A new proposed site location for the H.G.R. Mews Community Centre replacement has been identified.

6 months ago
CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

The new site accommodates multiple recreation offerings all in one location. Check out the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and map on this page and leave your comments and feedback here.


  • rpurchase 7 months ago
    As a frequent user of the Mews Centre I wholeheartedly endorse the proposal for the new location on Blackler Ave. It is so good to see the new facility stay in the area!
  • Ken Noseworthy 7 months ago
    Just so we’re clear before the meetings today. In addition to destroying the present soccer pitch to make room for the new MEWS Center. The new building will be located directly across the pond from an Elementary School; some of who’s students attend the MEWS Center after school program.This without any regard for the fact that small children will be tempted to cross the pond at the first sign that it appears solid. As Councillor Korab has pointed out; there are safety concerns at the present MEWS site. Grown adults who park in the gravel lot, are unwilling to walk 50 ft. to use the crosswalk to cross the street. Yet the city expects 7,8 and 9 year olds to ignore what appears to be a clear, solid path, directly from the school, across the frozen pond, to the new MEWS Center site. The children are expected to reason that it is safer to walk a half mile up the street to cross the top end of the park. Ignoring what appears to be a more direct route. If a grown adult with a drivers license won’t walk 50 ft. to a safer route, why would the city expect a young child with a limited understanding of the risk, and very little in the way of judgement skills and experience, to chose a route that appears twenty or thirty times that distance.In addition, the proposed new playground will wind up directly in the path of the main access to the new MEWS Center site. Small toddlers and young children will be running around both in the playground itself, and in the area surrounding the playground. Yet this is the proposed main entrance / exit to the new MEWS Center parking lot. Most other parks in the city have placed their playgrounds as far from vehicle traffic as possible. Yet this proposal places the new playground directly in the center of a traffic thoroughfare. Separately, this proposal seems to be little more then the Phase Two selloff of the Park. The present skatepark was at one point slated to go where Melville Cres. is presently located. The residents in the area, myself included where told that the skatepark couldn’t be installed there because it was on a flood plain. The land was actually 10 to 15 ft. above the top of the river outflow. Short of flooding to the point where houses on Mundy Pond Rd. would be completely underwater, there was little chance of the skatepark flooding. The skatepark was eventually created at it’s present location. However, the cement had barely dried at the skatepark, when they began pouring foundations for Melville Place. The city made money selling off the land, and continues to make money from the land in the form of residential taxes. So much for it being a floodplain. Now the plan appears to be to move the MEWS Center. Then according to the Engage website, questions and answers section, the plan is to sell off the old building / lot . More money for the city through the sale of the land, then more tax income from taxes. Then, of course, if the MEWS Center is no longer at its present location, there’s really no reason to keep the gravel lot. So that will probably be the next piece of land to go up for sale.With the new MEWS Center in Place at the upper end of the pond, the new building would then become an anchor point for an extension of Conners Ave. . Most people think of Conners Ave. as a dead end, but, in actual fact, the end of Conners Ave. is just a vacant lot that ends at the park boundary. A short extension of Conners Ave. to the new MEWS Center would open up the area between the new building and Melville Place for another small subdivision. More cash for the city, followed by more residential taxes. Why would the city do such a thing ? Oil revenues are down, as a result, new housing starts are down. Less money coming into the city coffers from taxes, plus the fees for the hundred and one permits needed to erect a new house or business. So sell off some city assets to generate money. Think of it as the city’s “ Mundy Pond flea market “. Great deals, cash only.Converting the “ floodplain” skatepark into residential housing was simply Phase One. Today the city is holding consultation sessions at the MEWS Center, supposedly to get public input on this proposal. It is essentially a display of the proposed site. There is no alternate site. There are planners answering individual questions as they are asked on a one-on-one basis. There are no arrangements for area residents to express their concerns to the planners in general.The overall impression is that this has already been decided. The presentation, NOT DISCUSSION, is simply to give the public, and local residents, the illusion that the city is interested in their input; on a matter that has already been decided.
    Hide Replies (2)
    • Admin Commented SiteAdmin1 7 months ago
      Ken, thank you for attending the session last week and for your ongoing feedback regarding the proposed location for the Mews Centre. At each of the sessions last week, the City used a series of visuals including the current proposed location as well as the parking lot location. The Frequently Asked Questions on this page also clearly state that the parking lot is still an option. There was no presentation at either of the sessions, rather an opportunity for people to review the materials and then talk directly with the staff and Council about the project and the proposed location, provide their feedback and ask questions. People were also encouraged to leave written comments and visit this site to read information and provide feedback after the sessions. It has been clearly communicated that no decision on location has been made and that staff will make a recommendation to Council who will have to ultimately decide. It has also been communicated that dialogue with all users of the building and residents in the area will continue throughout the project. Please reach out directly to a staff person listed on the page or Councillor Korab if you have any additional new feedback to provide that is not already reflected here.
      Hide reply (1)
      • Ken Noseworthy 7 months ago
        The vast majority of the presentation was focused on the soccer pitch site. It was clear ( in my opinion ) that there was little, if any, serious consideration of the first site. " here's a poster of the first site, let's move on."When questioned, one of the city reps. informed me that there was no intention of selling off the present MEWS site, they knew because they had written the answer. Yet the Q/A section clearly states that selling off the property is one of the options available to the city. So who do I believe ? The written answer that says one thing, or the person who supposedly wrote it, who says the opposite.When this same individual was asked about the issue of removing the present washroom facilites in the center of the park and moving them into the soccer pitch site, and the fact that softball players and fans would have to travel all the way to the far side of the park to use the washrooms, with the most obvious solution being to simply use the bushes next to the field. The rep. acknowledged that that might in fact present a problem. But, it was not their problem, it would be up to the people in the area to decide what action if any would be required to mitigate the problem. A politically correct way of saying, "yes we realise we are creating a potential problem, too bad it's your problem, not ours."As I pointed out, I was not aware of previous meetings, my neighbour two doors down was unaware, a couple living three doors up was unaware, along with others at the actual recent meeting who hadn't heard about the first meetings.And area kids not being allowed to use the soccer field because it's designated 14 +. What a load of hogwash. Other fields routinely divide the adult fields in half to accomedate two games at once. My own daughter played on several of those fields and my nephew continues to play on them. Just another excuse to deliberatly under utilise the soccer pitch, to justify getting rid of it.I have emailed members of the city reps. Only one responded. I think he is doing the best he can with what he has been given, and I realise he has no control over what has been done in the past. BUT after the skate park turned subdivision episode, residents, myself included, are less then willing to believe any song and dance that is pawned off on them."Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me ."
  • Ken Noseworthy 7 months ago
    I only realized after speaking with the city rep. at the meeting that this proposed location has the potential to flood my basement. The original house that was located here would often have a few inches of water in the unfinished basement whenever the pond level would rise. The present house was rebuilt on the same site on top of several feet of crushed stone ( either 4 or 6 ft deep) However, the city insisted that our footing drainage was not permitted to connect into the storm drain. Instead, our entire back yard was filled with rocks and gravel , and our foundation drainage runs into this, as per the cities instructions. It should be noted that the property two doors down from us ( on the same level ), did the same thing we did, rebuilding on the original site. In their case, they were told they had to connect into the storm drain system. Since my footing drainage, as per the city’s requirements, is essentially a pipe running into our back yard, and from there back to the foundation of my house. If the proposed parking lot for the new MEWS Center should experience flooding, the pipe leading to my foundation footing will probably be the route of least resistance for the water to flow away from the parking lot. To the best of my knowledge, all my surrounding neighbours are tied into the storm drain. The city rep. assures me that if the planners are aware of this, the parking lot will need to be sloped away from Blackler Ave. . If the city adds an acre of blacktop, on top of an area that was originally open pond, and even now continues to be soggy and muddy after a heavy rain; and as a consequence, I end up with flooding in my basement. I will not hesitate to sue the city for damages.
  • Ane C. 7 months ago
    Why not build the new centre on the existing site? Why does it need to be moved?
    Hide reply (1)
    • Admin Commented SiteAdmin1 7 months ago
      Thank you for your question. As noted in the Frequently Asked Questions section of the page, if the building was demolished, users of the facility would be without services and programs for at least two years during construction.
  • Dan Ficken 7 months ago
    I am okay with the new proposed site location. I believe that while it is not as walkable as the old location, if the new facility is connected by the Mundy Pond Trail and if this is promoted then I think the new facility would not seem as far away to users of the current facility. In terms of losing the soccer field and adapting Ayre Field, I am going to suggest something that may sound like a pipe dream and additional work, and it probably won't sit well with the soccer field users at first glance, but I think the entire Ayre complex could be moved across the street to all that vacant land in between the old vacant Booth Memorial and Bishop College to make a brand new soccer facility that would meet everyone's needs in all ways, and then the land that the Ayre fields are on can be converted into a beautiful urban park similar to a small version of Bannerman Park starting with the removal of the chain link fence and continuing with development of the fields into a city-class park. Everybody can have their cake and eat it too. I realize this would be disruptive and would take much additional planning and funding but I feel like it is a way to maximize even more underused space in the city, and to add even more multi-use recreational areas for everybody. I have always felt that Ayre field would make a lovely park and it is a perfect location for one in a neighborhood that badly needs one, provided there is no loss overall of the soccer facilities of course (and in this case a likely gain in the capacity and condition of the soccer fields by moving them across the street and creating a very large and functional urban park complex in this part of town)
  • sdelaney 7 months ago
    I support the move away from the original proposal which was located over the river outlet from Mundy Pond. Simply was not a good idea in this era of climate change and the likelihood of a major rain event.The new location seems a reasonable compromise in terms of keeping the facility in the Mundy Pond area. There is some provincial land in the Froude Avenue area, but perhaps it wasn't big enough to consider?Is there a plan to replace the soccer pitch somewhere in the vicinity - that should be part of this development plan.
    Hide Replies (8)
    • Admin Commented SiteAdmin2 7 months ago
      The soccer fields at Ayre Athletic Grounds will be expanded and improved to include a new field that will replace this one.
      Hide Replies (4)
      • Jack 7 months ago
        The Ayre grounds has 5 small soccer fields for kids plus one larger field that is too small for regulation. Is the plan to eliminate the 5 small fields to get one big field? That does not seem like a good idea. Anyway you cut it , we will be down one soccer field....also a place where play Ultimate frisbee. How much money was spent fixing up this Mundy Pond field a few years ago??
        Hide Replies (3)
        • jjbnl 7 months ago
          totally agree! Taking away one amenity to put in another doesn't get us any further ahead.
        • Admin Commented SiteAdmin2 7 months ago
          Thank you for your question. There is additional space at Ayre Athletic Grounds to accommodate a full size field. Consultation with the local soccer community will take place to help determine the best size and location within the existing area. The needs of Ultimate Frisbee will be taken into consideration.
          Hide reply (1)
          • Jack 7 months ago
            Where is this magical space at Ayre Atheltic grounds? There is a smaller, non-regulation field on the lower part plus the larger field that is divided into 5 kids fields. Are you going to make more ground? Neat trick if you can pull it off. And I would not be optimistic if I were in the Ultimate Frisbee league. Their "interests will be taken into consideration"......so they have not been considered yet.It seems more like the traffic study that will be undertaken once the new facility is open.This whole engagement thing feels like a sham. Decision has been made.....but obviously not well thought out.Sounds like the same crowd who built the fence on Signal Hill.
    • Admin Commented SiteAdmin2 7 months ago
      Thank you for your comments regarding the proposed site location for the H.G.R. Mews Community Centre at Mundy Pond Park. Froude Avenue does not provide enough space for a new building and parking. Mundy Pond Park provides us with the space we require for the development and we own the land in the area.
    • GB 7 months ago
      I believe there is space and a new building could easily have its main floor level 6ft above the flood gate and still be a beautiful addition to the neighborhood. I have actually superimpose the Paul Reynolds Centre into the Pearce/Mundy parking space. It leaves about 4m along each side and the only the rear of the Centre extends over Mundy Pond. The building would clearly not be an exact fit; but the general footprint would work. Parking would need to be in front of 50 Mundy Pond towards St Trereasas Cresent.
    • TinaColbert 7 months ago
      The new proposed site is also a wetland...if we have significant rain, you can barely walk across the field...all edges and surrounding areas stay wet for days!!
  • GB 7 months ago
    I believe placing the MEWs center in this location is a missed opportunity. I always envisioned the replacement having a wheelchair accessible deck around the rear that would overhang Mundy Pond. This deck could be incorporated into the existing trail around the pond. A floating dock would also be an asset to Mundy Pond. I love the outdoor seating area on the rear of the Manuals River Centre and something similar could be designed here. I would place the MEWs center replacement directly across the road from 50 Mundy Pond Road. Upgrade the sidewalks down Mundy Pond to 8ft wide, leave a 4ft green space along the side of the building (Basically push the building close to Mundy Pond Road to improve the streetscape). The City nearly destroyed Mundy Pond years ago. Any where else, a body of water like this would be an asset. Its time to treat it like an asset and build something that encourages everyone to embrace it. Most people choose to walk Bowering Park or Quidi Vidi; Mundy Pond should be also be an option. Build an asset to the city; not just another community centre.
    Hide reply (1)
    • Jack 7 months ago
      Between the site where the new building is going and Mundy Pond is wetland, natural habitat. There won't be any deck overlooking the pond. Might have a nice view of the paradise they paved to make a parking lot
  • Ken Noseworthy 7 months ago
    Another woman I was speaking to at the public meeting raised concerns about safety and personal security at night. The present site is at a main intersection, surrounded by active businesses at night. Sobeys , the food takeouts etc. Are all open and active during the hours the Mews Center is open. The proposed soccer field site, is off the main road, located at a back corner of the park. Even with extra lighting, at night it will be off the beaten path. She had concerns about being in an isolated area, following various evening classes.
    Hide reply (1)
    • GB 7 months ago
      I agree. When I lived in that neighborhood, I always avoided that area of the park. Even with lighting, its far to hidden.
  • Ken Noseworthy 7 months ago
    Yet another lady from the neighbourhood asked why her kids have to travel all over the city to play soccer, when there is a soccer field behind her house, and the city is saying the field is underutilizes According to the city rep at the meeting, the field is only slated for use by 14 yr. plus. And as a result small children aren’t allowed to play there.Many other fields in the city, and in fact, all over the Avalon, commonly divide a full sized field in half . That way four teams of younger children can play at the same time. Instead the field is deliberately kept underutilized as an excuse to get rid of it.
    Hide reply (1)
    • Jack 7 months ago
      The field at Guards Athletic grounds that they want to spend $1,000,000 fixing up is currently divided into 5 smaller fields for young kids. So they are going to get rid of those 5 fields for one ......but we are still down a field. No mention of the use of the field by Ultimate Frisbee.
  • Frankc 7 months ago
    Yes, makes much more sense to locate the centre in the park where parking and amenities already exist. Is there a plan for the old centre once vacated?
    Hide reply (1)
    • Jack 7 months ago
      Doesn't make sense to take away so much park space and risk so much (danger to kids, danger to wetlands and pond). Find another site.
  • walters1953 7 months ago
    The Mews Centre in in need of replacement. The proposed site keeps new complex in current neighborhood which is very important. The new complex and the playgroundanong with walking trail will greatly enhance recreation in this area. Good job .. forward march and nose to the grindstone.
    Hide reply (1)
    • Jack 7 months ago
      Too expensive for this site.........loss of green space, loss of natural habitat, loss of soccer field, unsafe for kids to get to.
  • Mundyponder 7 months ago
    New facility long overdue I agree but proposed location (soccer pitch) I do not agree with. Losing any green space and recreational space is not something we should champion. Parking lot directly across from current site in my opinion is best. Better for children access from school, safer for senior access and overall higher profile, more convenient. Old HGR site could replace existing parking. Let’s keep our green space!
  • Ken Noseworthy 7 months ago
    Removed by moderator.
  • Lois 7 months ago
    It gets me down to have to be so negative. But I don't think the environmental concern when considering how we make a city to live in goes deep enough. Why do we just "use up" one location and rather than figure out how to repair it or re-purpose or re-build in that location? "The building is at the end of its servicable life"? Should we abandon the building and move to another green location and build there and I guess eventually that will be at the end of its life and we then we abandon that and so on. Also I found the points about the soccer feild, the children who use the Mews who would have to walk quite a ways to get there - the weight put on the little streets etc compelling. Maybe the City needs to reconsider before it distrups this area permanently. How about the Booth/Dawson/College area?
    Hide reply (1)
    • Lois 7 months ago
      I guess I kinda went against my point - when I think of those abandoned school building- that's upsetting as well - We have to figure out what to do with the building first and ripping up more green space should not be an option.
  • sam 7 months ago
    I spent most of my childhood on Anthony Ave and am still a frequent visitor as I live nearby. I seem to be in the minority here but I love the proposed new location. The current Mews is a terrible location and a death trap in traffic to cross the road. The park area has been and remains a hangout that I wouldn't dare cross in the evening. As long as the walking trails are not disturbed it would be a fantastic addition and energy boost to the west end. Myself and my family would welcome it. Just my opinion.
  • Sioban 7 months ago
    I agree with comments below, the new proposed location is too close to residential houses, and will eliminate a much used green space, the soccer field.Also, what will happen with increased traffic to and from this new location? Or snow clearing in winter, will they do the pathway around the pond for pedestrians too?? It doesn't seem like any of this was clearly thought out.Why can't we invest the money into retrofitting the current building, and preserving one of the few examples of mid-century modern commercial architecture in St. John's? Surely this would be a more environmentally conscientious thing to do, keep the building but make the necessary renovations, and improve parking access in the lot across the street? Considering there is already a well-developed commercial space on Ropewalk Lane, keeping the Mews centre where it is will likely encourage people to shop nearby afterwards and possibly increase revenue for this area? If it's moved to the opposite side of the pond there is nothing in the immediate area that people could walk to. I think we all know people would still drive to Blackmarsh Dominion or other shops, since they are not as close.I believe the responsible thing to do (economically and environmentally) is to renovate the current building, preserving it's architecture and updating it's facilities inside, while adding better parking across the street. This way residents are happy, and the soccer field remains. Nobody wants another empty abandoned building in this city, let's use what we already have. The solution is so obvious, I'm shocked we are even having this discussion!
    Hide Replies (4)
    • Admin Commented SiteAdmin2 7 months ago
      Thank you for your comments regarding the proposed site location for the H.G.R. Mews Community Centre at Mundy Pond Park. With respect to traffic flow and safety, the entrance to Mundy Pond Park will be widened and a sidewalk and a crosswalk will be installed for ease of access to the park amenities. Upon completion of the project we will monitor traffic flow in the area and determine if a traffic study should be undertaken. If any items of concern arise out of the traffic study, then additional safety precaution measures will be implemented.With respect to snow clearing of the trail in winter, we currently groom the trail periodically over the winter season and will continue to provide this service in the future. With respect to retrofitting the existing building, the building is at the end of its serviceable life. It is a multi-story building that does not provide clear and unencumbered access to the recreation amenities within the building from an accessibility perspective, and inclusion is very important to the City of St. John’s. We encourage you to come to the Public Engagement Session on July 30, 2019 where you can learn more about the proposed location and plans for the area.
      Hide Replies (3)
      • Sioban 7 months ago
        So basically a traffic study will be done after the fact?!? Doesn't that seem a bit backwards?
        Hide Replies (2)
        • Admin Commented SiteAdmin1 7 months ago
          Thank you for your question. We can forecast how traffic volume may be impacted based on preliminary information from the design, but we cannot account for actual data until the building is complete. If this site is selected, we will monitor traffic volume and complete traffic counts upon completion and make necessary adjustments to ensure safety.
          Hide reply (1)
          • TinaColbert 7 months ago
            It’s too late to monitor traffic after a child or adult already injured by a motor vehicle while crossing a street!! It is unreal how backward your reasoning is to do a study after the fact!!
  • HMH 7 months ago
    Wow, another bad decision by the City,why am I not surprised. My first problem is that it seems like the location is taking away some of the natural habitat beside the pond.My second problem is that you say we aren't losing a soccer field because you're going to upgrade Ayre field,but that field is usable as is for minor soccer. To make it big enough for senior leagues you may have to knock down the rink or go out on the road at the other end,as well as having to take out some of the bank on the north side. If you do this,you have still taken a field away from the neighbourhood. A field that is used all daylight hours from spring to fall.Is there a reason that you don't mind taking out a soccer field rather than a softball field?The City finally brought back the Mundy Pond area to life,with the trail,benches etc and the sports fields but now you want to ruin one of our prime green spaces,shame on the staff members who are involved in this decision.My Ward councillor will be hearing from me before it comes to Council!
    Hide Replies (2)
    • jjbnl 7 months ago
      I totally agree with this!Simply moving it to another location- no, thanks.If it's so easy to remove something from the neighborhood, I'd rather see the MEWS center go a further walk away. Don't ruin this lovely area.
    • HMH 7 months ago
      Furthermore,I noticed a For Sale sign on the building and land next to the present Mews Centre location. Is this a feasible option? It has many advantages such as: you won't have to spend big bucks to upgrade Ayre field( although you still should) as the Mundy a Pond field would stay,you wouldn't be taking away green space and kids going from the school to the Mews Centre wouldn't have to cross the street of the frozen pond!
  • Emily Fouchard 7 months ago
    As a new build I would expect that Inclusive Accessibility will be a priority. To ensure that adequate accessibility is implemented; consultation with specific groups be a part of the process. For example, to fully understand the unique visual requirements of the visually impaired; the CNIB should and are able to assist in this matter. I would like to see a building that fully considers what it means to be fully inclusive with Accessibility.
    Hide reply (1)
    • Admin Commented SiteAdmin2 7 months ago
      The City of St. John’s ensures it has appropriate means of engagement with the City’s Inclusion Advisory Committee as it relates to public projects. Specific to large public projects, engagement may take place in various forms including, but not limited to, invitation to public engagement sessions, special meetings of the Inclusion Advisory Committee and individual consultations with the 15 Committee members who have expertise in that subject matter. The Committee received a presentation on the Mews Centre project at their July 2019 meeting by the Project Leads. The Committee was advised that they would be asked for input as the Mews design process unfolds. Also, the Committee was reassured that the feedback that they provided as part of the detailed post-build analysis on the Paul Reynold’s Community Centre would be considered and wherever possible built into the new Mews Centre.Information about the Inclusion Advisory Committee can be found on the City's website here: http://www.stjohns.ca/council-committee/accessibility-inclusion-advisory-committee
  • TinaColbert 7 months ago
    Hi...I am a long time resident of Blackmarsh rd. I will be directly behind the new proposed site for the new building. Here are a list of my concerns for placing this building behind mine and many other residents that live in the are: 1. The traffic is already picked up on on Blackmarsh since the roundabout was put in to access the outer ring...added traffic for the Mews Center will be insane!! And unsafe for kids that will want to cross the street to go to the only convenience store in the area...an accident waiting to happen!! 2) Once the dig up starts, destroying their habitat, all houses in the are will be infested with rodents!! 3) Children’s safety in the winter crossing the pond to get to the building the fastest way they can...you can warn them enough but if little Johnny says come on, we can cross here, kids will follow!! I was warned when I was younger about not crossing the pond, but we always did...I was fortunate enough never to fall through!! But I think that’s just another disaster waiting to happen!!3. The New Canadian Tire playground...great idea!! What’s bad is that all traffic going to the new centre will all have to travel next to it...another disaster waiting to happen!! 4. The added noise, lights, traffic, vandalism in a residential area...unfair!! 5.Destroying a soccer field, that can easily been utilized for more outdoor activities...if properly managed, ...wasted money!! That I’m sure was quite expensive!! These are just a few concerns that I have...I’m sure the City and all the high paying engineers could come up with a better solution!! Thanks
  • jjbnl 7 months ago
    How does moving the soccer field to Adam's Ave keep soccer in the neighborhood? Moving to center city makes no sense! It's a 20 min bus ride from the current location, or a 3KM, 30 minute walk! The soccer field is in constant use. Where is the consultation process for THAT?
    Hide Replies (2)
    • Admin Commented SiteAdmin2 7 months ago
      Thank you for your question.The soccer field is heavily used by players from all over the City including members of St John’s Soccer club, High School soccer teams from the metro area and players in the Ultimate Frisbee league. The field would be relocated to Ayre Athletic Grounds, an established soccer complex located within the city centre. If the site proposed is selected, there will be green space available within the recreational grounds to enjoy playing ball, kicking a soccer ball around or throwing a frisbee.
      Hide reply (1)
      • jjbnl 7 months ago
        But there won't be a soccer field.
  • Ken Noseworthy 7 months ago
    Removed by moderator.
    Hide reply (1)
    • SteveBennett 7 months ago
      I’m not sure where you’re getting your information but I have nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, to do with Rugby here on the East Coast other than being a player.
  • DarbyGirl 7 months ago
    I applaud the City for finally making some movement to replace the Mews Centre. God knows, it was decades overdue. While in the West End, I don't live in the immediate area so it's not fair for me to comment on the traffic issues, impact on residents, etc. but their concerns are very legitimate and I hope the City takes care to address them all. Not just slap down a big new building because they can, and ride roughshod over the residents of the area. Here are my thoughts:1) I understand the City has committed to a replacement centre to be located in the same area, but I always wondered why it couldn't be located in the site of the old high schools like Booth Memorial or Bishops College? They are still in the area, and have big pieces of land to accommodate parking, etc. It just seems to me that jamming a new building in on top of Mundy Pond Road with it's current sports fields, and proposed new playground is going to congest the area really badly. Why not utilize one of the old school sites for a recreation centre? Or does the almighty dollar call the shots, and they are just going to be turned into more condo buildings? Why not work with the school board to see if an arrangement can be made to acquire one of those lots?2) I understand the new Centre is going to be smaller than the new Paul Reynolds Centre (maybe as much as half? can't recall exactly). My question here is: WHY does it have to be so much smaller? WHY can't the residents of the west end have as large a centre as the east end, with as much programming/space/activities? It doesn't seem fair or equitable to me at all. Can it possibly be there is a different perspective on the citizens of the west end? Particularly Mundy Pond? Are they seen as less than deserving merely because the average income is lower than that of the east? And they don't pay as much in property tax as east enders? That's what the optics are saying to me, anyway. And that smacks of discrimination and condescension. Which is DEFINITELY alive and well in this city. I've even heard some long term councillors talk that way, in private settings.There are a lot of people in this end of town who use the facility - not just Mundy Pond residents - and I would think a new facility will be used just as much as PRC, if not more. So why can't it be as large a centre? With the same amount of facilities and activities available?? Seems to me the City is shortchanging a whole section of our population. West Enders deserve just as much as East Enders!
    Hide reply (1)
    • jjbnl 7 months ago
      I totally agree- PRCC has set the bar. They replied to me in another comment that it will be the same size as it is now, and have the same programs/amenities. I'd dearly love to have the same amenities available in the West End. PRCC is on wheels every weekend! No matter where it is put around Mundy Pond, someone is not going to be happy- most! So move it a little further, and make it more accessible.
  • Jack 7 months ago
    Did you not hear us last time? When the city proposed taking some green space last year at the other end of Mundy Pond, there was a lot of opposition to that loss of green space. Do you really think you can move the plan to the far end of the pond, out of site and everything would be ok?You are destroying half of Mundy Pond Park plus a great soccer field. That soccer field is surrounded by wetlands. This makes no sense at all. Worse that building in the flood plain at the other end of the pond.Plus all the kids from St Theresas will have to cross Mundy Pond Rd and in the winter will head straight across the ice on the pond to get to the new building. What about all those kids who go to the Boys and Girls Club in the Mews Centre? Will the new building house the club? The Boys and Girls Club provides a great service to the city, providing programs that are used and needed.You can do better than this.
    Hide reply (1)
    • Admin Commented SiteAdmin2 7 months ago
      Thank you for your question. If the proposed site is selected for the new H.G.R. Mews Community Centre, a new soccer field would be accommodated at the existing Ayre Athletic facility. The new H.G.R Mews Community Centre will continue to partner with the Boys & Girls Club and space will be provided in the new building for them to continue their programs and services.
  • jjbnl 7 months ago
    Has the city considered that the MEWS center is in use by all residents of the West End and not just those located along Mundy Pond? If it cannot stay where it is, and it shouldn't go where it is proposed, find an alternate space in the West End.Mundy Pond does not 'own' it.
    Hide Replies (3)
    • Admin Commented SiteAdmin2 7 months ago
      Thank you for your comment. Council has committed to finding a suitable location in the same neighbourhood as the current Mews Centre.
      Hide Replies (2)
      • jjbnl 7 months ago
        So what are the options that don't involve building on the pond?
        Hide reply (1)
        • Admin Commented SiteAdmin2 7 months ago
          Thank you for your question. The City of St. John’s is seeking feedback and comments on the Mundy Pond Park location as a potential option at two public engagement session today, July 30, 2019. We encourage you to come out and share your concerns and feedback with us at one of the two sessions.
  • Ken Noseworthy 7 months ago
    Jamie Korab . Just a suggestion. If the City wants to keep the MEWS Center in the local area. As per one individual’s comments about catering to “selfish” special interest groups. The city only has one Rugby team. “The Rock”. Their main playing field is located on Crosbie Rd. Has the city considered the Crosbie Rd. Rugby pitch as a possible site for the new MEWS Center ? It’s centrally located.The actual distance from St. Theresa’s to that site may actually be a shade closer then the present soccer field proposal. For those children in the Boys and Girls Club after school programs. There is an access path from the school through to community health at the rear . The only major street to cross is Empire Ave. ( possibly a dedicated crosswalk with push button near the community health exit ).While the danger of crossing a busy street is present at both locations, at least the danger is equal in either direction. (Empire Ave. Vs Mundy Pond Rd. )This would also eliminate the virtually certain danger of young children drowning while trying to short cut across Mundy Pond in winter.This would also eliminate the issue of traffic moving around the newly proposed playground. If there is no MEWS parking lot at the site of the present soccer pitch, the smaller children using the new play equipment don’t have to contend with traffic moving through the area, trying to get from the Parks Main entrance around the playground, to the proposed parking lot. Most of the newer playgrounds in the city are located well to one side of any traffic flow. And Mundy Pond Park gets to remain intact. ( for now ) Unless, of course, the whole idea is to start selling off park property to increase tax revenue. Just a thought.
  • Debbie Ryan 7 months ago
    Accessibility has to to be a conversation that is paramount in the building of this new structure. Given that the national building code is not only out of date, but it also doesn't reflect the needs of individuals living with sight loss there is a lot to discuss. We have learned from past oversights that retrofitting can be excessively expensive and we also know that architects and engineers are not always aware of the concepts associated with visual challenges and will rely on the national building code. Lets put controls in place that truly represent the city's commitment to building and inclusive and accessible municipality. Thank you for the opportunity.
  • Ken Noseworthy 7 months ago
    I only caught a glimpse of the new proposed playground on the news last night. Not looking forward to the construction phase. But this will be a HUGE boost to the neighbourhood.Jamie Korab, this raises yet another issue with the conversion of the soccer pitch into a new site for the MEWS Center. The engage site implies that the Blackler Ave Park entrance will be the main entrance. This means that this wonderful new playground will be located between the main entrance and the MEWS Center parking lot. So there will be almost constant traffic, moving around the periphery of a small children’s playground. Jamie, if you are concerned about the safety of people who are old enough to drive, parking at the present site, then crossing the road. How do you feel about very young children, some probably not old enough to talk, playing and running around, next to the main access to a new MEWS Center parking lot ?If you’re not inclined to accept my opinion on this, might I suggest you contact the Janeway Emergency Dept., and ask their opinion on this. Has nobody on the planning committee considered that CHILDREN will be using these facilities ? At this point, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to hear that the entrance to the proposed MEWS parking lot would be between the climber and the swings. I have emailed the committee members last week asking how much money was spent on creating the present soccer pitch. I haven’t heard back from any of them.
  • jjbnl 7 months ago
    Will relocating the center from the current parking lot to the current proposed location mean increased amenities? Or will it remain a watered down version of PRCC?
    Hide reply (1)
    • Admin Commented SiteAdmin2 7 months ago
      Thank you for your question. The replacement facility will be similar to the current building in size and scope which is approximately 40,000 square feet.
  • jjbnl 7 months ago
    Is the COSJ willing to provide and pay for a crossing guard for children leaving St. Theresa's and traveling to this new location? Will the city then take on the risk and responsibility of children falling through the ice on their way to after school care?
  • kimberlyholloway29 7 months ago
    We wish to put on the record concern over the new proposed location of HGR Mews. It did come as a surprise to us and others in our area, especially when the last reported location was across from the current facility.Here are, in no particular order, our grievances;1) Blackler Ave is currently the busiest street in the entire Province with industrial traffic. Adding more of any kind is senseless.It would be difficult to imagine a busier area with the sheer number of industrial vehicles travelling on Blackler in any given work day. It is an accepted reality of residing on this street, but adding more does not inspire confidence in our properties or quality of life. Certainly, the reply from the City regarding "monitoring traffic flow" after the fact seems typical in its naiveté. Which brings us to the next concern.2) Property values are likely to be decreased in the immediate area of the new development.Currently, the only solace and value residents have in this particular row of homes are the serenity and greenery of the park behind us. Putting a busy city facility there will box us in on all sides (if you will), with a building literally in our back yards- and all the activity it brings. We imagine consistent HVAC noise flowing into our bedrooms at night, along with city vehicles backing up with annoying reverse warnings 7 days a week. Worse still, it will likely be another major deterrent in any future sale of our properties.To be sure, these are real world concerns that affect us financially as well. Is the City of St. John's prepared to address that?3) Soccer pitches and playgrounds are very expensive to build. Mundy Pond Park's are well used on a daily basis. Are there replacements planned, and at what cost? The investment is already made here, why would the City be duplicitous in this regard? Is there really a need to remove green space when there are other land space opportunities?4) The construction of this building from first dig to ribbon cutting will be 2 years at least. Imagine the further interruption of heavy industrial equipment and assembly noise, again literally in our back yards. Rodents as well. Its unconscionable really . We realize that NIMBY is a dreaded reality for development, but it's a worst reality for those who must live with it, and at what cost? We need to talk about this to discuss options. Is it time the city owned some of these properties on this row? Perhaps an alternative location? Kim Holloway and Paul Stride
  • Ken Noseworthy 7 months ago
    I was just reading through the question/ answers section. They read as if the soccer field location has already been decided. Does this mean the meetings and discussions are “just for show ? “ To give the appearance that the city wants the input of the local residents .
  • KimG 7 months ago
    I agree with the concerns of other people that live in the area. My biggest concern with it being at the bottom of Pearce is that it is a one way street. It is already a game of chance to navigate Pearce as it is. There are far too many people speeding up it the wrong way. I’m surprised there haven’t been more accidents and injuries. Not long ago a pedestrian did get hit. It would make that matter worse. It is a safety hazard.
  • Ken Noseworthy 7 months ago
    Just this afternoon I spoke to a friend who lives in the East End. A Seniors Center was added just behind his house. Now in winter, he rarely gets to sleep past 4:00 am. That’s when they start snow clearing on the parking lot. BEEP...BEEP...BEEP right outside his back fence.And as former Janeway Staff, he agrees, small kids will make a beeline, straight across the pond, to get to the new location as quickly as possible. It’s just a matter of time till someone goes through the ice. This raises an interesting question. If a child drowns, and the city can honestly say, “ the planners never thought to consider this possibility. “ How responsible is the city ? If, on the other hand, this possibility of a child’s death has been repeatedly pointed out to the city as a virtual certainty, based on the planning for a public facility. And the city is now aware of the very real danger. Does this make the city responsible ? They can’t deny that they were made aware of the situation.
  • marianfushell 7 months ago
    I do not understand why Council would propose to use valuable green space, a soccer field as a site for the Mews Centre when developed land already exists at the present site. There is enough development or partially developed land already without continuing to tear up our park areas. I think that the developers should design the centre using available space on the current site. I agree with previous comment that the current building be removed before new construction begins. Truly, if we cannot afford the demolition, we cannot afford the new construction.
  • kbromley 7 months ago
    I am happy to see that the city considered the feedback from the last round of consultations, but while I didn't agree with the old location, the new one seems equally as bad. To remove a very heavily used soccer field and open space heavily utilized by local schools, soccer clubs, and summer camp programs, seems against the idea of trying to preserve as much open green space as possible. I also support the other commentators below who note that considerable money was spent to build the soccer field, and there is nothing wrong with it, so getting rid of it seems like a terrible waste. I also believe that children will be tempted to cross the frozen pond in winter to get to their after school programs, even if teachers and parents tell them not to, because that is what children do -- they think they know better, and it can put them in harms way. Personally I'm wondering why we can't just demolish the old building and build the new one in the same location, and pave the current gravel parking lot across the street for parking. Then kids can still get from St. Teresa's to the Mews after school programs without crossing any roads, we aren't removing green space or affecting the flood plain any more than it is now, and there's an actual plan for the old building (instead of magically thinking there will be future money to tear it down later, and in the meantime it remains an abandoned eyesore for a decade). If there's no money to deal with tearing down the old building, we should wait until there's enough before we make the new one anyway. And then when there's enough, just put it on the same spot. Build up, not out, if the footprint is too small, or build into the current small parking lot and leave just a few wheelchair spaces on that side of the road.
  • NickWhite 7 months ago
    The new location is more reasonable but it is still in the floodplain and will eliminate existing outdoor facilities in Mundy Pond Park.
  • Ken Noseworthy 7 months ago
    I went through all the hassle of signing up to your webpage. “Password must be 8 characters or longer, must contain one upper case and one lower case letter, yadda,yadda. Very senior friendly.“WHAT GENDER DO YOU IDENTIFY WITH ? “ What does that have to do with anything related to Mundy Pond ???Finally got into the site and posted my comment. Then went to check for any updates.Now you’re thinking about putting the MEWS Center directly behind my house. You better be planning on putting traffic lights on the fence behind my house. I’ve had as many as 6 teens at a time handing their bikes over the fence so they can cut through my backyard. AND there is still the same issue of safety for the children.I can’t help but think that this is phase two of selling off the park property. The skatepark was originally slated for the area below the Purity Factories, but it was turned down because it was supposedly a flood plain. But the cement hadn’t dried at the present skatepark, when they started pouring foundations for Melville Place.The original plan called for simply swapping the present building and gravel parking lot. Seems pretty straight forward.Now it appears that the present site of the MEWS Center will not be slated for any use. So I guess it’s only a matter of time before that’s sold off to bring in more revenue.And of course, if there’s no MEWS Center at the bottom of the pond, there’s really no need for a parking lot either. So that’s the next logical piece of real estate to be sold off.Before you know it, Mundy Pond Park will likely be sold off in bits and pieces to bring in more business tax revenue.If you think it can’t happen. Think again. At one point I lived near a beautiful city park. It had a river with hundred year old willows growing on the banks, formal flower beds and a large playground. The last time I saw the park in 2006, it was about the size of the Blackmarsh Road roundabout. A tiny duck pond with one willow on the side and a single park bench. Meville Place, The MEWS Center lot, followed by the parking lot, followed by ............ who knows what ?
  • Ken Noseworthy 7 months ago
    To whom it may concern,I have been living on Blackler Ave for over twenty years. I grew up on Blackmarsh Rd. , and went to school at Reid Elementary on Mundy Pond Rd. In the late 50s. I consider this area to be my neighbourhood. We rebuilt on the site of the original house that was located here. The main attraction being the fact that our back yard faces unto the Mundy Pond Park. We assumed at the time, that all of the work and expense that had gone into creating our end of the park, meant that the open space of the park would add to the value of our home. Over the years, development of the park has been a bit haphazard. The present skate park was initially slated to go in the area to the East of Purity Factories. The city decided that the area was a floodplain and was unsuitable for the skatepark. It should be noted that the area that was unsuitable for building a skatepark due to fact that it was a floodplain is now a subdivision full of houses. One can only wonder if the prime consideration here was the floodwaters or the residential tax revenue. It was then decided to locate the skatepark directly behind our house. I pointed out to the planners that any sort of serious injury would make it awkward for paramedics to reach an injured skateboarder. There were also issues with flooding at the time.Eventually the skatepark was relocated to its present site.Now the present plan to relocate the MEWS Center appears to be following this same haphazard method of reasoning. What is the City and/or Parks Planning Dept being paid for ? The original plan was for the MEWS Center and it’s present parking lot to switch locations. Then two months ago, AFTER the consultation meetings, WITHOUT any input from myself and our neighbours, we where informed that the location had been possibly changed to the present soccer field. I have been here since before the soccer field was even started. The amount of time , materials and salaries that went into installing the soccer field must have cost a small fortune. There was heavy equipment operating there for months before the final field was leveled and sodded. I would guess that in excess of $100,000 was spent on preparing the present soccer field. Yet now, when looking for a new site for the MEWS Center, the choices appear to be between digging up an unpaved gravel parking lot, or digging up an expensive sports facility. How is this even an option. Of course, the soccer field didn’t cost any real money, it’s construction was paid for out of tax payer dollars, hardly the same as actual real money. ( I’d be interested to know the actual cost of developing the present soccer pitch ).My kitchen table faces out on the soccer field. Aside from whatever official activities are scheduled there, the field is in use all day, every day. I can look out my window at any hour of the day, on any day, and there is ALWAYS somebody using the field. Frisbee football, kids flying kites, groups of kids kicking a ball around, etc..In spite of whatever diplomas or degrees in planning these planners have, they clearly do not have the common sense God gave a cob of corn. While they have considered the requirements of adults using the facilities, they appear to have missed one of the main uses of the facility. The BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB. One of the reasons the present location works so well, is because small children can get out of school, walk down the sidewalk to the present location, and there is almost no risk to the youngsters attending the after school programs.Locating the Center anywhere across the street, adds the additional risk of having the children cross the Mundy Pond Rd. just prior to peak afternoon traffic. But the planners have clearly not even considered the fact that dozens of small children, will have to travel from St. Theresa’s to the new facility. Five, six, and seven year olds will leave the school in winter, and the first time the pond freezes over, they will look straight across the pond to the new MEWS Center location. Think of this NOT from a city planners perspective, but from the point of view of a small child who sees a solid path from where they are standing, directly to the building they are heading to. It then becomes an issue of not IF, but rather WHEN, someone falls through the ice while crossing the deepest part of Mundy Pond.Older kids will probably convince themselves that they know where the ice is weak, and will just avoid those areas. They will still probably be thinking the same thing, right up to the point where their feet go through the ice. I would ask the same people who think destroying a sports facility is the best course of action. “What do you think would be the best method of retrieving the bodies ? Should they send in police divers (at considerable risk to the police officers of being trapped under the ice ), or would it be more practical to wait for the body to be carried down to the parking lot grate by the current ? “Remember to consider all the people who use this facility. NOW YOU’RE PROPOSING TO PUT IT DIRECTLY BEHIND MY HOUSE ! You better be planning on installing a traffic light on my back fence because in the past I’ve had kids hopping over the back fence by the dozens. AND IT’S STILL GOING TO BE A DEATHTRAP FOR SMALL KIDS TRAVELING FROM ST. THERESA’S TO THE BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB.