Thursday, 22 October 2015

Breslau can Build a Better Breslau

It is truly incredible how a small 4 acre piece of property can bring people together.  The view above is from the opposite corner of the park then most of my other photos with the community centre off to the left of the image.

There has been so many votes, discussions, meetings, arguments, counter arguments, presentations and media coverage on this project.  If you haven't been following it all feel free to scroll through the posts. Today I would like to introduce Building Breslau.

Building Breslau is a group of Breslau residents that are working to save our park land from being sold by the Township of Woolwich.  We have started a PLEDGE DRIVE to show the Township of Woolwich that Breslau will support volunteer fund raising efforts to build a library and provide amenities for the parks of Breslau IF council decides NOT to sell the park land to the Catholic school board.

This last statement is key, we are concerned that residents will have no desire to donate to our community projects if they feel the township could use those projects as bargaining chips in the future.  I have personally heard residents say this about the fundraising that took place for the current community centre gymnasium.  Approximately $400 000 was raised and now the township is using it as a bargaining chip with the WCDSB.  Consider this for a moment, would the school board be interested in building in this location if residents had not raised that amount of money?  If the community centre gym was never built would a school want to locate there? Residents now feel betrayed by their own generosity.  A long time member of the Breslau community spoke to council on October 20th and asked for his money back.  Whether you think this is a justified reaction or not, it is a real feeling that exists in past donors and something we need to consider moving forward.

Front entrance to Breslau Community Center
Building Breslau is not asking for actual money at this time, just a pledge of your support. Public discussion and setting priorities need to happen before we ask for money. Once monies are collected, they will be held in trust by a 3rd party charity, not the township. All donations will be processed through a registered charity for tax receipt purposes.

Pledges can be spread over a period of up to 5 years if needed, and if you have a specific item you would like to support (library, splash pad, etc), you can specify that on the PLEDGE FORM.
Front entrance garden at Breslau Memorial Park
Please help show your support to save Breslau Memorial Park and show council that people will support fundraising efforts to help build Breslau. For more information, or to make a pledge, please contact

The petition launched at the outset of this project in February has 264 signatures opposing the sale of this park land, demonstrating the opposition to this project.  However, this is the last push.  If council is not convinced that maintaining these 4 acres as parkland is in the best interest of Breslau, we have to decide what to do next.  We must come together to form our community by working together.  I am hoping for some nice weather on Saturday because I have been invited to work on cleaning up the front garden of Breslau Memorial Park.  Hidden in this mess (photo above) are 3 memorials that hold a significant connection to Breslau's history.  I will be meeting others there just after lunch this Saturday to work on this garden.  We can't just say we are a community, we need to be a community.

To reiterate the point, Building Breslau is NOT asking for your donation now (although there is a Lions club in Breslau that would love to talk with you about a Splash Pad).  This is a preliminary pledge to demonstrate to council what is possible when they believe in our community.  To close out this post I will leave you with this:

The name for Breslau Memorial Park was inspired by Private Donald Ralph Burkholder, who was killed in action during WW2 on October 29, 1944, he was 20 years old.  He was a member of the South Saskatchewan Regiment in the Canadian Army. He was the Son of Clarence and Effie May Burkholder of Breslau.


  1. One big problem (amongst many) with this whole process is how Council seems to think that Breslau isn't a part of the Township they represent. And that's not surprising given we don't actually have any representatives from Breslau on Council.

    The idea that Council thinks we should be satisfied with all of the money from the sale coming back into Breslau is ridiculous. We should be getting that money plus a portion of the tax revenue and development charges revenue that the Township collects.

    There's approximately $450,000 identified in the Development Charges Study ( for the Breslau Park and Splashpad. By paying for these projects through the sale of the park - that money will now be spent elsewhere in Woolwich Township. And if there were no plans to spend that money here in the next few years anyway - by paying for the projects through the sale of the park that amount will be removed from future development charge updates and effectively be a half million dollar subsidy to developers.

    So, frankly, I don't plan on signing up to donate more money because I shouldn't have to double pay for basic services - once through taxes that go to the rest of the Township and once through private donations. It's just going to reinforce to Council that they can keep ignoring us.

    The solution to these problems is to ensure that Breslau has representatives on Council that actually represent us. And I hope we remember that come next municipal election.

    1. Thanks for your comment. I would agree that a new ward for Breslau is something that is needed. Breslau is a growing community and will only get larger.