St. Catharines asks for community feedback as they propose changes to seven city parks

Photo by: Brenden Cowan

St. Catharines is looking for feedback from residents on the designs of proposed park alterations.

The city hopes to add new playgrounds and recreational courts to seven St. Catharines parks, as the parks’ current amenities begin to require replacements. The combined cost of the planned upgrades is more than $2.3 million.

These parks were chosen for changes due to city priorities including age, health and safety. The city is now asking that anyone interested in the proposed changes attend a community meeting where they can share their opinions, one of which has been planned for each park.

Community feedback has already been taken into account during the proposal’s creation process, evidenced through its requests for amenities such as ball hockey playing areas. Multiple other proposed alterations have already been revealed. However, those who wish to see the visual design concepts will need to wait until they have attended a community meeting.

At the parks of Elma Street, Louis Avenue, Bartlett and Alex Mackenzie, the city hopes to transform current basketball courts into multi-use courts that will also allow for ball hockey playing space. If their proposal goes according to plan, the St. Patrick’s and Port Dalhousie pool parks will see their tennis courts redesigned to add the capacity for basketball and ball hockey to be played.

The city also hopes to replace old playground equipment at the Burgoyne Woods and Alex Mackenzie parks. Both parks’ equipment stock are approximately 25 years old, meaning they are due for a renewal.

For the new playgrounds, the proposal also prioritizes accessibility conforming to a 2019 policy that states new or recreated parks must abide by certain regulations rooted in accessibility and inclusivity. Many parks are currently unwelcoming to those with mobility devices, a major example being those with a wooden barrier along the outline of the playground.

The city believes that those who attend the community meetings will get a good sense of the changes they have in store. At the meetings, not only the conceptual designs for playgrounds will be revealed, but also for other park amenities including bike racks and pathways.

While some of the meetings have already occurred, there are still several opportunities for those interested to attend. The meeting regarding Burgoyne Woods Park will be held on April 4 at the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre; the meeting for St. Patrick’s Park will be on April 6 at the Russell Avenue Community Centre; the Bartlett Park meeting will take place on April 11 at the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre; the meeting regarding Alex Mackenzie Park will take place on April 13 at the Russell Avenue Community Centre. 

All meetings will take place from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

After receiving necessary feedback, the city plans to finalize the multi-use court designs within the year of 2023 and playground designs by the spring of 2024.

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