Community News South St. Boniface Residents Association – News and Events

September 13, 2015

Holden Street – A place time remembers and the city has forgotten

Filed under: Resident Stories — Admin @ 3:21 pm

Sept 13, 2015 – SRBVRA

Holden Street – A place time remembers and the city has forgotten


Yesterday we had the extreme pleasure of meeting a lovely local resident named Adele, who has survived 6 strokes yet manages to be very upbeat with a pleasant personality. Her home is located in the area between Holden St and Lagimodière Blvd.

Adele took us for a small tour of the area to show us the over-grown street, that looks more like an open field. When walking through here, if not for the newly-kept homes with noticeable improvements, you might think it was a place that time forgot. With its gravel roads and one side street completely grown over with grass, a dead end sign marks one side of the street. Looking down the other side, we see the manhole covers peeking through the grass.  The street sign is noticeably still in place.  If one looks very carefully, a fire hydrant can be found near the end of this grassy street, but is nearly impossible to spot without help. From a distance, this fire hydrant looks like nothing more then a bush.

When we were shown the fire hydrant, we asked: “If the fire department cannot find this, where would the next closest hook-up for them be?” She pointed out that the next closest hook up would be across Lagimodiere Blvd.  That seemed far from acceptable.

We continued our tour with Adele and she showed us where their park used to be, the swing sets taken down as recently as June of this year. When she asked workers what they were doing, they stated that it was dangerous and that they were replacing them. Well, the swing set is gone and there has been no replacement. She said: “They have taken our park and no one even told us.  Now the kids play in the back lanes.”  Looking around the park you can see remnants of cracked paved surfaces that might have at one time been a court, where kids use to play and gather. Adele spoke fondly of how the park used to look and how children would go there to play, and even ice skate in the winter.  The reply she received from our city representatives was that there was no money for the park. We couldn’t help but wonder if this was to be the fate of Happyland Park as well?

When speaking with Adele she is very discouraged by the city and their representatives.  On hearing her story, it is very easy to understand why, and unfortunately it does not stop with the park.

She explained to us that due to the grassy overgrowth on her street Handi-Transit considers her street a back lane. A few weeks back, she did receive a visit from Matt Allard’s assistant Ryan, a visit prompted by a member of our residents association. Assistance was offered to her but she has yet to see full resolution of this issue. The last she heard on this subject was a phone call to ask if she could wear a shoulder-strap seatbelt. To which she replied “No” due to the surgeries she had and their particular location, there is a risk that a shoulder belt could trigger another stroke. Turtle necks are even too tight for her to manage wearing. She stated that Ryan then asked her if she could wear a lap belt, to which she replied “Yes” and has not heard anything further on this issue.

There is little hope for restoring the park on Holden St., however we do still have the opportunity to fight for Happyland Park and its surrounding community.  We also have the opportunity to do our best to bring awareness to situations like Adele’s.  Hopefully our actions today can have a positive impact on future outcomes. So that the Holden St community does not have even more taken from them, and that those at Marion and Archibald don’t become residents hidden behind cement walls living in a place where time remembers and the city has forgotten.

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An Older Picture of the park on Holden St. & Brussels St. the play structure they use to have.


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