Reviving Ward 22's parkettes

[attach]7326[/attach]It would be a stretch to think of Glebe Manor Parkettes, a pair of green spaces located along Belsize Drive, between Wilfrid Avenue and Boyton Road east of Mount Pleasant, in terms of the living, natural neighbourhood stopping places the city would have them represent.

Run down, they have few amenities beyond a couple of picnic tables and benches that are frequently tossed around.

Their walking paths are little more than worn stretches of dirt dug by hundreds of footsteps, and during a storm they produce mud that spills onto the street.

That’s about to change, Ward 22 councillor Josh Matlow said following a Nov. 20 public meeting he had called to solicit ideas on how to do it. Matlow wants to beautify the parkettes using money from Section 37 developers’ fees, which the city collects from development projects for neighbourhood improvement.

About 30 local residents packed a classroom at Greenwood College School to offer suggestions.

Ideas ranged from obvious improvements like fixed benches, a stone path and flower beds to a community board where locals could advertise upcoming events such as a farmers market.

Most were concerned about protecting the area’s tree canopy, possibly by adding new trees.

Matlow says his next step is to get a landscape designer to create some potential renderings, and a consultant to make sure they fit the city’s budget. He’ll then unveil the results at another public meeting.

“We’re going to come back to the community and say, ‘Did we interpret your vision correctly? Is this what you’d like?’” Matlow said.