Maintaining local, walkable amenities in mature neighbourhoods is essential for attracting residents and revitalizing our communities. We must save Eastglen today, and long-term we must have sufficient population to ensure enough residents are using this amenity to protect it from closure or reduced hours.
Residents are continually frustrated by the ongoing threats to close Eastglen Pool. Many people in the community rely on Eastglen for exercise and therapy. Seeing brand new rec centres going up at the outskirts of our city, while ours close or are threatened with closure annually is unsustainable.
The long term sustainable solution for protecting community rec centres like Eastglen Pool is ensuring they have enough people to support them. Generally speaking, Eastglen Pool comes onto the chopping block for two reasons: lack of usage, and cost to operate. We can make several policy decisions to counteract the low usage, including accelerating the development of Exhibition Lands, as well as supporting more gentle density in Highlands, Bellevue, and Montrose. This is not going to be a quick fix, but will get us to a more sustainable population in the long-run while ensuring communities have access to important public amenities.
In the short-term, we must ensure Eastglen is kept open. It’s a lot harder to attract new families if we lose key amenities that people look for when choosing where to live. It's also important to remember that public services, like Eastglen, are not always going to be 'profitable' for the city. The benefit derived from these amenities and public services result in greater health, connectivity, and neighbourliness. They provide important value for our communities.
A major focus of my campaign is supporting the development of walkable, 15-minute communities, where you can live locally and meet your need close to home. Eastglen Pool is a public good that will help us get there. Through the Zoning Bylaw Renewal and District Planning my aim is to allow for a greater diversity of infill that supports more affordable, family friendly housing, as well as seniors housing to enable residents to age in community.
I'm also committed to accelerating the development of Exhibition Lands, which should add thousands of residents in the direct vicinity of Eastglen Pool. We may also be able to enhance usage by working with local institutions such as Concordia University to ensure students in our area have access to more fitness and recreation facilities.
Written by: Ashley Salvador