To the Mayor, members of Council and Pam Coulter, Director of Community Services.

I write this, enquiring as to why the gate affording access to St. George’s Park has been chained shut for over a week now. This gate is located at the end of 11th. St. E. behind St. George's church. It provides a route through to the steps rising to Victoria Park and also gives access to the C.M.H.A gardens and a labyrinth.

I use the path, entering through a gate in the fence dividing the Strathcona apartment property to that area, after enjoying the peace of the labyrinth, I then continue down 11th street walking to the city via the harbour. I have spoken to many people who are used to taking this route, pedestrians, who live and/or work in the Victoria Park area, who volunteer with the C.M.H.A. folk at the gardens and students going to and from Alexandra and St. Mary’s schools. The younger of them just climb over the fence, one young man holding the fence aside enabling his girlfriend to get to the street after his ascent. Climbing over makes for a dangerous situation, not intended for those, like myself, born in the last century! After our detour we then have to walk on a narrow strip, with no sidewalk, dangerously close to the ever busy 10th street traffic. Arriving at the gate, without notice of the closure, one has to then retrace back to 4th Ave as the alternative.

Inevitably, with the closure continuing, someone will be injured, with legal consequences? I have spoken to Adam Parsons, manager of the Parks Department on three occasions and his reasons given do not seem to justify the action of chaining the gate closed, in my opinion. I would ask that you contact Adam and see if you agree with my assessment of his reasoning.

It appears to me that in his presentation, ‘problems’ are all related to when the games are taking place at the ball diamond there. This being the case then to chain the gate closed for all who want access to and through the park 24/7 is unreasonable. If his presentation is acceptable and we all know that sometimes irrational reasoning can elicit irrational decisions, then surely it could be arranged that the gate be locked for the duration of the game and unlocked afterward.

I have tried to find a schedule of games booked to be played in the park for this season and have so far been unsuccessful, this would provide information as to how often the gate would be closed with a notice attached notifying people of when access is denied.

I appreciate your time in reading this lengthy dissertation. I and many others I have spoken with and contacted would be grateful for attention to resolve this matter as soon as possible.

Respectfully submitted,
Frank Barningham, Owen Sound