[Edit: See background information on this site at URBSite]
In the last couple of years, many people have observed that the grassed-over lot at the north-east corner of Lyon and Lisgar would make a good place for a community garden. I myself thought so when I was in the area taking photos for the post on 293 Lyon.
To my knowledge, the only other community gardens in the Centretown area are the Sweet Willow Organic Community Garden, the Nanny Goat Hill community garden near the Ottawa Tech High School field, one behind Umi Cafe, and the former BUGS garden at the CCOC's Beaver Barracks site, which is on hiatus during the construction of the new housing there.
The lot is owned by the Catholic school board, and is adjacent to the CCOC building at 455 Lisgar, where CBC Toronto lives (according to the text on this van, at least!).
The lot is fenced off with wooden posts, and an inner row of posts with chains. In between the rows of posts on the Lisgar side is a row of trees. Apparently it was a tough sell to the landowner to plant the trees, but they have taken nicely and are now bearing fruit.
In March, I noticed this ghostly face had been attached to one of the posts.
Since last year, the Centretown Citizens Community Association's Trees & Greenspace Committee has been working with the City of Ottawa, the Catholic School Board, the Just Food community garden network, and the CCOC to make this garden happen. The Committee's chair, Bonnie Mabee, deserves recognition for taking the lead on this, as does the CCOC's Meg McCallum. They worked out an arrangement among the School board, the City, the CCOC, and the garden, to get insurance coverage for the project, which was the biggest obstacle in getting the school board's permission to use the land. The CCOC will provide water to the garden.
This past Wednesday, Bonnie and her team delivered ground barrier material, and a big pile of sand was delivered today, which has already been partially spread around the site. For context, St. Patrick's church at Kent and Nepean is visible in the background of this shot, and the intersection of Lyon and Lisgar is just behind the camera:
The volunteers will be gathering bright and early tomorrow morning to assemble the boxes for the garden's 30 plots. Sorry--they're already all spoken for! Names were taken from the over 100 people on the waiting lists for the other area gardens.
A great congratulations and thanks are due to the many individuals and organizations responsible for making this new garden a reality. Good work, everyone!