Gathering views on a gracious new gazebo


Hilary Duff

On Saturday, Sept. 26, Action Sandy Hill (ASH) hosted its first in-person event since the COVID-19 pandemic began: a physically-distanced open house in Strathcona Park to gather people’s thoughts about a future gazebo.

With masks and display boards spaced two metres apart, more than 30 community members stopped by the park’s concrete pad to view the gazebo designs and provide feedback on how they might use the space. The proposed gazebo has been designed by Barry Padolsky, an architect and Sandy Hill resident.

Barry’s designs emulate the Victorian-style gazebo that stood in Strathcona Park between 1904 and 1961. While most appreciated the heritage elements of the original gazebo, the majority of community members suggested the structure be equipped with more modern amenities: electricity, lighting, and even a heat source to accommodate the city’s newfound (and necessary) love of outdoor meet-ups.

Community members also envisioned a number of uses for the gazebo, from concerts to tai chi sessions, chess games to a place to seek shelter from the rain or sun.

The next steps for the gazebo project are to continue gathering community feedback through an online survey, and updating the design based on suggested changes and desired uses of the space. A more concrete budget and timeline will be determined from there, with a fundraising campaign expected to be launched sometime in 2021. ASH has already secured partial funding from The Balmoral apartment at 99 Range Rd. and the City of Ottawa through its Capital Projects program.

It’s not too late to have your say on the future gazebo—visit before Friday, October 23 to see the design and complete the survey. The ASH team looks forward to hearing your thoughts!

Lighting, a floor for dancing and exercise programs, and a flagpole—who would manage it and what flags would fly—were some of the topics raised with ASH director Hilary Duff and designer Barry Padolsky. Register your views via ASH’s survey, deadline Oct. 23.

Photo Erin Woods