Posted by: HamptonIona | October 3, 2021

Proposed Changes to Iona Park

In Councillor Leiper’s September 26th newsletter there was a small item regarding some park modifications to Iona Park.  It appears that the City is proposing to remove the long standing and recently repaired Gazebo with two small metal tables with metal umbrellas.  The project information and survey can be found at Iona Park | Engage Ottawa

With no prior consultation with the community, the City is only asking people’s opinions as to whether they want both new tables to be located where the basketball net is currently located (Option A) or one table by the basketball net and one table where the Gazebo is located (Option B).  The survey does have a second question asking if you have additional comments but you cannot submit the survey unless you have indicated either option A or B even if you have problems with both options and want neither.  If you wish to submit comments directly, you can send a direct email to the planner working on the proposal (Coran Graham – coran.graham@ottawa.ca).  If you wish to fill out the survey, it appears that you may have to have a City of Ottawa account in order to respond.

Both options would impact on the functionality of the basketball court.  As well, the community association has been building a small skating pad on the basketball court for over 10 years.  If any tables are located here, we would not be able to build that portion of the skating rink.  This small rink is designed for small children who are both learning to skate and to play hockey.  Due to the topography of the park and the need to be contiguous with the rest of the rink, this small pad could not likely be maintained or moved if this proposal goes ahead.  Not only has this been a welcome addition to the rink, but it is part of the Community Association’s contract with the City to provide two skating surfaces in Iona Park.

The Community Group approached the Park Planning Department to seek further clarification before posting any notification.  We were advised that these changes were being made to improve accessibility and because the Gazebo is in “poor shape”.  Although the roof structure was completely replaced only a few years ago we were not told by the City as to why they consider the Gazebo to be in poor shape.  As well, we were not told what the accessibility problems were.  If there are members of the community with experience in wood structures, it would be interesting to know their views on the matter.   The plans do not include a path from the Iona side of the park, which is an accessibility issue that is not being addressed in this proposal.

The City is aware of our concerns with this proposal and are aware that comments are likely to come in after the October 4 deadline.  We will be asking for an extension and a public meeting.  Even if the survey is not available after October 4, you can send your comments to Coran Graham at the City.  Please feel free to copy the community association on your comments at newsletter@hamptoniona.ca.


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