Planning for Elmwood’s future
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 09/11/2016 (2398 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Elmwood faces many of the issues common to mature, post-industrial neighbourhoods. The decline of heavy industry has left many underused, brownfield sites and the number of jobs directly available in the area has decreased. The housing stock is full of character but can sometimes use repair.
Like many central city areas, infrastructure is deteriorating.
The neighbourhood also presents opportunities for growth and renewal. Developers have expressed interest in the area, with one proposing to convert the top floor of 189 Henderson Hwy. into apartments. Living in the neighbourhood is affordable, which is attracting younger families and residents, ensuring renewal. The area is close to downtown and may benefit from the continued renewal of that area of the city.
The Eastern Rapid Transit corridor will profoundly affect Elmwood, if it is built using the route option whereby it crosses over the Red River onto Nairn Avenue. With Nairn and East Elmwood a destination along the transitway, developers would express more interest in the area, making new zoning necessary.
Regardless, new zoning that allows for taller housing and buildings, rezoning some areas near major corridors as commercial or residential mixed-use zones, and creating a strategy to deal with brownfield sites is important. If this is done, developments could facilitate both more amenities and service-sector jobs in the area.
The City is starting to realize the need for planning, at least in the western part of Elmwood. On Sept. 20 the standing policy committee on property and development passed a motion recommending that Glenelm and Chalmers be included in local area planning for 2016-17. The East Kildonan-Transcona community committee has recommended the same. Area residents such as Michel Durand-Wood have made presentations to the City on the need for a local plan.
The recently re-established Glenelm Neighbourhood Association has been in contact withe standing policy committee and, according to the association’s newsletter, the department has tasked community stakeholders with taking the lead on producing a study of the area for planning purposes. When finished the study is to be submitted to the community committee for further deliberation.
A Glenelm/Chalmers local area plan working group, which includes the Glenelm association, the Chalmers Neighbourhood Renewal Corporation, Riverwood Church and Elmwood-East Kildonan city councillor Jason Schreyer was set up to help this process.
Community members should play a part in shaping the neighbourhood’s future. With community-driven initiatives in west Elmwood hopefully similar projects can be applied in east Elmwood.
There are many challenges and opportunities a good plan can take into account to shape Elmwood into a more vibrant urban neighbourhood.
Dylon Martin is a community correspondent for Elmwood.
West Broadway community correspondent
Dylon Martin is a community correspondent for West Broadway.