First (annual?) Garage Sale a success!

The 2015 MHBPNA Yard sale event was a great success!

The weather helped us out a little bit by delaying the onslaught of rain and thunder until after noon when everyone was packing up or taking their "finds" back home. Thanks to everyone who registered, bought items or generally enjoyed the morning. We had over 50 registrations on our map which helped build the excitement of browsing down the street to find great deals!

Some people were able to "wheel away" their treasures: 

We received the following letter from a resident and we really appreciate the thanks and support from our community.

"Congratulations on organizing a very successful garage sale! We are on Louisa street and there were a few houses on our block setting items out. Then the crowds started to arrive and kept coming in hordes throughout the morning. I was surprised that there weren’t a lot of people trying to jump the 8 AM time line as can often happen, and was very pleased to find everyone so polite. I heard nothing but compliments from the buyers and the sellers...all pleased to be able to do one stop shopping. It also brought a number of neighbours out that we had not met before. I do hope this will be an annual event. By the way...good call on the weather. Packing up by 12:30-1:00 after such a nice morning was actually a welcome thing! Three cheers to all of you at MHBPNA. "  

You can never have enough toys or cassettes!

People meeting other people is what the neighbourhood is all about!

If you have anything left over please consider donating to Worth a Second Look (97 Victoria North at Weber) or Thrift on Kent (50 Kent Ave, Kitchener).


May 30, Giant Neighbourhood Garage Sale is a "GO"

Hey neighbours!

The forecast between 8-noon has been consistent for a couple days.  33-50% precipitation.  I'm making the call NOW and saying we are A GO!
All registered houses can be found on this map.
I wish you all the best!  Please give me a shout afterwards and tell me how you did.  I would love to know how it went and any suggestions you may have.
This huge garage sale has been organized by your neighbourhood association.  We are a committee of volunteers who love where we live and are dedicated to our community.  We organize events *for you* throughout the year and work with local government to maintain and improve the Mount Hope Breithaupt Park neighbourhood.  If you haven't already, please keep in touch by reading our blog (http://mhbpna.org) or liking our page on Facebook (http://fb.com/mhbpna).  A strong community relies on good neighbours & communication. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions, event ideas, concerns or need neighbourly support.

Dan Lauckner
Special Events Director ~ Mount Hope Breithaupt Park Neighbourhood Association


Graffiti and Lighting updates for Weber St Construction

The MHBPNA has been an active participant in the Weber Street construction for the past couple of years. We have posted articles on the pedestrian cross walk at Wilhelm we argued for in front of regional council and which is now being installed.

We have also lobbied for the LED lighting under the bridge to continue all the way to the Spur Line trial which will also have LED lights. For the past two and a half years the region and city have said "no". It was planned that the city would keep the original lights even though the overall 5 year plan is to go to LED. However, now that plan has changed and it is entirely because of our relentless lobbying!  (see below)

Graffiti: Two and a half years ago, when we first saw the plans for the Weber St widening, before a shovel was in the ground, we identified graffiti as an issue. It was not hard to understand the region was building a huge potential canvas. We suggested that they grow vines up the noise barrier walls but were met with opposition. We also suggested the grow something on the retaining wall in front of the big brown building close to Louisa and Weber but they paved over that area and prevented anything being planted.  We then suggested concrete planters which were not approved. We are now working with the owner of Xtreme Motors to paint something big on the wall.

We do have some good news. Here is a short update on graffiti and lighting planes from Peter Linn who is a senior transportation project manager with the Region of Waterloo.

"Just an update on the graffiti – the concrete walls at the new bridge will be sandblasted on Monday April 20. The anti-graffiti coating can’t be applied until the first week of May when we can be sure that the temperature will stay above freezing. We may have to sandblast the walls again before then. The supplier for the noise walls has provided color-matched paint for the walls since the walls can’t be sandblasted. The walls will be painted in the next week or so. In addition, we will be planting vines in front of the walls which will eventually climb the walls to discourage further graffiti. Our contractor will be experimenting with a dry-ice blasting method on the steel bridge girders to see how effective it is in removing the graffiti. Apparently this method has worked in several locations in the States.

Also, we have received direction to switch the streetlight bulbs on the existing streetlights on Weber Street between Wellington Street and Wilhelm Street from high pressure sodium to LED. We are currently working with Kitchener Hydro on the technical details of this change-over. This will unify the LED light levels north of Victoria all the way to Wilhelm Street to tie-in with the proposed LED lights on the Spur Line Trail."


Kitchener's Heritage and the Mayfair Hotel

The MHBPNA just received the following email from a concerned resident:

"This Monday evening, at the 7:00 pm council meeting, Councillor Zyg Janecki will propose that the Mayfair demolition be put on hold. This will give the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario a chance to get an architect or engineer, who is an expert in heritage restoration, to offer preliminary expert advice on the feasibility and cost of restoring a heritage building.  The cost to the city will be $300.00.
We talked to Mr. Janecki last evening.  He suggested we get as many people as possible to attend Monday night’s council meeting.  The presence of a large group of citizens interested in seeing heritage buildings saved, may sway enough councillors to support his motion.  He needs the support of at least 8 councillors, or two thirds of the eleven person council, to reverse the decision made on April 23 to remove the heritage protection from the Mayfair.
We feel that it is important to get the opinion of an expert in heritage restoration before the final decision to demolish is made.  If, however, the opinion of the expert is that the building is beyond saving, we will no longer oppose demolition.
To our knowledge, parking in the parking garage below city hall on council night is free.  The Mayfair is the first item, under new business, on the agenda to be dealt with after council hands out some awards 
If you know of anyone else who might be interested in attending, please bring them along."

We believe this is an important opportunity to show our support for our heritage buildings which are disappearing at an alarming rate. For example, on Monday (May 4, 2015) the MHBPNA appeared as a delegation at the meeting of Kitchener Heritage to argue in favour of placing the Krug Furniture building on a list of "heritage buildings of interest". This gives the city 60 days to respond if an application to demolish is submitted (the normal time frame is 30 days). The owners of Krug Furniture opposed this listing and denied their building was a "landmark" which is simply not true. The Heritage committee listed this building but this still has to be passed by Kitchener City council at their next meeting and we will call on your support for that. Eventually we could ask to have it given an actual heritage designation.

The Mayfair hotel did have a heritage designation but because two engineering reports have deemed it structurally unsound, city council voted in favour of removing that status so it can be demolished. In the Saturday Record we can read this article which describes how the adjacent building may be threatened by the Mayfair demolition.

On a recent Jane's Walk, led by our mayor, I learned that the developer for the Mayfair corner is not the same as for the City Centre condos and that the corner is not necessarily tied into the vision of the condos which will have a park and public space feature. The vision the Mayfair developer had will be lost if it is demolished and we risk the loss of an additional historic building as well! The Mayfair hotel is 110 years old, it passed an inspection prior to its sale in 2013. It was only after a flood that the "deficiencies" were found.

MHBPNA believes that we should all make an effort to preserve our history. We are not certain that Councillor Janecki will achieve his goal, but we believe he should be supported. We will also make a note of the other councillors who support the motion and those who do not! Please come out on Monday so we can show our support.

Ted Parkinson