Health centre tries to make Centretown park safe
Progress report on Dundonald Park to be released in the fall
Posted: Jul 30, 2012 8:38 AM ET
Last Updated: Jul 30, 2012 2:03 PM ET
A community group in Centretown is trying to make Dundonald Park on Somerset Street West a safer place to be.Mohamed Farah said he has lived in the neighbourhood for two years, and often sees people drinking and doing drugs at Dundonald Park. (CBC)
The park, which has existed for more than 100 years, was rated by Ottawa police as one of the least safe community spaces.
The heritage park sits right across the street from a Beer Store.
The Centretown Community Health Centre is trying to attract more residents into the park with daily activities such as yoga, outdoor movies and community gardening.
"The more people that use the park, the safer you feel," said Elizabeth Chin, who works with the health centre.
Calls to police haven't gone down
Resident Mohamed Farah, who has two children, said a lot of things that happen at the park make him uncomfortable. He and his family have been living in the neighbourhood for two years.
"They're drinking out there, smoking crack and doing bad stuff, which is not good for the children watching them do that," Farah said. "They're drinking in front of the children. So it was really bad and the children were really scared."Suzanne Harding has lived across the street from the park for 26 years. She said it's unrealistic to expect that all bad activities can be eliminated from downtown parks. (CBC)
An Ottawa police officer who patrols the area regularly said the number of calls haven't gone down since the activities entered the park.
Longtime resident Suzanne Harding said that's never going to change.
"It will always happen. We're a downtown city park," Harding said. "The idea that this will never happen is completely unrealistic. I think what it does is, as you bring more people into the park that are not engaged in those activities, we just outnumber them. And so it becomes less noticeable. It doesn't go away, it will never go away; that's not realistic."
A report on the park's progress will be released in the fall.
Latest Ottawa News Headlines
- Senators begin uphill climb in Pittsburgh to save season
- Even Ottawa's captain says the odds are long but the Senators figure to give everyhing they've got against a Pittsburgh team up 3-1 in their Eastern Conference semfinal. (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 7 p.m. ET). more »
- Orleans man dies from stabbing injuries
- An Ottawa man who was stabbed at his home in Orleans has died in hospital, according to his family. more »
- Reopen casino debate, Ottawa councillor urges
- An Ottawa city councillor wants to reopen the casino debate in the city, saying a reshuffling of leadership at the provincial government and the Ontario Lottery Gaming Corporation has changed the debate. more »
- Via Rail train involved in fatal crash in eastern Ontario
- Police say the death of a person hit by a Via Rail train in Alexandria this morning is not considered suspicious. more »
Top News Headlines
- Greg Weston: Senate scandal may be Harper's worst hour
- The widening Senate scandal that the prime minister flippantly tried to dismiss as a 'distraction' just days ago has instead become arguably Stephen Harper's worst hour. more »
- Man ‘lucky to be alive’ after Washington bridge collapse
- A Washington state bridge over a river collapsed last night, dumping two vehicles into the water and sparking a rescue effort by boats and divers who searched the chilly waterway north of Seattle. more »
- Canada ranks 3rd last in paid vacations
- Canada ranks third last among economically advanced countries in the amount of paid vacation time it guarantees its workers, a new U.S. study indicates. more »
- 3D printers give rise to 'desktop manufacturing'
- Customizable objects from plastic dollhouse furniture to medical prosthetics can now be designed and printed out by almost anyone at the press of a button, and is going to lead to an 'explosion of new stuff,' predicts author Chris Anderson. more »
- Orleans man dies from stabbing injuries
- Hutt changed story, said he burned wife accidentally
- The Ottawa Senators love their dogs
- Fire destroys 100-year-old barn near Kemptville, Ont.
- Finding inspiration for the Sens
- Woman pleads for help after daughter kidnapped in Haiti
- Torch relay kicks off Ottawa Race Weekend
- Mike Duffy says he wants to give Canadians 'the whole story'
- Alleged Ford crack video seller not responding to calls