President’s Message

 

Kevin Narraway
President,
West Rouge Community Association

 

Hello West Rouge neighbours,

 

My name is Kevin Narraway, and I’m the newest president of the West Rouge Community Association (WRCA). I live here in West Rouge with my wife Lindsey, our son Carter, our dog Oakley, and our cat Calliope. We’ve called this community our home for the past eight years, and during that time we’ve come to appreciate all the great things about West Rouge. I’ve been on the Board of Directors for five years, and I’ve spent the past couple of years as one of WRCA’s vice-presidents.

 

The goal of the West Rouge Community Association is to preserve and protect the natural beauty of our community, while ensuring responsible growth and development. WRCA supports many local organizations, events, and teams through sponsorship, and we encourage and foster community partnerships. The best asset we have are the people who live in this community, many of whom volunteer their time helping us achieve our goals.

 

West Rouge is special. We have the amazing privilege to live in a forest on the edge of a city. We live close to nature, including Lake Ontario, Rouge Beach, the Waterfront Trail, and the newly established Rouge National Urban Park. We also have many of the benefits of living in a big city, including transit connections, access to major highways, and great local businesses.

 

I’d like to begin by recognizing WRCA’s outgoing president, Larry Whatmore, for the past three years he served as our president. Larry’s dedication to our community has been, and continues to be substantial. Larry steered WRCA through a period of significant transition, one which saw the retirement of a number of long-serving Board Members. Larry’s steady hand and guidance resulted in a remarkable renewal to the WRCA Board, a Board that now features many new Members who share a passion for keeping our community beautiful, friendly, and safe. Larry will remain on the Board in the role of past-president where his knowledge and guidance will be an asset. Thank you Larry.

 

2017 saw the loss of one of our great community leaders, with the passing of Ron Moeser. Ron was our City Councillor for 26 years, and his advocacy for our community will be missed. Ron’s legacy can be seen and felt in West Rouge. Ron was integral in the creation of the original Rouge Park and played a significant role in the design and development of the Waterfront Trail in Scarborough. Recently, Toronto City Council authorized the creation of a committee to bring forward a proposal to honour Ron, a committee which will be led by our current Councillor, Jim Hart. More information about this important memorial will be shared with community members as it becomes available.

 

2018 will be an important year for West Rouge. The year will feature the kick-off of a couple of important infrastructure projects in our area including the redevelopment of the Rouge Hill GO Station and the widening of Port Union Road. While these projects will be disruptive at times, they are important and necessary investments in our community.

 

Rouge Hill GO Station is slated to be completely redeveloped with construction scheduled to begin later this year. The redevelopment will feature a new larger station building with new retail space, platform widening to accommodate a third track, new shelters, new bike storage, an improved kiss & ride, along with a pavilion to provide community access to the Port Union Waterfront Trail. One of the sacrifices from the redevelopment project is the loss of parking spaces in the main station parking lot. WRCA has petitioned Metrolinx about this issue and will continue to stay involved as this project moves forward.

 

Port Union Road will be widened from Lawrence Avenue to Island Road. This project will see the addition of a second northbound lane to assist with traffic flow, especially when trains arrive at the Rouge Hill GO Station. Furthermore, the project will see installation of complete sidewalks on both sides of the road, bicycle lanes, centre-turn lanes, and a landscaped median between Lawrence Avenue and Clappison Boulevard. Construction is expected to commence later this year.

 

2018 will see the continued growth and enhancement of the Rouge National Urban Park. The park will feature special events throughout the year, including “Rouge After Dark”, a family-friendly after dark event taking place throughout June. On July 1st there is a Canada Day event taking place at the park, wishing our country a happy birthday from Canada’s first national urban park. “Art Day in the Rouge” is taking place on September 29th, and there will be a series of fall walks through the park between October 9th and 14th.

 

WRCA is working with neighbouring Community Associations and City of Toronto Parks, Forestry & Recreation staff to bring the first annual pumpkin parade to our area in 2018. A pumpkin parade is an event where community members are invited to bring their carved pumpkins to a community space, such as a park, for one last show on November 1st. Residents line up their pumpkins for all to admire, and after the parade, pumpkins are disposed of and composted by City of Toronto staff. More information about the pumpkin parade will be shared with the community as soon as it’s available.

 

Lastly, the municipal election will be taking place on October 22nd. West Rouge Community Association will be working with neighbouring Community Associations to host all-candidates meetings in our ward to provide residents with opportunities to get to know the candidates seeking election. On election day, I would encourage all West Rouge residents to get out and vote.

 

All in all, 2018 promises to be an exciting year for our community. I’d like to thank the many volunteers who help to make West Rouge such an amazing place to live, including the WRCA Board of Directors, our Area Coordinators and Street Captains.

 

If you haven’t done so already, please remember to purchase your 2018 West Rouge Community Association Annual Membership at www.westrouge.org/membership. An annual membership costs only $15 per household and the funds raised from membership sales are directly invested in our community to support local organizations, events, and teams.

 

All the best,

 

 

Kevin Narraway
905-243-9676
knarraway@gmail.com