Noisy Lakeview

At one of our meetings a few months ago, Diana, a resident of this neighbourhood, came to visit us to discuss an issue she has been fighting ever since she moved here in 2006: noise. As someone who lives substantially west of Lewvan Drive, I was surprised. I didn’t know noise in the neighbourhood was at all an issue.  According to Diana, noise from vehicles on Lewvan Drive is so loud that she finds it unbearable to even sit on her deck and enjoy a cup of coffee.

As a person who is skeptical of everything, I was, of course, skeptical. Could vehicular traffic really be that noisy? I have lived in this neighbourhood my entire life, and I have never been bothered by any noise. I looked up the address that Diana gave to us, and found out that she lived quite a distance from Lewvan Drive. Was this “noise problem” really an issue, or was this just a person with oversensitive hearing?

One night, it turned out that a friend who I was visiting lived close to Diana’s street. On my way over, I decided to pop in and hear all of this noisy traffic for myself. I pulled onto her street, shut my car off, and rolled down the windows. Then I sat and listened. To all of the noise. The cars and semis barreling down Lewvan Drive could, indeed, be heard clear as day from where I was sitting on Diana’s street, some 500 meters away. After a few minutes of listening to all of the traffic, it became easy to understand how all of that noise could become bothersome.

So, what to do about it? It turns out that Diana has been lobbying the city for quite sometime to have the problem solved. Diana’s proposition is to install noise abatement along Lewvan Drive (Saskatoon has these, on Circle Drive). A few years ago, she even asked the city to do a noise study, which they agreed to do, and they set aside $155,000  in the budget to cover the costs.

Unfortunately, there have been delays. Diana writes:

“In December 2009, I presented these concerns to the City of Regina during a council meeting. The issue was discussed and the Council proposed a two-year traffic noise monitoring study. In March 2010, funding ($75,000) for the first year of the noise study was approved but deferred to the 2011-12 fiscal. When I contacted Tom O’Connell, City of Regina, in October 2011, he explained that because of higher priority projects, the traffic noise study had been delayed. Mr O’Connell anticipated a call for tenders would be completed soon; he also explained that a decision whether to fund the second year ($80,000) of the study would be made by December 31 2011. To help mitigate this two-year delay, a solution could be having a more intensive noise monitoring study completed by December 2012, using the combined 2-year budget of $155,000.”

So the city promised Diana they would do a two-year noise study, two years ago. But, because it is not deemed a priority issue, it has been delayed. Diana came to see us, and asked if we would write the city expressing our concern that this noise study should be done. In response, we wrote to Councilor Hutchinson and Mayor Fiacco and noted that “One of our roles as a community association is to assist residents who have concerns that they wish to bring to the attention of City Hall. Our association feels that [Diana] is raising a concern that deserves to be investigated. We urge the City to conduct the deferred traffic noise study as quickly as possible and to take noise attention measures deemed appropriate in light of the results of the study. We also ask that Lakeview Community Association be advised of what actions the City is taking in this matter.”

The letter we wrote to both Councillor Hutchinson and Mayor Fiacco was sent in early December. As of yet, we have not heard a reply from either of them. On December 31, Regina was to finalize its budget for the 2012 year, and since we have not heard back from anybody, it cannot be confirmed if the noise study was approved for this year’s budget or not. The city made a promise to do a study, and the promise should be kept. It is not fair for Diana (and other residents, who perhaps are annoyed by the noise) to be strung along year-to-year hoping that other projects won’t take priority over the noise study and cause it to get pushed back yet again. It is also concerning that when addressing concerns to both the city councillor and mayor, nobody responds. Is it not their job to look after concerns of the residents of the city that they represent? Even a response such as “got your letter, I’m looking into it” would have been better than no response at all.

So, as of yet nothing has been done. No noise study. No noise abatements. No response from the city. In the mean time, the Lewvan gets busier and busier, driving residents like Diana crazier and crazier.Clearly, if you are a citizen in Regina and have an issue you want addressed, you’d better have patience, as it seems to take a lot of  time and effort to get something done around here.

Ye Olde Registration Night- Happening Soon

Just a friendly reminder that our registration night is happening soon. If you are thinking of signing up for one of our great programs this year then be sure to show up, as some programs fill up fast. Especially Zumba. You can find further information about our winter programs here. Registration Night details are as follows:


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Lakeview School

7:00-8:00 Pm

Hope to see you there!

What is Our Heritage?

Believe it or not, us folks at the Lakeview Community Association occasionally deal with issues other than planning awesome programs for you and your family to enjoy. Occasionally, people come to see us with community-based issues that they would like resolved, but need assistance resolving. At our last meeting, we were met by a group of concerned citizens who are concerned about the direction the neighbourhood is going.

If you have not noticed, there is a lot of new development that has been happening in Lakeview lately. Taking a drive down Regina, McCallum or Hill Avenues you will notice a handful of new, large homes in places where older, small dwellings once stood. While these new houses look lovely, they raise some issues that are concerning to the citizens whom we met with.

While the older homes in the neighbourhood are set back from the street and have large front and side yards, the new houses seem to take up the majority of the property. This causes the newer homes to stick out from the older ones quite noticeably, making the small houses next door look like the new homes’ garden shed. Another concern raised was the issue of trees. In order to build these large homes, trees need to be cut down. This, it was pointed out, could damage our lovely, tree-lined streets. The most important issue that was raised however, was the style of homes being built.

The houses being built right now also vary greatly in terms of their style. While some are traditional, others are very modern-looking. Both styles have the “newly-built” look that makes it obvious that the house is not original to the neighbourhood. This, the group said, undermines the heritage of our neighbourhood. So, Do we even have “heritage”?  If we do, how do we keep our heritage?

I have no easy answers to that question. One suggestion that was put forward would be to have Lakeview desginated as a heritage neighbourhood. Doing this would be a huge undertaking, and would involve strict building codes when it comes to new home construction and the tearing down of older homes. This is something that I would personally be opposed to. People are choosing to build homes in Lakeview for a reason. The big lots, the convienient location, the arcitechtural freedom and of course the great people are all incentives to build new in Lakeview and I would hate to discourage people from doing so by implementing strict building codes.

It should also be noted that it is not the historical character homes that are being torn down. Rather, it is smaller homes that have been neglected or are in need of major repair  making saving the home simply not worth it. If there were rules and regulations that would prevent these homes from being torn down, they would likely fall into states of disrepair and dampen the image of the neighbourhood. The older homes in Lakeview that do have a unique archetechtural style or are of some important significance are certainly worth being saved and the homes that are designated as heritage properties are already protected by heritage laws.

The heritage of Lakeview is that of uniqueness. When the neighbourhood was first established in the early 20th century, there were no guidelines as to the style of home one good construct. There is a wide variety of archetectural styles amoung the older homes that do not share uniform guidelines, yet somehow fit together with one another. New development does not undermine our heritage, rather, it adds to the uniqueness of the neighbourhood. The wide variety of home styles as well as the mix of new and old construction is part of what makes Lakeview a great place to live.

what do you think of new construction in Lakeview? Leave a comment below!

The Ice is Coming!

I wish I had a river I could skate away on. Or,at least a rectangular piece of ice in the park that my friends and I could use to play hockey . Unfortunately due to unseasonably warm temperatures, the city is behind on the rink flooding schedules. Normally my friends and I would be several weeks into our Friday night hockey league (its not much of a league, its more just a bunch of guys with sticks and skates who really aren’t that great at using them). However, today I recieved good news. The Lakeview rink will open for buisness soon! Yay!

According to Billie-Jo, our wonderful special programs coordinator, the Lakeview rinks will officially be ready for skating Monday. The skate shack will open around this time as well. Billie-Jo has asked that I give some helpful reminders regarding the rink and ice shack. They are as follows:

  • The Ice Shack Will be Supervised.
  • The hours of operation for the ice shack typically will be: 
Weekdays, 6pm till 9pm and Saturdays and Sundays, 2 till 5 pm and then 7 till 9 pm. 
  • The ice shack will not open if the weather is colder than -25 degrees or warmer than +5 degrees. 
Lace up your skates and get out there! 

Have a Community-Based Idea? We’ll Pay You!

Every year, the LCA allocates a certain amount of money for community-based grants. However, much to our dissapointment, these grants often go unused. So every year we end up sitting on a mound (well, maybye not a mound but at the very least a decent-sized pile) of cash that nobody uses!

This is where you come in. The LCA is looking for people with ideas to help benefit our community. An idea can be something as simple as planting a tree, or organizing a class. One of our board members, Lily, is looking into getting a nice picnic table installed in our community gardens on Queen street. This is the perfect example of something simple that takes little effort to organized and benefits the community.

If you have an idea that you would like to carry out, simply read our grant policy, then fill out an application. If the LCA board likes the idea, then we dole out the cash and you get to start your project! Your idea must be implemented within Lakeview and must be availible to all citizens, free of charge. Other then those few restrictions, your options are limitless. Be creative, and send us your idea!


Photo Cred: kfjmiller on flikr 

The Lakeview Community Association- Now With Yoga!

We are pleased to announce that yoga will be offered as an addition to our list of fine programs starting this January.  The programs will be as follows:

Multi-Level Yoga for Seniors

This class is for Seniors with varying Yoga experience and ability.  Poses will be taught with a number of variations and supports, enabling students with balance, joint and mobility challenges to take part at their own pace.  This is a gentle yoga class, focused on building strength, stability and joint integrity.

Multi-Level Yoga for Adults

This class is for Adults with varying Yoga experience and ability.  Poses will be taught with a number of variations, allowing students to work at their own level.  Each week the class focus will change, incorporating standing poses, forward bending, gentle twisting, and restorative postures.

In case you did not know, Yoga originated in India and is a “physical, mental and spiritual discipline” , meant for “the attainment of a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility.” Sounds intense. But, my 40-some year old mother does it, so how hard can it really be? Sign up and see for yourself.

For more information, see the yoga page.

New Schools Needed


In case you were not aware, in June the Lakeview area lost one of its elementary schools.  Athabasca School closed this past June, dispersing the leftover students to Lakeview and Argyle schools.  Athabasca, a school with a low population was one of several other schools that have closed under the Regina Public School Board’s “ten year renewal program.” Unfortunately, the program is not properly titled. Rather, it should be known as the “ten year school closure program.”

Schools in Regina are being closed on a yearly basis. And there are no new schools being built. The student projections for the end of the renewal plan are alarming. It is projected that over thirteen elementary schools in Regina will exceed 400 kids by 2018. The highest projected population is Hawrylak School, where it is estimated some 923 students will be attending school by the year 2018. Two more schools are cited for closure at the end of this school year, and who knows how many more are coming after that.

Lakeview and other neighbourhoods are full of young children that will be attending elementary school in the next few years. Supposedly, our city is growing and yet for some reason schools are closing. Instead of building additional schools to support a growing population, kids are being crammed into schools that are already full, and temporary classrooms (like the trailers you see on construction sites) are being slapped onto the backs of schools as a weak attempt to solve the problem.

As a city, Regina seems to be behind in the times when it comes to debates on school closures. Larger cities such as Edmonton have put a moratorium on school closures for the next few years in order to “explore a number of programs to support schools rather then close them”. In Vancouver, “specialty programs have been introduced in order to give struggling schools the chance to survive.” There has been loads of  research done has to show the benefits of multiple small schools rather then few large schools. So then why is Regina closing the doors of so many small, community schools?

One of the reasons probably has to do with finances. Schools are expensive. Buildings need to be maintained, and that costs money. It is easy to close a school when one looks at all of the money that will be saved. The only thing that seems to be overlooked is what is best for the kids. A local group called RealRenewal has some great ideas on how to shape the future of education in Regina. They envision small schools that kids can walk and bike to.  They see elementary schools as a hub for local community activities, such as adult education and daycare. Imagine having schools that aren’t just schools, but community centers that get used after school hours. Communities would be brought together! Neighbours would get to know each other! The benefits would be enormous.

A city’s education system is its most important service. This is why such a large portion of our taxes is allocated to the school boards. Schools are more important then garbage removal. Schools are more important then street sweeping. Schools are even, dare I say it, more important then building a new stadium for our beloved roughriders. The school board should be looking out for what is best for our community, not what is best for their accounting ledgers.

If you wish to express your concern about the future of Regina’s public schools, feel free email our ward’s school Board Trustee, Dale West


The above views expressed are those of the authour and not necessarily those of the Lakeview Community Association.