Community Storage Shed – update.

The construction of a community storage shed in our park is a unique project. There is a history of community gatherings here in the La Croisée community and like them, the shed has a truth that is not often proclaimed. It is like a missed footnote to a text and that truth deserves better.

La Croisee-ShedLocation

In the winter of 2015-2016, our community association was shown a drawing for the park upgrade plan to be completed in 2016. Despite that being against normal protocol, that offering came with a caveat – don’t tell anyone.

Upholding that promise, a community survey was released to simply gather the opinions of neighbours regarding thoughts on our current and potential public space - our parks.
A report was then presented to the City that included a few questions to residents regarding the possibility of a community storage shed. (The full report can be found in the “Document Library”)

( From "Overview" in the La Croisée Community Survey Report - June 2016) 

"… Designers have a great deal of knowledge that is infinitely more resonant when it is used to help everyday citizens articulate their needs and create public spaces that are responsive to the communities they serve."  (Fred Kent, Project for Public Spaces, "Whom does design really serve" Oct. 3, 2012.)

"Citizen Agency"

There is enough cynicism and apathy but the truth is - without our neighbours coming together, participating, and offering support at events, registering, taking just a little bit of their time, helping with the survey, this project would not have been possible.

It wasn’t perfect, not every single voice was heard but make no mistake, - the survey report was recognised. It reverberated with the City administration. They heard a legitimate voice speak for a possible shared benefit: a public good proclaimed to be so, by a significant number of our community members.

The City of Gatineau employees then respectfully, with expertise and resources, incorporated the shed foundation and electrical supply into our park upgrade. This was done with available funding within the original work - all in support of this project for our community.

We can feel like it's just a symphony of problems and complaints, but when citizen agency (the ability to act) is locally enabled, a vacuum can be filled if we learn and engage
in a respectful and legitimate manner. The truth is - it works. Of course, it comes with legal responsibilities, design and budgetary constraints, effort, and it’s slow - but it does work. 

Current update:
  • The existing foundation will soon be extended 1.5M further into the park from the property line.
  •  Our Community Association will be paying for this shed, sub-contracting it’s construction and donating it to the City. 
  •  Our community will take care of it and hold the key to it’s doors. Our events will be easier to organise , over time our resources improved, more recreation will be possible along with spontaneous get togethers. For example: "There’s a 5à7 barbecue in the park tonight, all are welcome!" 
  • Specific details of the agreement will be made clearer when official documents are in hand very soon, until then, the shed will likely not be in place until next spring. 
  •  We will have all winter to raise our funding and complete the planning for it’s “grand opening”. 
  • Our fund raising has been given a $2,000 kick start by our local councillor Richard Begin, from his discretionary spending. Thank you, Mr. Begin.

Even though it is a bit complicated and will have taken two years to be built, the shed will be created by our residents and a public administration that supports them.

Together, if we take care of it responsibly, use it to it's full potential, our community will be nurtured. And that is the other story in the offering we already know about community.

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It was an afternoon of fun.

On Saturday June 17th, despite the non perfect weather, neighbours gathered together in Parc la Croisée to express their community spirit at this year's annual Neighbours Day event.
Young and old alike, gathered in the park to fraternize with old friends, make new ones, enjoy music, games, a good BBQ and more!
It was an afternoon of fun, laughter, and comradeship.

A very special thanks goes to Joseph Mouaikel, a La Croisée community resident, and Moe Atallah who offered and prepared the wonderful food at our event.

Also, a big thank you to all the volunteers who made this event possible: Annic McGuire, Louis Martinet, Charles Martinet, Angela and Warren Hager, Halina, Jamie and Jack Hagar, Josée Sisson, Lisa Sattler, Allana Hayes, Sean Stevenson, Lyne Forget-Lanthier, Sylvie Lefebvre, Mike Girouard and Ronan Bosch.

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La Croisée – learning road safety and having fun, too!

After having to postpone due to bad weather, many neighbours, friends, and organisations came together for our 4th Annual Community Bike Day on Saturday May 20th.

This year, more organisations joined our event but once again, Velo-Service provided guidance on bicycle maintenance. The Gatineau Police Bike Patrol division provided lessons on riding safety while the Director of Mobio-O, Jean-Maxime Lemerise, was present and offered his support. Our event was also registered with United Nations Global Road Safety Week- 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland who provided a lot of information on shared, global initiatives about road safety.

Road safety, managing speed in our neighbourhood, bicycle maintenance, safety and fun, all together made this a great day in the park. And like all our community events, it was simply born by the flow of ideas supported by residents and volunteers. 

Our community offers thanks to many generous and encouraging local sponsors and supporters for this event: Velo-Service, Gatineau Police Department, Pro-Cycle Bicyclette, Mobi-O, Provigo, IGA, The General Store and the City of Gatineau.

Special thanks go to Melanie Brassard (Street Representative) and Annic McGuire (Planning Director) who led coordination of this event.  ...and to our Community Association support for planning, advertising, and material support.
Also, thank you, to all the event volunteers who contributed in so many ways, from set-up to registration, music, food and bike route safety, - thank you: Angela Hagar, Chad Butler, Cristi Parapalita, Gilles Gougeon, Joelle Cléroux, Gaston Gagnon, Louisa Olvera, Lise Boileau, Anne Martinet, Louis Martinet, Dina Exantus, Gaston Gagnon, Lyne Forget-Lanthier and Tracy McCulloch.

A special thanks also goes to Velo-Service and the Gatineau Police Department for their education initiatives with children regarding bicycle safety and maintenance.

And most of all, thanks to all our residents and friends who simply came out and had fun together. 

 

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