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"mixed-use high-rise community, with 8 residential towers, over 3,400 new dwelling units, a new park and community centre, and retail scattered throughout.
...Much of the existing programming in the park will be included and expanded upon in the new, larger design.
.....Phase One involves a complete makeover of the park to the south, a new Wallace Emerson Community Centre constructed in the northwest corner, and the first of the residential blocks - Block 5- constructed just east of the community centre. The western portion of the mall will be demolished, but the eastern portion will remain standing and operational to ensure continuous provision of key services - namely the bank, pharmacy, grocery store, and fitness centre.
....Panel members were very impressed with the project. Calling it an "award-winning project in the making", "spectacular", and a "very very strong project conceptually", they openly expressed their excitement and their appreciation for the quality and depth of the work provided.
.....minor comments included potential privacy concerns over having the pool glazed and located at such a prominent location; the lack of dog facilities provided in the park design; and a question regarding whether the social and community aspect of the existing Galleria Mall was fully captured in the design of the community centre, or if a bit more should be done to accommodate the existing residents' social habits. "
Last week I went to an open house about the new community centre the Reimagine Galleria developers want to build to replace the current one.
I was shocked to learn that the proposal doesn't include a full-sized hockey rink. A while back I sent an email to this list expressing a concern that the proposed changes to Wallace wouldn't include a double ice pad. I was assured by Ana Bailao's office that the developer would include an equivalent rink facility in any changes made to the park. The design I saw last week isn't an equivalent facility.
The proposal calls for a skating trail roughly the size of the one at Colonel Samuel Smith Park in Etobicoke. This trail would be larger than the current leisure skating pad at Wallace. Attached to the trail would be an oval patch of ice half the size of the hockey rink that's there now. I was told they reduced the size of the hockey area to make the skating trail larger.
This oval patch, which could be used for hockey, skate lessons or other special activities would be surrounded on three sides by grass bunkers with an opening to the skating trail. The woman I spoke to said they were thinking about adding "dasher boards" around the oval with some sort of movable barrier to close off the area when it was used for hockey.
A small group of people, especially children, might be able to play on a half-size rink but the 15-20 men who show up every night for adult shinny can't. Neither could the youth who play earlier in the evening.
The woman I spoke to said they were thinking of Dufferin, Wallace and Campbell as a unit. She said the Wallace hockey players could always go to Dufferin. That's not practical because adult shinny at Dufferin routinely attracts 30 players. If all the Wallace players show up at Dufferin, you might have fifty or more adult players.
Someone else I spoke to said the players could go to Campbell rink because Campbell is in his words "dead.". I haven't been to Campbell in a while, but I've asked around. It may depend on the night, but people have told me hockey times at Campbell are busy.
As much as I personally like the idea of a large skating trail, I believe the proposed changes to Wallace rink is unfair to the people who play shinny there now. I wrote this email, because the turnout for the open house was small and I want as many as possible to know what is being proposed
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