March 7th 2019 we made history, at least it felt like that to me. Here’s what happened. Members of the neighbourhood met with 6-7, maybe 8, city staff from the engineering department and “WE” working together actually had a “real and productive” community engagement session. I’ve attended many, many, many city meeting and this is the first one where I felt we accomplished something on both sides. Quelle Surprise!!! Bravo to the city staff and bravo to the people in this community.
The meeting opened with the city apologizing for their disregard in consultation for the street lamps paid for by the community that were removed. It wasn’t that direct but I like to put it into that framework and acknowledge it was a great start on the side of the city. The people present gave thoughtful feedback on solutions to the present debacle. . Discussion ensued as a large group and then we broke out into 3 tables working together to focus on solutions.
Upon conclusion of the meeting we requested all notes to be sent to us and Claudo, our champion, will pass things along to the community. We are so fortunate to have such great people in our neighbourhood and a score of champions not afraid to respectfully take things on; now that’s what I call a community!
Here’s what we accomplished? I walked away hearing that the community wants the respect deserved to this neighbourhood and to return the lights that were paid for by this community. We understand the lighting requirements by the city and ask for those old lights to be put in the linear park at Union and Hawks, replacing the present hideous (my words) ones there. As we are a historic community we have requested to have a consistent lighting theme throughout our neighbourhood (Gore to the tracks and Prior to Hastings). To this point we would like the community to be consulted on the choice to those lights and we would like the poles to be black. Lastly, to the Union St issue we will be getting arms on those new hwy. lights that reflect the history of the neighbourhood (similar to the ones they’ve put on the west side of the city for their bike lanes) ; note: these lights referencing the past will have globes and they will be frosted glass, similar to what is on Atlantic. Oh and I happened by Commercial Dr. recently and must say those lights would be great on Union St.
It was great to share this exchange with the city staff and have them understand our position as well as tell us the parameters in which they are required to operate so we could come up with realistic solutions. In the past 2 or 3 people would have likely been the ones coming to this solution and now it takes 30- 40 to get involved. Perhaps it’s for the best, as since that meeting I learnt from a local historian that the original street lamps in this neighbourhood, the beautiful ones in the last post, were actually removed from our hood and placed in streets on the west side of the city. Yes, perhaps it’s better that these solutions are not in the hands of 2 or 3 people who lack understanding and/or integrity.
I took a wee look back as some of the overwhelming amount of photos taken with the focus of light and came up with a few to share: old and new, as well as moments of light.
Old… 2 year ongoing pole mess in the back; kitchen with paper lantern light; pink bedroom light main floor; basement or horror.
New…Garden suite kitchen; Garden suite living room pot lights; Garden suite special spot; Upstairs Sasamat lighting to come that is a reference to the Octopus out back (3 hearts and 8 arms/legs)
Just couldn’t resist the moments — light play.