- Tuesday, May 29, 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
- Sunday, June 3, 9:00 am to 11:00 am
The walks will start at the south-west corner of the Hillside Mall Parking lot, near Doncaster and Hillside. We will visit each of the points shown on the map below, and engage in a walking conversation as we go.
Two overarching questions will guide our discussions during the walks:
1. What is a neighbourhood? What is your level of awareness of Oaklands as a neighbourhood distinct from, say, Fernwood? What does an area need to make it a neighbourhood? What are the benefits and drawbacks of thinking of a city in terms of neighbourhoods?*
2. How should local decisions (about the Mall, about St Albans, about local parks) be made? How much power should local residents have? How much power should organizations like the OCA or higher levels of government have? How can a neighbourhood make its voice heard?*
With these broad questions in mind, we will also consider the following more specific questions at each site we visit:
1. Start at Hillside Shopping Centre Parking Lot – Southwest Corner near Doncaster & Hillside
- What does being a “Town Centre” mean? Does it feel like a town to you?
- What effects will a potential expansion of retail space on the Hillside Mall site have on the neighbourhood? What are the advantages and disadvantages?
- What’s going on with the current renovations?
- Should Bowker Creek be “daylighted” through the mall’s parking lot?
2. Hillside from Doncaster to Hamilton
- What is it like to walk along that stretch of road?*
- Children north of Hillside are in the catchment for the Oaklands school south of Hillside, so they walk this route daily. Whose responsibility is it to see that they are safe?*
- What could be done to make pedestrians safe there? Is the area north of Hillside part of Oaklands?*
- How important is Bus route 4 (a route that functions so well because of the nature of Hillside), to people’s enjoyment of the neighbourhood?*
- How could cycling be better accommodated on this road?*
- What role to arterial streets play in shaping our experience/understandings of city space and neighbourhood?*
3. Oaklands Green & Oaklands Community Centre
- “What’s going on in Oaklands?” asks the OCA’s website.
- What programs and services are offered by the OCA? How are you involved in the OCA? How is the OCA involved in the life of the neighbourhood?
- What role do green spaces play in our community? What role do interpretive panels play? How can they be created and used effectively?
4. St. Alban’s, Landsdowne Preschool & Ryan Street Greenway
- What’s the latest news on the Save St. Alban’s campaign?
- Why is it important to retain local services in our communities? How are you going to get involved?
- What’s the history of and future potential for the Ryan Street Greenway?
5. Jewish Cemetery
- How did the community react to the racist graffiti painted on graves earlier this year?
- What is the history of this cemetery?
6. Mt. Stephen Pocket Park
- Did you know this park is here?
- What’s going on with the landscaping? Why is it important to protect Garry Oak ecosystems?
- Is this space well used as a playground?
7. Haultain Commons
- What are boulevard gardens? How can they be used to create strong communities?
- What is the history of this particular boulevard garden?
8. Finish at Haultain Corners & Enjoy Coffee at Koffi (or the Fernwood Inn)
- This area is listed as a “SmallUrban Village” in the City’s OCP. What does that mean? How does it compare to the “Town Centre” at Hillside Mall?
- How does Koffi function as an example of Cafe culture?
After the walk on May 29, we will go to the Fernwood Inn to enjoy food and drinks, and continue our conversation. After the June 3 walk, we will go to Koffi to do the same.
If you would like to join this walk, please let me know by emailing me at vincent_gornall [at] hotmail.com or indicating your intention to come on Facebook (May 29 or June 3). An RSVP would be appreciated, but is not mandatory. If you would like to come, please do.
For information about a previous walking tour I led, please see: Development, Redevelopment & Gentrification in Vic West, On Derelict Boats, and Jane’s Walk 2012: Links in Review.
Thanks to Cindy Dunphy and Jordan Stanger-Ross for helping to organize this walk, supporting its development and suggesting improvements. Thanks to the Oaklands Community Centre for sponsoring this walk, and Kristi Riviet and Sharlet Koniczek at the OCC for their support.