Happy City Wants You to Help Craft the Future of St. John’s

What should we do with spaces like the Village Mall area? The site of the Old Grace Hospital? Ropewalk Lane? Weigh in.

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St. John’s is changing, yes, and growing. With growth comes population density, and with that comes the physical and visual transformation of a city.

Handled right, that can be a positive thing for an old town like ours, whose citizens think having a neighbourhood cafe is a privilege, not the norm.

Happy City has partnered with the St. John’s Board of Trade and the Canadian Home Builders’ Association to talk with both citizens and the private sector on what this growth will mean for St. John’s.

They’re inviting you to share your thoughts on how you think the city should change in the coming years – including what to do with spaces like the Village Mall area? The intersection of Torbay Road & Newfoundland Drive? The site of the Old Grace Hospital? Ropewalk Lane?

The survey aims to gauge what you want your St. John’s neighbourhood to look like. Do you want a park? A cafe? A school? A bus stop? Yes, but how close to your house?

And what’s important in your neighbourhood: a sense of community? Amenities? Ease of parking? A Backyard? What are your fears about increasing population density in the city?

Share all those thoughts and more on this survey: happycity.ca/density.

The results will be presented at a series of three evenings focused on different parts of the city:

  • East End : Tuesday, December 2nd, 7-9 PM, Wedgewood Park Community Centre
  • West End: Wednesday, December 3rd, 7-9 PM, Cowan Heights United Church
  • Centre City: Thursday, December 4th, 7-9 PM, Wesley United Church

These evenings will feature a panel discussion with leaders from the development community, a presentation of ideas utilized around Canada and the world, and a chance for attendees to draw out their own ideas.

As St. John’s Board of Trade Chair Sharon Horan says, “If we are going to build more dense neighbourhoods, it is important that it is done right, and citizens and businesspeople have a say in how our city looks in the future.”

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  • I haven’t given much thought to anything but Ropewalk Lane where I live right next to it. And I have to say that it’s in hard shape, anyone can see that. I think that the KFC is a step in a better direction. It’s a very old lot and there are a lot of things going on that aren’t that great. Personally a small mall-type thing could be so ideal. Keep the bowling alley, use the old Dominion and the lot where the gas station used to be and that could make for a really cool space. If only someone would put the effort into it Ropewalk Lane could be booming. A mall with a bowling alley inside, or anything with a bowling alley inside. Clean up the messy ugly stores and put something productive in. Something in demand. There are many people in the area and it would not go to waste.

  • Site of old Grace Hospital could be used to lessen the urban-burden of personal vehicular traffic in the downtown area:
    Create a terminus for buses going into downtown and (FREE?) parking for people leaving their vehicles in order to take buses into downtown. This sounds like could become ugly urban blight, but must be developed with the intention to create a well-designed space. For example counter the necessary functional buildings (bus shelters, etc.) with colourful boutique-style 2-3 -storey buildings each housing apartments upstairs and a craft producer/seller of some type at street level. Must have greenery ! Could look lovely ! See Soho, Noho, East Village of olden time, Bleeker Street, San Francisco core, etc., etc. and of course Water St. in St. John’s !! Lots of inspiration out there. Keeping it small. No skyscrapers. More homestyle and family- friendly promenades.

    Name withheld !

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