I’ve been getting some calls and emails about the possible rink at South Street adjacent to Gorsebrook, today there is an article in the paper. Here is some more information about this project.
It is proposed for the former PMQ lands between Wellington and APSEA, which is currently a parking lot and was slated for an expansion of the IWK that they no longer need. It will not impact the Gorsebrook park directly – it may impact the APSEA property a bit. But it simply isn’t at the point that there are drawings or even a plan, let me explain where it is at, and where it will go.
I feel strongly that a 2 pad with some community rooms will HRM, Dalhousie and SMU as tenants will be a huge step towards providing adequate HRM recreation space in Peninsula South, and will be a concrete step that will see us actually addressing our recreation needs in our community.
I campaigned for more recreation facilities on the peninsula, especially peninsula south. I feel this will help address the much raised concern that we pay taxes like anyone else and THEN are told “get a membership to Dalplex” when looking for recreation time for ourselves and our families. HRM is already talking about spending $45-50 million dollars on ice surfaces on the peninsula over the next while.
I also feel strongly that a facility like this in our community is by far preferable to a 4 pad facility at the Forum site, or in Bayer’s Lake or Exhibition park. This Gorsebrook site would be a community based facility., and I feel the 4 pad plans is overly focused on a model based in car culture.
This is still very early days, no one has secret plans in a briefcase, this is very much still at the “what if we did it this way” trail balloon process.
IF THIS HAPPENS – GORSEBROOK PARK WILL NEED A MASTERPLAN
I am pushing for a Gorsebrook master plan. The two schools could close some day, technically HRSB controls the JHS school and the whole hill/ball field behind it. Community members have talked about wanted to another tennis court and maybe lights, the paths need to be re-aligned and to my mind lit and connected to the emerging bike lane network, they need to respect where people actually walk and bike, etc. I see a great opportunity here to revitalize the Gorsebrook lands with HRSB, APSEA, HRM, IWK, all at the table with the community making a plan that could really enhance our enjoyment of this important park.
Rest assured that by moving the arena off of Dal land this puts it even more firmly in the public realm and if (and it is a big if) the process gains traction there will be considerable consultation. At this point the province (who owns the parking lot) may say “not a chance” and then it isn’t going to happen there anyway, and we are back to square one – that is why there has been no big public discussion yet, it’s not really at the point where it can be taken to the public, too many unanswered questions.