May 16, 2018 11:18 pm
Updated: May 16, 2018 11:20 pm

Vibrancy project looks to connect ‘missing link’ between two Peterborough parks

Vibrancy project looks to revitalize the vacant land between Millennium and Del Crary Parks.

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It’s being touted as the single largest project ever undertaken by the Peterborough Downtown Business Improvement Area and will connect two major parks in the downtown core.

The vibrancy project aims to breathe new life into run-down areas and will target the dead space, that is the southern portion of Water Street which is adjacent to the No Frills grocery store and borders the section of the Rotary trail between Millennium and Del Crary Park.

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The Vibrancy project is a subcommittee of DBIA members, along with business leaders, designers and architects and on Wednesday they announced a plan to redesign the vacant waterfront space.

“This area used to be the extension of Water Street and it occupies a lot of space in the core of our city that we can re-purpose and reuse in a more exciting and useful way,” said Vibrancy chair and LETT architect Micheal Gallant. “It provides an opportunity to beautify our waterfront, create space for people and provide some real sustainable solutions.”

The area is described as a “no man’s land” or “road to nowhere” by DBIA executive director Terry Guiel who is fronting the $87,000 bill for the park’s facelift.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to work with other organizations and utilize the brain power and creativity in this community and to reimagine this dead space,” said Guiel.

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Partners on the project include organizations like Green Up, Public Energy, Basterfield & Associates landscape architects, along with LETT Architects and Guiel says all are all donating their time and expertise to help revitalize the underutilized section of land.

“Together along with many, many volunteers and other organizations, we are probably going to see half-a-million dollars worth of time and investment in this project,” said Guiel.

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The plan is to de-pave some of the asphalt from the roadway that’s no longer used and will improve the area by making it greener and more inviting by bringing in some public art installations and create a natural link between Millennium and Del Crary Parks.

“A large portion of the asphalt will be removed and what’s really fun about the “de-pave paradise” project is volunteers are actually able to come and remove the asphalt by hand and in a way help liberate the soil from underneath,” said Green Up water systems manager Heather Ray.

This is the Vibrancy project’s first community project and moving forward, they aim to identify a new project like this each year.

The group will need final approval from city council to go ahead with the project. They will make a presentation at city hall in June.

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