New eco-friendly community centre faces parking concerns

Some Ward 35 residents aren’t ready to fully embrace the environmentally friendly plans for the soon-to-open Warden Hilltop Community Centre.

Concerns were raised last Wednesday at a community meeting meeting in the cafeteria of W.A. Porter Collegiate Institute about the number of parking spaces and programming at the new community centre.

Many seniors at the meeting argued for more parking spaces. They said the centre’s 22-space parking lot won’t be enough.

The plan for Warden Hilltop, which is set to open in June in the Warden Woods neighbourhood, is to provide a more eco-friendly environment where people would make use of more cycling and walking.

“It will be based on a hybrid program model,” Counc. Michelle Berardinetti said.

Still, Berardinetti said she is working to solve the parkig problem. She said she’s in talks to secure a piece of a TTC lot just south of the new community centre.

“I’m on the budget committee and I’m going to be fighting to make sure we get our fair share.”

Berardinetti said she’s worked hard to ensure the community centre’s $1-million budget would remain intact.

“The facility and programs will be operated by recreation staff,” she said. “This will ensure our fair share of tax dollars return to our community.

“In addition, groups and individuals will be allowed to permit space. This will provide opportunities for unique and high-quality programs, such as yoga, Pilates, cooking classes and more.”

The city will also talk to the TDSB about an arrangement to use the Porter Collegiate pool, Berardinetti said.