The Provincial Capital Commission has indicated that we are on step 23 of a 38-stage process. We look forward to working with our development partner and the Provincial Capital Commission to get back on track to work on a facility that will make an amazing difference for our clients and community, and get back to a place that has been our home for more than 60 years.
CNIB will work with Brandt to develop a tenancy plan that will be presented to the Provincial Capital Commission.
The proposed approach to building tenancy would be a significant benefit to our clients with sight loss – bringing together medical, charitable and community services and other supporting amenities in one central, accessible location. We believe this can be accomplished in such a way as to uphold the values of the park and benefit the community.
The tenancy plan may include commercial tenants. These could include a coffee shop, retail or some office space – these types of tenants already exist in the park. The tenancy plan will be presented to the Provincial Capital Commission.
The Provincial Capital Commission has directed CNIB to hold two more public engagement sessions and we will do that, building on the one we held in August 2016. In fact, we had begun making arrangements to hold sessions when those plans were put on hold, until we can assess how best to hold them in light of the required health precautions around COVID-19.
It is important to note that the concept of the project itself was approved on November 29, 2016 by the Wascana Centre Authority. That approval gave a green light to the redevelopment in the park, the general parameters of Brandt’s involvement and the size of the building. What is left to finalize, and discuss in public engagement, is the final design and building elements.
CNIB will provide a report back to the Provincial Capital Commission on how many engagements were completed, the number of people in attendance, the feedback received and whether or not elements from the feedback were incorporated into any design or building element changes.
CNIB held a public consultation on August 24, 2016 in alignment with the Wascana Centre Authority process. We advertised in the Leader-Post on two occasions, posted it on social media and our website and it was also shared on the Wascana Centre Authority pages. Feedback from the consultation was compiled and provided to the Wascana Centre Authority.
This site redevelopment project will ensure CNIB can have an even stronger impact in years to come – focusing our limited resources on delivering more services directly to people with sight loss in our community.
The ability to operate rent-free in our optimal location has significant value to our organization. It will allow us to reinvest funds previously dedicated to rent, property management and other associated expenses towards delivering more services directly to people with sight loss in our community.
Candidly, the impact of the delay has been costly – not just in terms of dollars, but in terms of our ability to meet our community's needs. CNIB is currently operating out of leased premises, and will be for far longer than originally expected. We want to take the funds that are currently going towards rent, property management and other associated expenses and reinvest them towards delivering more services directly to people with sight loss in Regina. By giving us the ability to operate rent-free in our optimal location, we'll be able to do just that. It's one of the reasons we're so eager to get down to work on this project again.
For more than 60 years, Wascana Centre has provided an ideal location for CNIB to serve our clients and the Regina community. Centrally located and transit adjacent, the park offers a safe environment for people with sight loss to build their independence. Beyond our new facility specifically, we believe we can play a leadership role in helping transform Wascana Centre into Canada's most accessible park – so that people of all abilities can experience and enjoy this urban treasure, as is their civic right. We're already working with the Provincial Capital Commission and a number of park tenants and businesses to enhance the accessibility of the park and its amenities for people with sight loss, and we're excited to see this work grow. If you would like to hear more about our Wascana Park Accessibility Project, click here for the Media Release sent out on May 5, 2020 about the project.
Our efforts began in 2013 with outreach for a capital campaign to redevelop the site for our use – a campaign that ultimately failed to secure the necessary community support. It was through this outreach that we first connected with Brandt Developments, in 2014, as a potential donor. From that conversation, they expressed an interest in partnering on a solution for the site.
CNIB's redevelopment in the park is subject to the Provincial Capital Commission's Board Approval and review by the Architectural Review Committee.
CNIB will occupy approximately 4200 sq ft of space and will have preferential access to a multipurpose space for programming. The proposed building is approximately 77,000 sq ft.
As the design is still under review, the final height and size of the building is to be determined. However, conceptual designs identify the building remains below the current tree canopy and complies with the requirements set out by the PCC.
The current renderings of the building are merely artistic representations of what the building will look like. While they are as accurate as they can be at this time, we understand that there are limitations to the level of detail that can be represented in a digital model.
We have been utilizing numerous resources to ensure we are considering bird-friendly design principles as we progress this project. This will include the incorporation of elements such as roof overhangs and vertical louvering to create ample shadowing, while the use of more transparent glass and interior blinds will also help to mitigate risks posed to birds.
From the onset, preservation has been a key aspect of this project. Throughout the development, our teams have remained committed to maximizing the conservation of green space that currently exists.
Any and all trees that can safely remain in their current location will stay and any that need to be relocated will be transplanted or replaced onsite. It is our intention to both maintain and enhance the greenspace by the time the project is complete.
At every stage of the process, we have followed the requirements and procedures set out by the relevant authorities, and will continue to do so.
Our project is acknowledged in the Wascana Centre 2016 Master Plan as having a conforming use – and our mission, as a charity, aligns strongly to the vision for the park. Our mission is to educate and engage people with sight loss in recreation, arts and culture and more – to enable their participation and inclusion in all dimensions of community life. We also think we can play an important role as a member of the Wascana Park community, in enhancing the accessibility of this urban treasure so that people of all abilities can experience and enjoy what it has to offer.
For more than 60 years, Wascana Park has provided an ideal location for CNIB to serve our clients and the Regina community. It has been a haven for our organization and for our clients in building their confidence and independence. We believe this project can be delivered in such a way as to uphold the values of the park and benefit the entire community.
CNIB will do our best to update our Frequently Asked Question section with answers to the most common questions asked by the public. If you have a question specific to the redevelopment project, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. If your question is regarding the review or approval process for this project, please direct to the Provincial Capital Commission.