›› Sarah Reid

After nearly a year of reconstructive ­surgery, the final touches in the 1300 block of Grant Street are finally complete!

For most of 2018, the street was blocked off to thru traffic due to road and utility reconstruction. For months on end there were gaping holes in the street, no ­sidewalks, no parking, lots of noise, and dust everywhere. The effects were felt throughout the neighbourhood as traffic was cut off and parking was diverted to adjacent streets. Residents of the block took to watching various bulldozers, jackhammers, and other heavy machinery making their way up and down the block during the day and wildlife scurrying around the sewer pipes at night.

After many months of hard work by our City staff, the infrastructure portion of the project was finally complete. At the request of the block residents, one detail was left to be tended to—landscaping!

The reconstructed street includes two bump outs, creating an opportunity to incorporate some greenery into the streetscape. Residents of the block didn’t want to see grass planted in the bumpouts, and rather saw this as an opportunity to bring some drought-resistant ­pollinators into the neighbourhood.

We secured funding through the City’s Placemaking Grants to purchase drought and deer resistant native plant species for the bumpouts. With the support of ­Fernwood NRG and Michael Hill, the Fernwood ­Neighbourhood Liaison, we were ­successful in our application.

On May 4th, we organized a planting party and invited folks from the block to come out and lend a hand. And many hands there were! Over a dozen people from tiny babies to seniors a neighbour showed up on the sunny Saturday ­morning to share their enthusiasm and creative energy. We even got to celebrate a 70th birthday, with cake!

The resulting bump-out gardens are beautiful, and we invite all of our ­Fernwood neighbours to come and enjoy!