a "no parking" sign outside of Rotunda Towers (to ensure the wheelchair/ambulance loading ramp was not blocked).
• The installation of a bus shelter opposite Meadowood Manor.
Other issues have required ongoing monitoring, such as the snow clearing efforts on Alpine Avenue and Niakwa Road, where there are large numbers of seniors.
The one big project for seniors in St. Vital that is eagerly anticipated is the new fieldhouse planned for the Jonathan Toews Community Centre. This fieldhouse, which has received provincial and city funding, will provide indoor walking and other exercise facilities that should be of great benefit to St. Vital seniors.
The City of Winnipeg is trying to become more "age-friendly" in its services, and I am pleased to work towards that goal in St. Vital and throughout the city.