City replacing playgrounds with 32 parks

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When Windsor emerges from the pandemic, great outdoor spaces for children and families will be more important than ever, Mayor Drew Dilkens said on Monday as he announced plans to replace 32 playgrounds across the city.

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“Every ward will have work and most residents will be within walking distance of some community space, which will see construction activity next year,” Dilkens said, referring to the total of $26 million in park enhancements to come next year. This includes $9.4 million for new playgrounds, each costing an average of $300,000. These are replacing playgrounds that are nearing 30 years of age, which are finding it difficult to maintain and modern playgrounds lack the necessary access facilities.

The new ones will be installed in 2022 and 2023. The request for proposal process, inviting companies to bid for the work, has just been initiated.

“We’re excited about these investments, I think the community is going to love them,” the mayor told a news conference at Cora Greenwood Park with the weather and rusty playground used as a backdrop. said.

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Replacement of playground equipment is seen during a press event by Mayor Drew Dilkens at the expense of the park's infrastructure at Cora Greenwood Park on Monday, November 29, 2021.
Replacement of playground equipment is seen during a press event by Mayor Drew Dilkens at the expense of the park’s infrastructure at Cora Greenwood Park on Monday, November 29, 2021. Photo by Dax Melmer ,windsor star

“The playground behind us has been heavily used by the community,” said the parks senior manager, James Chacko. But it was established in the late 1990s and has reached the end of its lifespan. The new playground will be modern and fully accessible with rubber surfacing. Like most playground projects, the new one at Cora Greenwood will be built over a short distance so that the old one can still be used by children during installation.

Jeevan Gill, who represents the area around Ward 7 Kora Greenwood Park, said his ward and the entire city is experiencing an “unprecedented investment” by the city in outdoor spaces. “The pandemic has proved the importance that families place on outdoor facilities and free activities,” he said.

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The proposed 2022 budget includes spending $170 million on enhancements to the parks over the next decade.

The 32 new playgrounds are divided up: the cost of each of the three larger playgrounds is $400,000:

  • Willistad, Gignac and Fred Thomas Park;
  • 19 mediums costing $315,000 in Mackie, Bradley, Matthew Rodzick, Lake Laguna, Patrick Maguire, Kenilworth, Maple Leaf, Kids Alliance, Garwood, Homesite, Mayfair, Robert, Thurston, Coletta, St. Paul’s Grove, Ganachio/Little River Corridor Playgrounds, Stillmeadow, Seneca and Cora Greenwood Parks;
  • and Avondale Plott, Brookview, Aboriginal, Alton C. 10 smaller playgrounds costing $225,000 in Parker, Devonshire, Dynasty, Cominar, Francois, Shawnee and South Rendezvous Parks.

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Mayor Drew Dilkens provides an update on the parks infrastructure spending at Cora Greenwood Park on Monday, November 29, 2021.
Mayor Drew Dilkens provides an update on the parks infrastructure spending at Cora Greenwood Park on Monday, November 29, 2021. Photo by Dax Melmer ,windsor star

In the case of four to six playgrounds in smaller parks with space limitations, new playgrounds need to be located where the existing playgrounds are, with those existing playgrounds needing to be closed during construction. But the existing playgrounds will remain open for most of the projects.

The mayor said that in addition to new playgrounds, the city is beginning a series of improvements to the parks in 2022. This includes:

  • $75,000 to repair monuments and monuments such as the Boer War Memorial, Cenotaph, Polish Memorial and Independence Road in Jackson Park;
  • Complete redevelopment of Mackie Park in the west end;
  • $250,000 for the design phase of improvements to Lanspear Park;
  • $600,000 for new or refurbished trails throughout the city;
  • building a new $400,000 splash pad at Fontainebleau Park;
  • $425,000 to repair and replace the walls along the riverfront;
  • $200,000 for a picnic shelter and pathway at Mike Mack Park;
  • completion of a $7.5 million greenhouse complex in Jackson Park;
  • completion of off-road cycling trails in Malden Park;
  • construction of a $600,000 washroom in Elizabeth Kishcon Park;
  • Initiating a public consultation on replacing the Peace Fountain;
  • Redevelopment of Stodgale Park;
  • Launch of the $300,000 $8.4-million Legacy Beacon project, which includes a glass structure that includes refurbished streetcar No. 351 as well as washrooms and other amenities at the riverfront;
  • and $700,000 to convert the recently acquired Gateway Park west of downtown into a full linear park.

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A map showing playground replacements across the city is seen during a press event by Mayor Drew Dilkens at Cora Greenwood Park on Monday, November 29, 2021.
A map showing playground replacements across the city is seen during a press event by Mayor Drew Dilkens at Cora Greenwood Park on Monday, November 29, 2021. Photo by Dax Melmer ,windsor star

There is also $800,000 in the 2022 budget to begin the costly redesign and relocation of Sandpoint Beach at the end of the year after the environmental assessment is completed and submitted to council.

“We make these investments because that’s what the residents asked for and that’s what the residents deserve,” the mayor said. “We are a growing community with amazing potential. We are competing internationally to attract employers and create local jobs, and to do so we need to invest in our community infrastructure and provide critical social services. Is.

Dilkens is set to launch this year’s edition of Bright Lights Windsor with an opening ceremony on Thursday at 6:30 pm. The free event at Jackson Park will run every night from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. through January 9.

Also at Monday’s news conference, Chacko said outdoor ice surfaces at Charles Clark Square downtown and Lanspire Park are being prepared to open in two weeks, weather permitting.

bcross@postmedia.com

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