Glenelm man says area needs a plan


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 14/10/2016 (2424 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

On Sept. 20 Michel Durand-Wood spoke to the City’s standing policy committee on property and development about why Glenelm and Chalmers need a neighbourhood plan.

The committee ended up directing the City’s public service to consider including the area for upcoming local planning.

I met Durand-Wood in the leafy Hespeler Park, near the Redwood Bridge, to discuss issues facing the two neighbourhoods and why a plan is necessary.

Michel Durand-Wood has asked the City to include Glenelm in upcoming local planning.

Michel Durand-Wood has lived in the area for a decade, has a family in Glenelm, and loves the neighbourhood. What ultimately led him to present to the committee on a need for a plan was the fight over a possible pawnshop in the area.

He and other residents lobbied the City against granting a conditional use application necessary for setting up the pawnshop. After the application was denied, having discussed what they “didn’t want”, he said the residents discussed a “way forward to promote what we did want”.

Durand-Wood noted that the Glenelm and Chalmers areas face many unique issues. There is a mix of residents, with families, singles and the elderly. He said that there are many“economically vulnerable residents,” particularly in Chalmers, and that a plan is needed to grow the neighbourhoods without displacing residents.

“As far as features of the neighbourhood, we have a lot in common with such desirable neighbourhoods as Kitsilano in Vancouver,” Durand-Wood said. Similarities include closeness to downtown, waterfront, and the age and style of houses.

All this, he says, leads to pressure for development. Proposed projects in the area include putting duplexes on Talbot and converting the top floor of the building at 189 Henderson Hwy. into apartments.

Durand-Wood said while projects slowly trickle into the area now, a plan needs to be in place before this intensifies.

The Henderson Highway Corridor plan, last updated in the 1980s, is out of date in his view. Durand-Wood said it is too vague, excludes other corridors like Watt Street and Talbot Avenue that are a crucial part of Chalmers, and includes parts of East Kildonan too dissimilar to Glenelm/Chalmers to be covered by the same plan.

In Durand-Wood’s personal (as opposed to residents’ advocate) view, a local plan should enable density and have a component for dealing with the many old industrial “brownfield” sites in Elmwood.

“It’s important to have a neighbourhood plan so we can grow our neighbourhood in a direction our neighbourhood wants”, Durand-Wood emphasized.

Dylon Martin

Dylon Martin
West Broadway community correspondent

Dylon Martin is a community correspondent for West Broadway.

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