Chair Lowry, Council, public servants, ladies and gentlemen, and young citizens: My name is Jan Maydan and I live on Ottawa Street in Almonte. I ask that my factual handout with its sources be recorded into the Minutes of this meeting. I will provide a copy to the Council and to media present afterward.
The Mississippi River divides the town of Almonte pretty evenly both geographically and by population. There is the North-East side, containing Don Maynard Park and most of us here – and the South-west side, containing the old downtown and other neighbourhoods. I wonder: do any of our Almonte Council live on the North-East side of Almonte that holds Don Maynard Park?
According to Statistics Canada, the 2011 Census Population Centre of Almonte has 2,211 people on the North-East side and 2,541 people on the South-West side. That’s only about 14% more on the South-West side, which includes Coleman Island. The North-East side is growing fast. Yet the municipal park acreage on the North-East side TOTALS 3.6 acres while the acreage on the South-west side is 83.65 acres. Don Maynard Park is ONE in the 3.6.
I have three sources for the facts that I am presenting:
Statistics Canada: to confirm a more exact breakdown of the population on each side of the Almonte Census Population Centre, we contacted Statistics Canada directly, in Ottawa and Toronto. This is public information. A copy of the Stats Can website for the 2011 Census Population Centre is available; they have online tools as well.
The lists of parks and acreages in Almonte is from the 2013 Mississippi Mills Parks and Recreation Master Plan. There appears to be a mistake in the acreage for Meadowglen.
The map of the Almonte Wellhead Protection areas is as noted in the 2012 Mississippi Mills report titled “Impacts on Communities”.
Follow-up contact information for this presentation:
2011 Census Almonte Population*, Dwellings and Parkland**
|Almonte Divided by the Mississippi River
(Coleman Island in the South-West Side)
|%||Dwellings||Total Park Acreage**
(see next page for source details)
* The 2011 Census Population Centre does not include any new developments such as White Tail Ridge, Mill Run, or River Front Estates, or the Greystone Estates, some of which have parks from developers’ set-asides. Two Census Population Centre dissemination blocks which spanned the river roughly equally, were divided equally. Population growth from development is favouring the North-East for the future.
**The parkland acreage stated is according to the 2013 Mississippi Mills Parks and Recreation Master Plan. The parkland listed above does not include the Lanark Agricultural Fairgrounds (three acres), Munro Meadows (4 acres in Ramsay), the R.W. MacGregor Memorial Ball Park (15.5 acres in Ramsay), or the Civitan field just outside of the South-West side of the river. On the North-East side, it does not include the Martin Street North Park (15.5 acres in Ramsay near Whitetail Ridge), the Almonte Hospital Grounds and helicopter pad, the hydro right-of-way or the new parks for the new developments east of Patterson and Spring Streets. The parks that are included in this table are in the Almonte Census Population Centre and are listed on the next page.
There is an unfair and very large disparity in municipal parkland allocation between the two sides of Almonte: the South-West side has twenty-three times the park acreage of the North-East side (83.65 divided by 3.6). If Don Maynard Park is sold for development, the disparity will be overwhelming: 32 times as much. Even taking Gemmill Park — a central resource of 60.4 acres — out of the equation, the disparity is still large: more than 6 times as much with Don Maynard Park, 9 times without it.
Dense population growth is mostly on the North-East side of the river. We cannot afford to reduce any parkland in the older parts of the North-East side which have so few green areas. Well-planned and responsible municipalities are concerned about preservation of existing parklands, especially in areas where it is so scarce.
Running beneath and beside the schools and park lots is a large groundwater conservation area that provides more than half the town’s water (see graphic next page from Impacts on Communities, Wellhead Protection Areas, the 2012 Dunlop Drought Report). Although vegetation draws some water, parkland provides an important natural filter for rain water.
There are two elementary schools and a new seniors residence nearby using the green space provided by Don Maynard Park and the lot beside it. Don Maynard Park should really be expanded into its neighbouring lot, for fairness. Don’t leave half of Almonte with a fraction of the parkland.
Municipal Parks and Acreages on Each Side of Almonte
|Acres, North-East||Acres, South-West|
|Don Maynard Park||1.0||0|
|James Street Park||0||.4|
|Metcalfe Geoheritage Park||0||2.|
|Wylie Street/New England Park||0||.53|
SOURCE: Mississippi Mills November 2013 Parks and Recreation Master Plan