Reconstruction of Eastwood and Elmwood Park to begin this spring
On Feb. 4, Eastwood and Elmwood Park residents attended an open house at St. Gerard Catholic School to view the final designs for the upcoming neighbourhood renewal.
Changes to the neighbourhood include repairing sidewalks, replacing curbs, gutters, and street lights, fixing roads, and improving parks and other public spaces.
Notable changes to spaces and parks in Eastwood include an open field space with a mini soccer pitch, a fenced off-leash dog park, and an improved James Kidney Park with better safety, accessibility, and amenities. Two parks in Elmwood Park will include features such as a walking loop, new lighting, an improved intersection, and an expansion of one of the parks.
For people with kids attending Delton School, expect there to be a new drop-off bay.
As well, residents are expected to pay half the cost of the decorative street lights and sidewalk reconstruction. As of Feb. 4, residents had a 30-day petition period.
Plenty of area residents attended the open house.
Sylvia Sciroli, who owns an Eastwood rental property, says, “Some [changes] I don’t find necessary. I think the City should work on alleys first, it’s like a roller coaster back there.”
Veneranda Glover, an Eastwood resident, says the sidewalks by her home don’t need to be repaired. “Ours is perfect, no cracks at all. Why should it have to be done?”
Eastwood resident John Tillner says he doesn’t have any serious concerns about the coming changes. “My sidewalks are old and nasty, so I’m looking forward to this,” he says. He says he’s also happy that the City will be building a sidewalk around 121 Avenue and 82 Street and that the City will be rebuilding 120 Avenue.
Another Eastwood resident, Arlene Kemble, says some changes are good, such as new streets, and some aren’t, like extending curbs at intersections. “Taking out sidewalks that are still good is a waste of money,” she says.
Janet, a resident from Elmwood Park, says, “I like the changes. I think it’s important to have sidewalks that are more accessible and to complete sidewalks. I’m happy they’re doing a complete road restructure. I like the green areas as well. Having things for kids that are free—I think that’s very important from a community perspective.”
Ellen Mastrangelo from Elmwood Park says she likes the changes so far but adds, “There will always be an issue with bike lanes because so many people don’t use them properly. I got stuck behind two tricycles.”
William Blaney, an Eastwood resident, says he’s glad that the road is being addressed and he’s excited about the dog park. He adds, “I wish we could have had more notice on the sidewalk bill.”
Reconstruction is expected to begin this spring and will likely take three years to complete.
Featured Image: John Tillner, Eastwood resident, is happy about a lot of the changes. | Talea Medynski