Downtown Vibrancy Project
The Downtown Vibrancy Project has almost completed its second year and the second site! The 2019 site is located on the corner of King Street and Water Street, on what used to be a piece of the Euphoria Wellness Spa car park. It is now a thriving green space with benches, boardwalks and trees. This new green space will soon also showcase two canoe-themed public art pieces created by local Anishinaabe artist Tia Cavanagh.
The name of the park was also created by the community: Jiimaan’ndewengadnong (“The Place Where the Heart of the Canoe Beats”) is a beautiful Mizi-Zaagiing Anishinaabeg phrase translated by Elder Mary Taylor and Jack Hoggarth, Cultural Archivist, both from Curve Lake First Nation.
This summer we broke ground to create the pocket park, with the help of local businesses and volunteers. We had over 50 volunteers come out, rolled up their sleeves, and worked hard to create this healthy, natural space.
Coming Soon… To a Pocket Park Near you!
The art installations, by Tia Cavanagh, will be added to the Jiimaan’ndewengadnong park soon. There will be an opening ceremony to celebrate the occasion. Tia is currently working hard, restoring her canvas, a beautiful 15ft cedar strip canoe and creating an artwork wrap for the transformer that is located in the garden. We can’t wait to share these with you!
There will also be audio available of canoe stories from several local storytellers who generously shared with us what the canoe means to them. These stories will be available on this page very soon thanks to Impact Communication. They will also be available in the park via a phone number on the plaque (coming soon) thanks to Nexicom.
Ecologically Restorative Space
In the Jiimaan’ndewengadnong site, instead of asphalt, there are 100 square metres of green infrastructure (rain garden) that act as a sponge for rain water and run-off water from Water Street. This rain garden was designed to soak up the water and naturally filter it slowly through the soil. Areas like this one can help reduce the intensity of urban flooding and can filter out pollutants before the water reaches the waterways.
Community Driven Design
The Jiimaan’ndewemgadnong Pocket Park and all the Downtown Vibrancy Projects are chosen and designed with input from the community. This feedback is gathered through dotmocracy votes and social media hashtags, which helps decide the locations of new projects. We also hold public design sessions where we discuss the elements of the projects that are important to people.
We also rely heavily on volunteer power to create these spaces. Volunteers help lift the pre-cut asphalt and plant the gardens as part of the Depave Paradise initiative. These volunteer events are a fun way to be part of the project. If you are interested in volunteering email Project Coordinator Dawn Pond (firstname.lastname@example.org),
A Gigantic “Thank You!”
This kind of remarkable, authentic project doesn’t happen without a lot of collaboration and generous support. Thanks to the support of Lett Architects, Engage Engineering, Tree House Timberworks, Accurex, Coco Paving, Ralph’s Paving, Nexicom and Impact Communications, Alderville Black Oak Savanna, The Food Shop, The Silver Bean café, and many more. The space itself has been generously made accessible to the public by Euphoria Wellness Spa, and the art installation was also generously sponsored by Kim and Mark Zippel. This project is also part of a larger movement led by Green Communities Canada and their national Depave Paradise Initiative. Funding for this project was provided by the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
If you are interested in supporting the project by donating services or providing sponsorship please email Dawn Pond (email@example.com) for more details.
The Downtown Vibrancy Project is a collaborative project led by a sub-committee of the Peterborough Downtown Business Improvement Area (DBIA). Michael Gallant, of LETT Architects, is the chair person. 2018 is the inaugural year of a three-year project that will form connective areas of green space downtown.
Program Contact Information
Position: Depave Paradise and Vibrancy Project Coordinator
Phone: 705-745-3238 ext. 200