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Old Town residents want DFO site for park

Dorothy Westerman
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Mar 04/05) - All that remains of the fisheries department warehouse in Old Town is a pile of charred rubble.

But already a group of MacDonald Drive residents is brainstorming ideas about how best to utilize the prime waterfront land.

"We saw the demolition start yesterday, so it was an impromptu call last night to get everybody together to discuss the opportunities that are now present," said resident Wayne Guy.

About 20 neighbourhood residents gathered Thursday to discuss potential uses of the prime land.

"Waterfront space is so hard to access and there is so much need, especially with so many tourists," Guy said.

He said a precedent was set in Hay River several years ago where land was donated by DFO for a community market and the group hopes the same will happen with this parcel of land in Old Town.

"We have lots of families here with no places for their kids to go. We don't have any green space that is safe for the kids."

Ideas for the property, which they estimate is about 15,000 square feet, include a kayak/canoe launch, a skating/ski shack, an outdoor performance area, a community garden plot or a fish mongering/weekend public market were but a few identified by the group.

The group now plans to write letters to local businesses, MLAs, the City, Chamber of Commerce and DFO, and outline the possible uses for the land.

"Hopefully our objectives will align and we can work to some solution to accommodate this wonderful opportunity," Guy said.

Matthew Grogono, another neighbourhood resident, said the land is a great opportunity.

"All over the world, waterfront property is commonly used for parks and public usage and Yellowknife could really benefit from this."