Deschênes Residents Association has new Board of Directors
Following the Deschênes Residents Association's (ARD) Annual General Meeting on February 23, the organisation announced their new board of directors.
Former President Howard Powles is stepping down but will remain active in the organisation as a director, along with Jasmin Morin and Richard Ellinger. Maxime Gauld is taking over as President, with Lynne Rodier as Vice-President. Claire Allard is Secretary of ARD, and Jean-Philippe Bernier is Treasurer.
“After 11 years as president of the ARD, I decided to pass the torch at this Annual General Meeting,” said Powles. “I really appreciated the opportunity to work for the neighbourhood. I intend to remain active in the ARD and help with the transition to a new presidency. A big thank-you to the many people who contributed to the activities of the ARD over the years and to the residents of our beautiful neighbourhood.”
In the past year, the ARD has been successful in many projects.
For the centennial celebrations, they were able to create two murals with heritage themes on the Hotel Deschênes. They installed a path of photos and historical texts and, for the second year, installed posters explaining the neighbourhood street names. This was done with the help of grants from the City of Gatineau and the Department of Canadian Heritage. The ARD also organised a draw for 10 American Red Oaks that were planted in the neighbourhood.
Related to the centennial celebrations, the ARD submitted three toponymic requests to the City: “rue Claudette-Burke'' for the end of Vanier Road parallel to the river, which is sometimes called rue Brébeuf, “pont J.P Dupéré” for the wooden bridge on the bike path, and “Point des caryers” for the settlement of oval hickory west of the wooden bridge. Recently, Gatineau confirmed that
“rue Claudette-Burke” was accepted; however, the others were not.
In terms of neighbourhood development, a presentation was given by the architect of a construction project located at 20-22 rue Martel. The construction company's recommended residential building of 14 units and a height of more than five floors did not meet the zoning regulation parameters. The residents of the neighbourhood expressed their disagreement with the size of the building and the architect has committed to modifying the project.
The Deschênes Rapids whitewater sports centre project is still in discussion; however, with a smaller scale than originally planned. ARD states that consultations with the residents of the neighbourhood will be organised if the project progresses toward completion.
For heritage protection, the Alliance Parc Deschênes (APD) has begun organising activities. APD is dedicated to the protection of green space between the Deschênes Rapids and rue Fraser.
At the beginning of 2020, the Quebec Ministry of Transportation once again announced their plan to demolish the remains of the Deschênes Rapids dam. In collaboration with citizens and heritage organisations, the APD expressed their disagreement with the plans. Initiatives are currently in the works to get the area formally recognized as a heritage value site.