In the past, I have used this space to focus on a single topic and I will likely return to that format next month. There are so many projects and seasonal events planned for London in the days and weeks ahead it was impossible to focus on just one.
Hyde Park Santa Claus Parade, Saturday, Nov. 24
The Hyde Park Santa Claus parade is two days away! This year the parade starts at 11 a.m. and runs from the Sherwood Forest Mall along Gainsborough to Hyde Park Road. Tim Hortons is providing thousands of free Timbits at stations along the route and you are invited to drop canned goods at these locations as well. The Hyde Park Business Association is collecting boots to be donated to the Salvation Army — look for the big red boot and the Hyde Park Business Association Float. For more information see the website of the Nor’West Optimists and the Hyde Park Lions Club, the 2012 co-sponsors, at www.hydeparklionsparade.com.
Tree Give Away, Sunday. Nov. 25
Ward 5 Councillor, Joni Baechler, and I will be at Masonville Place at noon to give away white pine saplings as our contribution to the Million Tree Challenge. Earlier this year we were asked to participate in a ward challenge to see who could plant the most number of trees. Instead, we chose to work as a team to plant trees in Wards 5 and 7. We will be near the glass elevator, which is located between Forever 21 and Peoples Jewellers. First come, first served.
It’s been said that the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago … and the second best time is today. To learn more about London’s Million Tree Challenge and to register any tree you have planted within the City, please visit www.milliontrees.ca.
Winter Wonderland – Lighting of the Lights at Victoria Park, Friday, Nov. 30
The highly anticipated Winter Wonderland, held annually at Victoria Park, begins at 6:15 p.m. and the lights will be turned on at 6:50 p.m. The lights will illuminate the park until Jan. 1 from 5:30 – 11 p.m. I recommend viewing the lights from the City Hall Promenade Deck (12th Floor), which offers a spectacular view of the park and the entire city. The Promenade Deck is open daily from 7 – 11 p.m. excluding Mondays, Tuesdays and statutory holidays (free of charge for everyone).
2012/2013 Winter Skating Opportunities, coming soon
With Santa comes the winter skating season. The winter skating schedule for indoor senior skates, parent/tot skates and family skates is posted online. Free public skates are held on Wednesdays. Starting in early December, and weather permitting, there will be free outdoor public skating at Victoria Park and Covent Garden Market. Storybook Gardens will also open its outdoor skating lanes early next month. The family price is $13 and includes other Storybook features. The outdoor public skates are a great way to enjoy fun, inexpensive physical activity with your family and friends. Remember that children five years of age and under must wear CSA approved helmets. Search “winter skating” on the City of London website at www.london.ca for more details about scheduling and special programming.
Medway Valley Heritage Forest Trail Development
Earlier this month there was a Medway Valley ESA North Trail Planning meeting held to provide information and gain additional community input for the evaluation of trail options and selection of the preferred option. Information related to this project is now posted on the city’s website. If you could not make the meeting, but want to comment on the trail options evaluation and identify your preferred option you have until Dec. 7 to do so. This input will be included in the documentation of the evaluation process and will be used in preparation of the Trail Option Selection Report, which will be presented to council for a final decision in the spring of 2013. Please send your comments to the city’s ecologist, Bonnie Bergsma, at email@example.com. To learn more visit www.london.ca, and search for Medway North Trail Master Planning Process. Here you will find related documents and information on how to get involved.
Ward 7 Councillor Matt Brown can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at 519-661-2500, ext. 4597 (city hall) or 226-448-8548 (home office). You can also link to his Facebook and Twitter accounts from www.matthewbrown.ca.