The Next Big Thing: Seventh Avenue Gateway

The City Park Community Association voted last month to spend up to $20,000 on new projects in the community, including renewing the neighbourhood entrance at the 7th Avenue and 33rd Street railway crossing.

The City Park Community Association voted last month to spend extra funds on new projects in the community, including renewing the neighbourhood entrance at the Seventh Avenue and 33rd Street railway crossing.

Now, a steering committee has been formed to oversee the capital expenditure. Some early suggestions include hiring a local youth art group to mural the cement walls of the overpass and also to clean up the surrounding area. Canadian Pacific Railway has been contacted, and they too have shown interest in providing some financial support for the project.

The project was chosen from an official list of ideas from City Park residents, compiled by members of the CPCA for The Next Big Thing venture. Other suggestions included planting an apple orchard in Wilson Park, which could potentially be the first step to a full-fledged food forest. Also, some residents pitched the idea for a picnic structure in Wilson Park, equipped with an outdoor wood-burning oven.

However, according to the majority of the members of the CPCA at the February executive meeting, renewing the Seventh Avenue Gateway is top priority. Currently, the area surrounding the train overpass appears industrial and uninviting, says council members.

The cost of improving The Seventh Avenue Gateway is still unknown, but its possible there will be funds left over in The Next Big Thing portfolio for additional projects.

Going into 2012, the CPCA had accumulated a substantial surplus, therefore allowing the organization to tackle a major project. The earmarked money will still leave an appropriate operating budget for the remander of the year.

Anyone with comments or suggestions regarding The Next Big Thing project is asked to email CPCA Vice President Janice Braden at janicelbraden@gmail.com.

Photo: Google Street View

33rd Street project great for cyclists

City council has approved the construction of a multi-use cyclist and pedestrian corridor along the south side of 33rd street. The pathway will stretch from Spadina Crescent to 3rd Avenue, directly along the border of City Park and North Park.

Biking is about to become easier and safer for residents of City Park.

City council has approved the construction of a multi-use cyclist and pedestrian corridor along the south side of 33rd street. The pathway will stretch from Spadina Crescent to 3rd Avenue, directly along the border of City Park and North Park.

The new three-metre-wide separated avenue is the first phase of a $6.7 million masterplan, which will eventually connect the University of Saskatchewan main campus with the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST).

According to a city report, the first phase — which will also be available to those in wheelchairs and scooters — will cost $1.67 million, with $1 million coming from the federal government.

The rest of the project ,which is yet to be funded, will include the continuation of the 33rd Street corridor, from 3rd Avenue to Idylwyld Drive, and additionally, a roundabout at Spadina Crescent and 33rd street, improved streetlights, landscaping, new benches and bus stops.

The planned corridor is one of a handful of attempts the city has recently made to improve bicycle safety, showing they are finally on-board to resolve the poor conditions cyclists face in Saskatoon.

In 2011, the city released a comprehensive how-to guide to cycling in Saskatoon. According to the city’s website, the guide “rates every road in Saskatoon, from novice to intermediate and expert, and provides suggested routes and facilities that have been identified by experienced local cyclists and City staff.”

The guides are free, and can be downloaded on PDF here, or you can pick up a hard copy from any library or leisure centre.

On the website you can also check out the city’s cycling newsletter, read about bicycle safety and research Saskatoon’s overall “plan for cycling.”

Graphic: City of Saskatoon

Saskatchewan Party and NDP split City Park

For the first time since 1991, City Park residents are being represented by a provincial political party other than the New Democrats.

Roger Parent of Sask. Party defeats incumbent MLA Frank Quennell in Saskatoon Meewasin; former teacher and incumbent NDP candidate David Forbes holds on to Saskatoon Centre.

For the first time since 1991, City Park residents are being represented by a provincial political party other than the New Democrats.

On Nov. 7, Saskatchewan Party candidate Roger Parent beat out two-time incumbent Frank Quennell, capturing 54 per cent of the popular vote compared to Quennell’s 42 per cent in the district of Saskatoon Meewasin.

The Saskatoon Meewasin riding currently includes the urban neighbourhoods of River Heights, Richmond Heights, North Park, Mayfair, Kelsey-Woodlawn and everything north of Queen Street in City Park. Quennell was elected MLA in 2003, when he took over the widely considered NDP stronghold from Carolyn Jones, who succeeded Carol Teichrob, also of the NDP.

The last time this particular region of Saskatoon was not held by the NDP was from 1986 to 1991, when Ray Meiklejohn of the Progressive Conservatives represented what was then the constituency of Saskatoon Mayfair.

Leading up to the Nov. 7 election, the province largely expected a Sask. Party landslide, however, collecting 49 of the possible 58 seats surprised even the cockiest of conservatives. In urban constituencies across Saskatchewan, the Sask. Party made substantial gains.

Due to both the crumbling of the Liberal Party of Saskatchewan, and the flimsy platform and poor leadership of the NDP, voters overwhelmingly bought in to the Sask. Party who promised to work on maintaining strong economic times for the province.

“Premier Wall has done an excellent job with the growth agenda for this province. We are forecasted to lead the nation in economic growth, we have the lowest unemployment in the country and we have a premier who stands up for us on critical issues, like health care and potash,” said Parent, on the Sask. Party’s website.

Parent has lived in Saskatoon Meewasin and is a graduate of SIAST in mechanical engineering technology and has a business administration certificate from the University of Saskatchewan.

According to SaskParty.com, “He has been involved with several initiatives within the community, including the Saskatoon Homelessness Initiative Partnership, sitting on the board of directors for the Saskatchewan Economic Development Association and most recently as a board member for the Saskatchewan Housing Corporation.”

Meanwhile, in Saskatoon Centre, which includes much of Saskatoon’s downtown core along with City Park, from 25th Street to Queen Street, incumbent David Forbes was one of the eight NDP candidates to win their race.

Forbes, a former school teacher, received 54 per cent of the popular vote, although the young Sask. Party newcomer David Cooper gave Forbes a good fight pulling 43 per cent of the vote.

This is Forbes’ third term representing Saskatoon Centre after first being elected in 2003. Under Lorne Calvert he served as Minister of Labour, and now he chairs the NDP caucus, as well as serves as the opposition critic for Labour, Municipal Affairs and Housing.

Photo: supplied