Tuesday, August 9, 2022
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LivingDowntown in the summer

Downtown in the summer

Stephen Brathwaite

In the middle of hoe ramming and drilling and trucks beeping as they back up and loaders cruising the streets and a cloud of dust or several are many not-so-random acts of kindness.  Whether the Cavanagh Construction Company trains their staff well or they just hire nice people, the result is that people are being given earplugs, helped across the street, given directions, greeted in the morning and wished a great day.

Helping hands

I suspect that they know it’s good business and possibly differentiates them from others but they appear to be doing their best to put the best spin on an inconvenient and irritating experience by necessity.

I saw the classic image of an older woman being physically assisted by one of the workers to cross a patch of uneven ground.  I had a young worker run up to me and help put recycling back into a blue box that had fallen over and spilled its contents. Maybe my gray hair helped but he didn’t have to do it.  Hilary Lalonde is a Cavanagh project manager and is ready to help in all sorts of ways.  She takes the call and makes something happen.

Tim Rainville is a site foreman and organized the loader operator to move a very large stone excavated near the Heritage Court up to the Alameda and place it at the entry on Bridge St.  They prepped the spot, put down some gravel, placed the stone under the direction of Ed Lawrence and later came back with the vacuum truck and pressure washed the stone.  We had not expected that. Another day another giant stone showed up. Tim also has agreed to have the heavy loader roll a very large piece of Lanark Blue Marble that is currently behind 65 Mill St. Deborah Arnold is carving it as a  piece of public art destined for the south end of the trail. Much appreciated.

Hilary Lalonde and Taylor Cavanagh have worked with the Puppets Up planning group to make sure the performance tents will fit along the alameda trail area and plan to pull back the construction equipment area to accommodate an extra tent for performers and sponsors etc to relax.

I noticed that the street was put back together enough to be functionally open over the Canada Day weekend.  It made it better.

By themselves maybe these are small things but collectively they make a tough situation more bearable and give an indication of the commitment of this group to making the place better by replacing aged infrastructure and being pretty nice along the way.





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