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2012-12-14 at 10:44

LETTER: Keep the green space

Coun. Andrew Foulds, Current River Ward
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To the editor:

This past Monday, a petition with more than 500 signatures was presented to city council advocating the preservation of the wooded area behind the Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital as green space. 

This is not to be confused with the developed front section of the property, which provides an excellent opportunity for redevelopment.

There is a broader public interest achieved in preserving this area as greenspace as it serves many purposes.
First, it is a linkage between the Shuniah, Toledo and Otto Street areas and Boulevard Lake.

There are many trails, a legacy to the Scout Jamboree in 1998, that mountain bikers, joggers and dog walkers use frequently. 
In addition, students from Lakehead University regularly conduct field work and research.

It is a natural heritage corridor for deer, foxes, rabbits and a variety of birds, and there is increasing evidence that the lower cold water streams that lead into Boulevard Lake are home to brook trout.

Finally and perhaps most importantly, given the May 28 disaster flooding, the wooded area plays a significant role in storm water management.

Not only does it slow the movement of water, it plays a role in cleaning storm water before it enters the adjacent Current River and Boulevard Lake.

The Friends of the LPH Greenspace and the organizers of the petition want this wooded area, which is zoned future residential, to be rezoned and protected in the new City of Thunder Bay Official Plan.

Thunder Bay’s Official Plan is an important strategic policy document that guides land use and development in our community.  It ensures development in a way that builds a healthy, safe and sustainable community.

This will guide how this city grows for the foreseeable future, probably the next 10 years.

This is about building the kind of city we all want, particularly, for our young people.

Like the Friends of the LPH Greenspace who have concerns regarding oneparticular property, it is important for the people of Thunder Bay to get involved in the Official Plan review and provide feedback.

As a community we must voice our concerns on issues important to us. Greenspace, trails, active transportation, complete street design, commercial areas and a range of housing options on existing infrastructure are just a few examples of what of the Official Plan can influence.

We need to ensure the new Official Plan reflects the needs and desires of this community. By working together we can balance the varied interests of the citizens of Thunder Bay and work towards a vibrant and prosperous Thunder Bay, a great Thunder Bay.

Congratulations to the Friends of the LPH Greenspace for their active involvement and participation in this crucial exercise. 
You can provide your feedback by accessing the link to the Official Plan Review at

Time is running out: the draft Official Plan is scheduled to be presented to Council in February or March. Please have your say on the future design of the City of Thunder Bay.

Coun.  Andrew Foulds
Current River Ward,


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conker2012 says:
Mr. Foulds

I do not agree with the plan to protect these fields on the edge of the park. The park space that runs from lake superior all the way past highway 11/17 has more then enough trails and paths for everyone. If you consider the entire park land that runs from the lake up to trowbridge falls you are looking at a park that is 1.5 to 2 times the size of central park in New York City.. I am not saying that we should compare our selves to such a large city, but I just want to put it into perspective of how large this park is. Large portions of this park remain under utilized and are costing the tax payers thousands and thousands of dollars for yearly maintenance.

Thunder Bay needs space for new homes, but we do not need to keep pushing out the boudaries of the city by building on our perimiter. This is a prime example of the NIMBY attitude that keeps holding our city back from greatness. If you want to keep this land, cut the fair grounds on cumberland from the park.
12/14/2012 1:32:08 PM
Tbaylifer 1 says:
I could not disagree with you more. Water management, research to wild life, give me a break. If this land is for residential development then develop it as such. This area was there and the city flooded, you voted for a deer hunt in the city, you voted for in filling as opposed to expanding outward to reduce costs of infrastructure. Now you are advacating for just over 200 signatures on a petition, the online signing could not be verified. 7000 on a petition for Innova park, 2000 for Municipal and you didn't support them but this one you do. Your intent is one of re election rather then saving green space. Isn't Boulervard lake or Centennial Park big enough for you? Their located close to the streets you mentioned. Knowing this councill though, the majority will be heard but not listened too. There are far more important issues facing the city and you should be spending your time on them. Get back to work.
12/15/2012 7:37:38 AM
beached says:
It is already park land and a defacto park. Keep it that way. Even something like a large community farm would be nice.
12/16/2012 4:21:13 PM
The Badger Mountain Hermit says:
..."increasing evidence...home to brook trout"...don't we slaughter and eat them?
12/19/2012 8:44:08 AM
tsb says:
The last thing Current River needs is upper-middle class families moving in to increase its tax base. Save them for McIntyre, Red River and Neebing wards.
12/22/2012 3:55:32 PM
Conker2012 says:
You do not understand taxes if you think new homes will increase current river taxes.

What will increase your taxes is suburban sprawl. Building out and creating new roads on the perimeter is what is driving up your taxes.

If you want lower taxes you NIMBY, encourage infill of under utilized land such as this grass field.
12/27/2012 6:39:18 PM
Steve McSmash says:
why not pack us in like sardines? we have such limited space to expand. oh wait a minute.. its hard to use a sarcastic tone when typing...many extremely succesful larger cities have protected greenspaces such as this and they do serve a purpose. If I wanted nothing but concrete I would move far from northern ontario.
1/7/2013 11:28:20 PM
countryboy123 says:
The largest park in the city (Boulevard) is adjacent to this green space so if it is developed it's not like users of this area will have no place to go. I suspect that many of the peole compaining are the ones that are afraid that they will have less area to run their unruly dogs off leash!
1/10/2013 11:03:58 AM
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