Thank goodness the proposed facelift for the Millennium Library park is finally going ahead. It was built in 1977 and ten years ago was already shabby and crumbling.
The original design was meant to shield the park from the streets around it thus giving an 'oasis' feeling. The result, however, was a place that people felt somewhat unsafe in, especially in the evening.
Considering that the amount set aside for the renovations is about $1.3 m ($700k of the total $2m is to rebuild the roof of the parkade underneath it) means that this first phase of redevelopment will be fairly extensive. I'm interested to see how they marry safety with a peaceful setting. Oh, and if they are going to keep that clock tower I hope they put a clock in it - it's been 30 years !
Earlier this year was the announcement of a $3.3m facelift for Old Market Square, $1.2m of that will be city money.
I have to say its nice that the city is spending money and energy on its public spaces after many years of neglect.
Some things on my wish list for some of our larger public spaces:
Memorial Park: to replace the washrooms, even with port-a-potties. Between the fountain and field area it draws a lot of people in the summer to splash around, play soccer or just sit and sunbathe. It's idiotic to have removed the underground washrooms without a plan to replace them.
Central Park: Needs some TLC, from landscaping to path repair, benches to lighting. Don't forget, too, the long neglected Waddell Fountain.
The area has begun to rejuvenate itself through the influx of African immigrants the park is livelier than ever. A better park will bring even more people out which, in turn, wold make the park even safer.