TEMAGAMI – A new park has been proposed to help enhance more healthy living in Temagami.
Temagami resident Suzanne Daneault gave a presentation to council at the November 19 regular meeting on the potential Memorial Park.
Daneault explained that she was contacted during the summer by Leede Jones Gable chair Donald Ross and he told her that the company wanted to start up a scholarship fund in memory of their vice-president of finance, Robb Hindson, who died in November 2019 and had owned an island in the Temagami area.
Leede Jones Gable is a mid-size national investment firm with headquarters in Toronto.
She said the company has collected $130,000 to fund the scholarship that will be awarded to students each year who are “going onto further education, whether it be trades, college or university.
“They will apply and we will pick one student per year to get funds.”
Beyond that, Daneault said that Ross asked her what Temagami would need and she responded to him that the municipality could use a playground.
She said that Leede Jones Gable has put forward “an approximate amount of $15,000 for the beginning of a playground.”
Daneault stressed that she didn’t come before council to ask for money, rather to ask for a commitment on a piece of property for the potential park – the parking lot located between the skate park and the medical centre.
She said that she had acquired a letter of support from the Temagami Family Health Team that is in favour of using the parking lot as the site for the new playground.
“There is also a letter of support from Living Temagami (Arts and Culture), which I will submit to the municipality for the park as well, saying that they will be assisting in any fundraising partnerships – if need be,” said Daneault.
“The legion is also available to do the same thing.”
Daneault explained that the new park would have many uses and features.
“It’s a park that will allow seniors to have a place to exercise, so there’s outdoor exercise equipment,” she said.
“There is a playground for children, which is the start of this with the memorial fund” with the potential for a splash park.
She noted there is “great movement” in new splash parks that are low water volume and use.
The video she had created for council (which wouldn’t play during the Zoom meeting due to technical issues) also detailed the park having an outdoor ping-pong table and a table with an outdoor chessboard.
Regardless of the park’s final features, Daneault stressed that the project hinges on the town allocating the use of the parking lot.
“The fundraising would come from the community, it would give us something to work for as we finish 2020 and work into 2021,” she said.
“It will allow parents to give their kids something to work with.”
Daneault said that issues may arise from those who currently use the parking lot but that “there are other alternatives” in the town for parking and that it isn’t as important as “building our downtown into something where people want to stop.
“The community wants to use it, it’s part of our community and we all work at it to create what it is.”
Daneault told council what she was looking for is a commitment to letting half of the parking lot be used for the new park and finding some parking solutions “so that we can actually get started on the project.”
Treasurer-administrator Craig Davidson said that deputy treasurer Sabrina Pandolfo is doing some research “because parking is an issue.”
He explained that in the summertime, the parking lot between the skate park and medical centre is “fairly full” and that in other locations in town the municipality could extend different Land Use Permits that it has. However, he noted that it would come at a cost and Temagami would have to report it.
Temagami Mayor Dan O’Mara thanked Daneault for her presentation and said council would have to have more discussions on potential land for the park and resolving the parking issues. He said more discussions will take place at council’s next meeting on December 10.
Jamie Mountain, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Temiskaming Speaker