Maintenance Is Beginning On Victoria Park, Expected To Take Several Weeks

With the encampment at Victoria Park gone, Peterborough County has announced they have begun planned maintenance in the park.

Barriers have been installed at all entrances to Victoria Park and signs posted at those locations. The park remains closed and compliance with the trespassing notice is required until the rehabilitation plan is completed and the park is re-opened.

Photo by Neil Morton, PTBOCanada

Photo by Neil Morton, PTBOCanada

Clean-Up Tasks Include…

-> Completing a detailed park inspection

-> Collecting garbage and debris

-> Assessing potential safety risks (e.g. sharps)

-> Performing water fountain maintenance

-> Sweeping and cleaning of walkways

-> Top dressing and re-seeding of lawn

-> Repairing benches

-> Cleaning graffiti from park equipment

-> Disinfecting garbage receptacles and other park equipment

-> Completing a tree hazard assessment.

It is expected that this work will take several weeks to complete, and then a notice will go out about when the park will re-open.

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Victoria Park To Close Effective August 27th, Will Re-Open After Encampment Is Gone & Grounds Cleaned Up

The City of Peterborough has announced that Victoria Park will be closed effective Tuesday, August 27 at 9 a.m. (the “Effective Date”).

“Entry into the park is prohibited during the closure,” the City of Peterborough says in a release. “Anyone who is encamped in the park must remove their items and leave the park before the Effective Date. Anyone in the park after the Effective Date is trespassing.”

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Peterborough County, in consultation with the City of Peterborough, decided to close Victoria Park because conditions in the Tent City there have deteriorated to the point where it is not suitable for the shared use of the public.

“There are numerous and continuing failures to comply with the requirements of the Parks and Facilities By-Law that established minimum standards for the shared use of public parks and protection of the natural environment,” according to the release.

Victoria Park will re-open after the encampment is gone and the grounds have been restored.

Outreach workers, wearing yellow t-shirts, are regularly available on site in Victoria Park for people who need assistance. Social Services can be reached at 705-748-8830 or in-person at 178 Charlotte St.

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A Tent City Is Emerging In Peterborough At Victoria Park

With the closure of the Warming Room until they can find a new home, a Tent City is emerging at Victoria Park where the homeless are living.

There have a been a couple tents there since May, but now about 20 tents have popped up in recent days since the Warming Room—where the homeless could stay overnight—announced its lease has expired with Murray Street Baptist Church, which could no longer house them until the Fall as they are going through renovations.

Photo by Neil Morton, PTBOCanada

Photo by Neil Morton, PTBOCanada

“City staff and community partners have been working hard to help those affected by the closure of the Warming Room,” says Mayor Therrien in a media release. “As of July 1st, there are 20 beds available to those are living rough.”

Photo by Neil Morton, PTBOCanada

Photo by Neil Morton, PTBOCanada

Mayor Therrien adds that outreach works are actively reaching out to make connections between people staying in tents and available housing or shelter accommodations—a process that takes time.

Photo by Neil Morton, PTBOCanada

Photo by Neil Morton, PTBOCanada

In the meantime, with the city in a heat wave right now, there is growing concern for the health and welfare for these people living in tents.

As such, a free water station has been set up for the remainder of the week in Mayor Therrien’s parking space at City Hall parking lot near Victoria Park. There is also a portable washroom located in the park, and a supply tent where people can drop off donations.

The water station set up at City Hall parking lot (photo courtesy City of Peterborough)

The water station set up at City Hall parking lot (photo courtesy City of Peterborough)

As well, many local organizations such as PARN are stepping up to help out.

As are concerned individuals in the community, such as Laurie English, who dropped off a bunch of supplies such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, body wash, disposable razors, juice boxes and individually wrapped crackers to the supply tent at Victoria Park on Thursday (July 4th).

”My donation doesn’t scratch the surface of the need, but when you are blessed as we are it’s the right thing to do,” English tells PTBOCanada. Indeed, every donation and kind gesture adds up to making a great impact.”

Photo courtesy Niki Allday

Photo courtesy Niki Allday

If you are donating to the supply tent, people also require baby wipes, bug spray, snacks, toiletries, garbage and recyling bags, tampons/pads, sleeping bags/tarps, T-shirts (men’s L/XL) and five people need tents.

Anyone who needs emergency shelter is asked to visit Peterborough Social Services at 178 Charlotte St. or contact Social Services by phone at 705.748.8830 between 8:15 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday, or at 705.927.0096 overnight, on weekends and on holidays.

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Bring Your Best Yoga Moves To Yoga in the Park Tonight At Victoria Park

[Contributed by PtboCanada's Evan Holt]

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