By Jeff Morris
Richmond’s newest park is officially open.
Chris Collins, the Senior Land Development Manager at Cardel Homes, officially cut the ribbon at the new Harold Brown Park on Kirkham Drive in the Cardel Creekside development off Shea Road. Holding the ribbon for the cutting was the Larocque family, one of the first families to move into the Creekside development.
“Building communities is important to us,” Collins said. “It’s not about just building homes. We want to build communities for the families that live in them.”
Collins said part of that connection to the community is having the park named after Harold Brown, a Richmond icon. An official naming ceremony for the park will take place in the spring.
Harold Brown played an integral role in the history of the landmark Richmond Bakery, which operated in the community for more than seven decades. In 1930, Harold Brown went into business as a baker, initially operating on McBean Street, in Richmond. The bakery had no electricity and produced 325 loaves per batch in a brick, wood-fired oven. Bread was delivered to the surrounding countryside using horses loaned by local farmers, across an area 32 kilometres from the bakery, in all directions. Mr. Brown joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1939, and served as a sergeant until his discharge in 1945. He returned to Richmond to open a new bakeshop, which subsequently relocated to Perth Street, where it would remain until it closed in August 2014.
“We are excited about the park opening,” said Sarah Larocque, who attended the park opening and held the ribbon with her husband Steve and their children, Theo and Lucas. “We plan on spending a lot of time here as a family.”
The park opening gave area residents a chance to tour the Cardel Creekside model home, as well as provide input for what they would like to see in Creekside Phase II.
“While our Land and Planning Team was here, we thought it would be great to open up the park, which is ahead of schedule,” said Cardel New Home Consultant Lynne Freitag. “The community itself, with only 51 homes, is very much a community made up of young families. They will be using that park every day, so we just wanted to celebrate that as early as we could.”
Freitag said the Cardel development has been well received by the community as well as the new home buyers.
“I think the community recognizes things like having the houses backing onto greenspace, having a little more breathing room and space and beautiful views to share and not a huge congested community has been positive,” she said.
Freitag said one of the attractions of the community is its proximity to shopping. King’s Your Independent Grocer and other businesses are walking distance from the new homes. The new Subway and an expanded Pet Valu are also right there.
“Shopping is seconds away,” she said. “And as Richmond grows, I’m sure we will attract more businesses. One of the great things about the community is that so many of the businesses are independently owned.”
The homeowners in Creekside have been a blend of families moving to the Ottawa area and choosing Richmond, families moving from Barrhaven, Kanata and other parts of Ottawa who want out of the city and suburban jungle, people already living in Richmond who wanted a new home, and even newcomers to Canada.
“Often a community in any part of the city will list where is the closest grocery store or drug store, but here it’s more about how quickly you’re going to get to know your neighbours and how friendly everyone is,” she said. “Everyone’s on a first name basis very quickly.”
Creekside is, according to Freitag, about half sold out. A big turning point for Cardel was the opening of the model home.
“It’s much easier for everyone to walk through the model home,” she said. “Whenever you’re working out of a trailer and you’re offsite, it’s harder for people to visualize what their home will be like. Now, they can just walk down the street and see what people have already built and they have the benefit of being able to talk to the people who are already living here.”
While new home consultants Freitag and Pat Hovey were showcasing the beautiful Cardel model home, Collins was talking to visitors about Creekside’s next phase. It will be built on the other side of the creek, beyond the flood plain, in the area northwest of the corner of Eagleson Road and Perth Street.
“We are talking to people to find out what they would like to see in the next phase of the community,” he said.
Creekside Phase II is still in the planning stages. Once plans are made, the application process for the community begins with the City of Ottawa. Collins is hoping that shovels will be in the ground in about three years.
Collins said that while there will be no roads directly from Phase I to Phase II, there will be walkways across the creek.
For more information on Cardel’s Creekside community, visit their sales centre on Kirkham Road (off Shea just north of Perth Street) or visit them online at www.cardelhomes.com.
Sarah and Steve Larocque and their children Theo and Lucas assisted as Chris Collins, the Cardel Senior Land Development Manager, cut the ribbon at the new Harold Brown Park.
Jeff Morris photo