Whose Ward is it anyway?

There is an election coming this fall for city council and the ward boundaries have been re-drawn. Some folks have been asking important questions like "what has changed"? I'm pretty sure that the city only had the new boundaries on their website but I just checked and they now have the old and new ward maps on this page.

In an effort to be of service to all inquiring residents, mhbpna.blogspot.com has done the hard work of combining old and new ward boundaries into one image. You can see exactly how things have changed by clicking on this image below for a larger view. On the left are the OLD boundaries with the current councilors and on the right are the NEW boundaries. Please post any of your observations as a comment. What do you thing this means for democracy?

Breithaupt Block is "in the news"

Readers of this BLOG will be aware that a few weeks back the Neighbourhood Mobilization Alliance hosted Craig Beatty from Perimeter Development who talked about their plans for the renovation of what they are calling the "Breithaupt Block".  There was an article in the BLOG about their plans with "before and after" photos.

Recently The Record caught up to us here at mhbpna.blogspot.com and printed their own story. For those who missed it, the online version is here.

The Record reports "The developer added a slick wrap advertising the space on the face of old factory last week and has already seen significant interest." I rode my bike past the buildings only this afternoon and can report the huge orange wrap brings a kind of edgy sophistication to that corner. It does announce the buildings in a big way.

We wish the developers the best because their plans are optimistic and will renovate a really nice space that has been, for the past few years, noticeable mainly for all the broken windows visible to those passing by.


Moving stories

A friend on Facebook recently asked for recommendations for moving companies because he was moving his family from this area to London (Ontario, not England). His request reminded me of our last couple of moves. Since the last one was to this great neighbourhood I thought I'd write a short entry about them.

We lived in Hamilton for several years and after spending time in the west end, near the university I attended, we bought a house downtown on Wentworth street. It was really cheap and pretty decent. So we decided to hire movers instead of roping in all our friends. I looked through all the ads and listened to horror stories told by friends (one friend had hired a large "reputable" company who arrived several days late with their truck, somewhat inconveniencing his family who had no furniture, dishes etc. in their Ottawa apartment). So we hired "Father and son" movers because it sounded like we'd get that genuine family attention. Ha! When they arrived I asked if they were part of this "family" and the head moving guy said "well, I'm a father, and I'm a son, but I don't have any relationship to the owners".

We'd hired three movers and it was a good thing I was the fourth because they were not exactly professional. They were guys who got hired to move things rather than "movers". They complained about the weight of some things and I had to show them how to get one of our bookcases over the back balcony. The "lead" guy spent all his time taking things apart to fit into their one trailer. I was really surprised they did not have a big 26 foot truck like this one:

I was able to continue carrying boxes when they had their smoke and coffee breaks. So that was a pretty frustrating move and it was only from one end of town to the downtown area!

When we moved to Kitchener we got some good advice from the agent who would rent out our Hamilton house after we left. She said to pack up everything in the basement first and take it as a separate load because we'd never miss it, and that was true. A friend and I moved the stuff in a cube van and it wasn't too hard (and we are still friends on Facebook!). And she said that instead of getting "movers" she knew some guys who needed money and would move things for us. In fact, I found out that "guys who need money" are far better than many so-called "movers"! They didn't complain and were fairly energetic. The most polite and mature member of our 3-man crew had just been released from jail and seemed to be a decent guy.

I rented a 26 foot truck and drove it from Hamilton to Kitchener which was pretty interesting since it took up the entire lane. The final move took about 8 hours (the time frame for which I'd rented the truck) and we are still here after 12 years! I hope we don't have to move again because, as everyone knows, it just gets harder and more complicated.


Lippert Park Picnic has successful 10th annual event

On Saturday July 10th, from noon until three, Lippert Park was filled with neighbours large and small. Actually, the smaller neighbours edged out the larger ones by a two to one ratio. Ken and Helen Lippert have gotten together many volunteers to organize this event ten times now and we all appreciate the effort that goes into it.

There was a fire truck and, as we can see in this photo, a police car as well.

There were many games and prizes for the kids, a karaoke machine with DJ, portable skateboard park, burgers and hot dogs and drinks to purchase. Local city council candidates were there to meet their voters.

Several dozen people attended over the three hours and many put up pins on a map to show where they lived. There were also a few pins from outside the "hood".

As one attendee was heard to say, "I didn't realize there is so much in this park because you can't see a lot from the street". Indeed, there is a great community garden, new play equipment, a tennis court and benches upon which you can sit in the shade.

We appreciate the work everyone involved put into the organization and cleanup afterwards.

Here is a photo from the "candy toss" event. Kind of like Halloween in summer!