This week will be good for touristing around the west side. Perhaps you noticed mysterious markings on the walkways along Somerset near the OTrain?
Then work crews drilling holes …
The holes were then plugged with paper to keep them clean …
On Tuesday, all will be revealed, as the first of the giant concrete planters arrive on Somerset.
Under the odd brick inserts along the walkway is a buried irrigation pipe system connected to a water supply at the Plant Rec Complex. Once put in place, pipes will be drawn up through the bottom of the planter, to irrigate the trees and shrubs.
The city rarely plants trees in planters, because they die during droughts and very cold winters. The last time I can recall such planters was the original Bank Street promenade when trees were planted in giant concrete sewer pipe rounds laid into the sidewalk.
It took neighbourhood activists several years of concerted action to push the city into doing this, overcoming incredible bureaucratic hassles. The biggest problem seemed to be not “will it work?” but “we haven’t done this before, oh dear…” It took an imaginative city enginneer + a never give up Councillor + experienced public advisory committee participants, but after much delay, the planters should arrive this week.
By later this summer, the wind and sun-exposed Somerset viaduct will be a greened and treed city street.
Also, on Monday morning listen to Hallie Cotnam on CBO Morning interview some elderly gent about guerilla infrastructure improvements in our fair city.