Rouge Reno

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Rouge Park reno: for better or for worse?

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Rouge Park will be undergoing a renovation that will take somewhere between five and 10 years to complete. Although plans are still in the drawing phase, there are plenty of problems that pop into my mind at the thought of expanding this suburban park.

Expanding brings in more visitors and larger crowds, which means having to build more accommodations for the park. These would have to include more parking for vehicles,  as well as more attractions and restaurants, that will amount to more trash from the newcomers. But let’s break down one subject at a time, because each of them brings complications to the expansion plan.

We’ll start off by discussing vehicle parking. Cars are one of the most popular modes of transportation in this city, so they will have to be a major part of the expansion plan.. Toronto is already so insanely congested with cars going in and out because people either work, live, or need to go through the city. Will Rouge Park’s expansion bring in a horde of people to Scarborough that will slowly (but surely) bring car congestion similar to Toronto’s?

Issue number two: attractions. There needs to be some serious brainstorming done to decide what exactly to add to the park. But what else is going to attract people? Bike trails could be in future plans, but off-leash dog parks would also be a great way to bring more people in. Building an area just for kids to play would also be ideal, as it would make the park more family friendly.

Lastly, we need to look at the impact to the park caused by the restaurants and small businesses that will no doubt crop up when the park expands. If I buy a bottle of water or a snack, I don’t want to walk around for half an hour, unable to find a garbage or recycling bin to throw out my trash. I don’t want to see dumps of garbage beside trees or a bush rather than in bins.

So the the issue at hand is: how are we going to keep this place clean?

Someone should ensure that the new crowd of people that will be coming into the park will put their garbage in the right place. This means more garbage and recycling bins should be placed where convenient.The wildlife around the park needs to be conserved, and one way is to put these bins in as many places as possible so people won’t be tempted to throw it on the ground.

The renovation of Rouge Park can be a step in the right direction for years to come. But there has to be serious planning and thinking ahead to ensure it is successful.

This column is also printed in the Scarborough Observer’s Magazine. Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.
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