Poetry centers and bike rides for seniors: some neighborhood ideas to vote for

The city’s call for Londoners to submit project ideas for specific small-scale projects to improve their neighborhoods has reached its home stretch.

The Neighborhood Decision-Making Initiative allows anyone to pitch an idea to create or build something or start a new program to improve the city, with everyone getting to vote for their favorite ideas.

This year, 230 ideas were submitted by residents, neighborhood associations, student groups and Londoners. Of the ideas submitted by the September 21 submission deadline, 85 listed viable proposals that will be available for voting in the November 6 ballot.

The city has set aside $ 250,000 for projects with a cap of $ 30,000 each, with at least one winner coming from each of the city’s five geographic areas.

“People actually have a say in the allocation of funds, which is quite rare, few municipalities have this opportunity,” said Karen Oldham, the city’s neighborhood development and support manager.

The neighborhood decision-making project has been on hold since 2019 because in early 2020, the city capped non-essential spending during these uncertain first days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Oldham said the number of projects submitted this year suggests Londoners have a pent-up desire to shape their city during all these months of home foreclosure.

“I think because we’ve been kind of confined to our neighborhoods for over a year, people are paying attention to what’s in their local park and how to rebuild the community,” he said. she declared. “I think it created a lot of need and desire for people to come together and celebrate.”

Many of the proposals are what you would expect, including calls for new infrastructure such as park benches, bus shelters, and playground improvements. But others are calling for the creation of new programs, including one for a seed bank.

Here are some examples of projects highlighted:

Free bike tours like these for the elderly, with high school students providing the power, is a popular idea. (City of London)

Ageless cycling in the Old South This project involves taking residents of the Waverley Retirement Residence in the Old South on touring bikes driven by volunteers from South High School. Seniors can take a walk around the neighborhood or visit the shops in Wortley Village. The project aims to connect young and old in a meaningful way. Its funders are asking for $ 7,500 to buy a trishaw bike, essentially an adult-sized tricycle with room for two passengers in the front.

Orange crosswalks in Oxford and Richmond streets This idea here is to paint the four crosswalks in Oxford and Richmond in orange to honor the indigenous peoples. “It will brighten up the intersection, spark conversation and hopefully inspire education,” read the description on the city’s website. This project has a fixed cost of $ 30,000.

Arabic FM Radio This pitch calls for the establishment of a radio station in London with news and other programming to serve the Arabic speaking community of London.

The poetry posts display verses that anyone can read and contemplate in passing. (City of London)

Poles of poetry in the Old South A poetry pole is a wooden or plastic box perched on a pole and planted on properties around the Old South. The box contains one or more copies of a poem, chosen from among the poems and modified regularly. “People can stop and think about their surroundings for a minute, and read stimulating poetic works to expand their minds,” the description says. The estimated cost for this is $ 1,700.

Opening night of the East Lions Community Center Due to construction delays, the community of Argyle has been waiting for the new community center for a long time, which has now passed its original opening date by two years. The project’s funders are organizing a street party in the neighborhood to celebrate its opening – which should take place around Christmas – and to reward the community for their patience. The cost for this is set at $ 5,000.

One proposal calls for a community celebration when the East Lions Community Center opens, which is expected to take place around Christmas. (Andrew Lupton / CBC)

How to vote

On Saturday 6 November, Londoners of all ages will be able to vote for their favorite project.

Oldham said even those under the voting age can vote, making it a good early lesson in civic engagement.

Online voting will be available on this webpage from 12:00 p.m. to 11:59 p.m. on November 6. Polling stations will be available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays at the following locations:

  • City Hall, 300 Dufferin Avenue.
  • South London Community Center, 1119 Jalna Blvd.
  • Stronach Arena, 1221 Sandford Street
  • Hamilton Road Seniors Center, 525 Hamilton Road
  • Medway Arena & Community Center, 119 Sherwood Forest Square.

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