On a recent trip to a parkette near her Norris Crescent home, Danielle Monk said, she had the misfortune to step on a discarded needle.
The incident happened while she was with her nearly two-year-old son.
"I'm still unnerved by the whole experience," Monk told CBC News. "We haven't even really come to the park very much at all since that happened."
Monk said that she and her husband moved to the west-end neighbourhood three years ago, seeing the potential to raise their son in a peaceful place near the lake.
But Monk said they soon learned that parts of the neighbourhood have a very different character at night.
"The thing is that in the daytime, it looks like this perfect place to raise a family. And then at night, something switches," she said.
Local councillor sees problem
Geraldine Lance has lived in the area for 44 years, including 34 years on Norris Crescent.
Many great people live in the neighbourhood, she said.
But some sex-trade workers and drug dealers have started hanging around the area in greater numbers in recent months, she said.
Coun. Mark Grimes said he has been getting calls about these issues in recent weeks and acknowledged they are part of an ongoing problem in certain parkettes.
He said police are working to address the issues residents are raising, though he still wants the public to call in any problems they see.
"You have to work with the police. You have to report it," Grimes said.