The Waterfront Master Plan provides a long-term, comprehensive plan for the Town of Collingwood’s waterfront, focusing on the area from Hen and Chickens Island to Sunset Point Park, where the majority of public spaces and mixed-use activity is located.
An opportunity has presented itself to advance a portion of Step One of the Waterfront Master Plan and take advantage of a unique and generous offer that will have this portion completed in September.
Timeline To Date
November 2016 – Council adopts Waterfront Master Plan
June 2017 – Council approves ‘Step One of Phase One’ approach to implementation.
February 2018 – Standing Committee is informed of emerging partnership with Elephant Thoughts for the purpose of capital development, programs, activation, longer term operations, and developing local consultation for the project.
Late February 2018 – meet with United Steel Workers to discuss the completion of the Gathering Circle
On Monday March 26th, Collingwood Council reviewed Staff Report PRC2018-05, prepared by Dean Collver, Director of Parks, Recreation, and Culture and approved a budget envelope of $600,000, from the Waterfront Master Plan Reserve, to accomplish the construction of a Gathering Place feature in Harbourview Park by September of this year.
“This generous offer from the United Steel Workers kind of puts us into fast motion because their convention ends on September 6th and that’s the date we need to be completed by. In order to access their offer which is generous, we need to really move fast.”
Collver said site testing is already underway, saying this process was going to have to take place at some point no matter what the timeline on the project would be.
“The indigenous consultation, design and engineering plan will need to be completed by the end of May. Construction plan will need to be developed and all required permits will need to be in hand by mid-June which leaves us June, July and August to do all of the pre-work, grading, servicing, materials acquisition, concrete form work, and the pre-fabrication of all of the facility parts.”
Collver reassured everyone that the work will be completed by the September 6th deadline.
“We’re asking for the approval of a $600,000 budget envelope to complete the Gathering Circle. This is as compared to the $750,000.00 that was indicated in the Waterfront Master Plan and it would come from the $2 million Waterfront Master Plan reserve.”
Collver said USW members will provide skilled trades and labour to assist with the construction of the project and said he would let them make their own announcement as to what any further financial contribution might be when the time is right.
In June of 2017, Council approved a “Step One of Phase One” approach to implementation of the Town’s Waterfront Master Plan. On February 5th, 2018, the Corporate and Community Services Standing Committee was updated on an emerging partnership with local non-profit, Elephant Thoughts, that would strengthen the Town’s application for the federal Cultural Spaces Fund as well as adding capacity enhancements and, in the longer term, a more sustainable business model for the Step One project, one completed.
Later in February, the Town was approached by a representative of the United Steelworkers Union (USW) to collaborate on a large scale community project in conjunction with their triennial district-wide convention that they will be hosted at Blue Mountain in the fall. The USW is the largest private sector union in North America with more than 225,000 members in Canada and more than 800,000 members continent-wide.
It represents members with occupations ranging from nurses, miners, and taxi drivers, to workers in skilled trades, such as carpenters and electricians. The district representing Ontario also represents eastern Canada to the far shores of Newfoundland and Labrador, approximately 90,000 members in all (not including Quebec).
The district convention occurs every three years with the last one being in Sault Ste Marie in 2015. At that convention, the USW established a new tradition with community work in the area being a planned program of the convention.
It is estimated that nearly $700,000 in value was brought to the community of Sault Ste Marie, through the presence of the USW District Convention and the community works that were accomplished that weekend.
It should be noted that the USW currently represents members at Pilkington Glass here in Collingwood, and was the established union of the Collingwood shipyards until their closure in 1986.
The Gathering Circle concept has been identified as a particularly significant feature of Collingwood’s Waterfront Master Plan as well as the community movement toward increased inclusivity for all. The USW identifies with this objective as well as efforts toward truth and reconciliation with the Indigenous peoples of Canada. As such, their assistance with the development and construction of the Gathering Circle element of the Collingwood Master Plan is an ideal fit.
Activities to Date:
– Meeting with USW to determine project parameters and possibilities. The primary parameter is that the project must be completed by September 6, 2018. Beyond that, the project will be able to access labour and skilled trades within a partnership between the Town and the USW
– Discussion with Brook McIlroy (Waterfront Master Plan architect) to establish feasibility of timeline to September
– Meetings with Elephant Thoughts to establish practicality of consultation with Indigenous resources and how this would affect the application to the Cultural Spaces Fund
– Meeting with USW, Brook McIlroy, Envision Tatham, members of the Indigenous Place Making Council, Elephant Thoughts, and the Town, to discuss and manifest an action plan to accomplish the project by September 6, 2018
– Meeting with the Town’s Purchasing Officer to discuss a very accelerated procurement timeline in order to meet the project objectives within the required time
Collver says the September deadline represents an aggressive undertaking.
“The September 6, 2018 deadline presents a challenge to successful completion of the Gathering Place project. However, the opportunity to access support from the United Steelworkers, labour and skilled trades, presents a significant counterbalancing opportunity.”
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