Charleswood Neighbourhood Expands
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Back in January of last year I reported that 23 homes were to be built between Laxdal and Bramble in the Charleswood area. Work is well under way and several months back Geraldine Drive was extended to Laxdal Road. Pipes and electric lines were extended under the road and I can attest that they left Laxdal one hell of a mess.

Truth be told Laxdal might one of the worst streets in Charleswood for potholes and sunken areas. Thankfully, it looks like this week they will fix the street end to end. It never lasts long though. It truly is one of the busier streets and probably should actually be paved instead of oiled and gravelled.

There is actual house construction going now along Geraldine, the first in the old Varsity View neighbourhood of Charleswood since Bloomer Crescent finished up around four or five years ago.

This past year there has been a few houses along Laxdal that have been knocked down and started all over again as new home construction. It is happening so much in the neighborhood that is difficult to keep up. Old houses coming down, properties sub-divided and brand new homes going up on Wexford and Elmhurst and elsewhere.

It isn’t just happening in Charleswood. Go down Wellington Crescent lately and so many old home homes are falling to demolition in favour of new that it is astounding. Wellington was more or less unchanged for decades and now you can’t recognize it.

But back to Charleswood. The development along Geraldine started off as 23 homes but there were scrubby forest just north and south of the site as well. It took some negotiation with other owners but developers have down decided to extend the cross street of Dallinger Drive and build an additional 12 houses.

Lots of forest between Bramble Drive and Laxdal Road The developer suggest even more development on north Dallinger but it suggests much more negotiation with Charleswood property owners. By my count, there could be as many as 20 or 30 more houses in the north part of the development at some point.

South of Geraldine, by my count there is room for possibly 12 more houses.

For now it looks like 10 houses on Dallinger and 2 on Laxdal Road. It is hard to see what the configuration of the houses will be at Laxdal but we are seeing newer and modern designs going up where some 1940s and 1950s style homes were. A few of the homes torn down looked to be on their last legs. This is a reflection of old and new Charleswood meeting head on.

Under 90 houses were built on Bloomer Crescent from about 1997 to 2010. It has been a boon to the area and probably one of the reasons for an influx of children to Royal School down the street. An additional 70 or so houses and Royal School might need some portables. Might not be enough the save Chapman School off Roblin Boulevard though.

The scrub forest in question that is being used for the new homes has been used as expansive backyards and workshops for some owners. It wasn’t pristine forest. It was often a dumping ground and place where youth partied. It was filled with nails, discarded sofas and broken glass.

The addition of homes in the area is something desired by many who would like to make the area their place of residence. The city’s tax base improves and the density increases.

The only flaw and I have pointed out before is increased traffic on Laxdal Road. Paving might be the only solution.

This has been a guest editorial by John Dobbin.
To read more from John, visit his blog Observations, Reservations, Conversations