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Dec. 6, 2019 | Friday
Local News
Residents weigh in on designs for two new playgrounds
Will Lidstone looks at the proposed design of Niagara-on-the-Green Park. (Dariya Baiguzhiyeva/Niagara Now)

A proposed playground design for Cannery Park didn’t sit well with some area residents.

At an open house held at Centennial Arena Monday, several residents said Niagara on the Green's park design was more appealing to them than the one proposed for Cannery Park.

Niagara on the Green Park will see an expansion of a basketball court, a replacement of the existing playground equipment, a community information board installation and refurbishment of the existing pergola. The town will spend $132,000 on the project and work is expected to start this fall.

The playground for Cannery Park will also be installed this fall.

However, the site work for Cannery Park, which includes pathways, planting, installing seating and entrance features, is expected to start next year. Because the project tender was over budget, the town staff recommended that council retender the site work in the winter 2020 and start construction next spring.

Temporary picnic tables also will be installed at Cannery Park until permanent seating can be set up next year.

Cannery Park resident Steve Lidstone, who came to the meeting with three of his children, said the park doesn’t have enough features that would allow children to develop relative strength and physical abilities.

“It seems very preschool age versus this (Niagara on the Green park) is more along with the age groups we see playing in the park, which is kindergarten all the way up to Grade 5-6,” Lidstone said.

Lidstone’s children – Carter, Charlie and Will – said they wanted to see monkey bars, more climbing obstacles and a firefigher’s pole at the park.

Another area resident, Carol Millet, shared the same sentiment, saying the Cannery Park playground looked “too junior.” 

Millet’s 11-year-old granddaughter Victoria said the playground design wasn’t “fair to older kids.”

She also recalled how she sprained her ankle after falling off a so-called Hurricane or Flywheel Spinner at a campsite some months ago. When Carol Millet saw the same spinner on the proposed playground design, she said she was afraid “kids would fly off” it.

A member of the Glendale Taskforce committee, Steve Hardaker, praised the town for getting feedback from the public.

“I’m excited that Niagara on the Green is actually getting some money spent in our park to make it into a nicer park than what it is right now,” he told The Lake Report. “It’s great that the town has dedicated funds to for this and that is going to result in a more improved park.

Niagara on the Green resident Dianne Barnes said she expected to see a gazebo in the park, but said she thinks the park will look nice with a pergola too.

Helen-Lee Carson said the tree line is close to the edge of the basketball court and the Niagara on the Green resident said she was concerned about children and college students playing basketball, getting bumped and falling into the trees as the court is located on a steep surface.

Town’s manager of parks and recreation Kevin Turcotte said it “all depends on the dollar amount.”

“Sometimes you’re just locked into the budget that we have set,” Turcotte said. “And $175,000 that we have for (Cannery Park) is really healthy. It’s a healthy budget for a neighbouring playground.”

Tony DeJongh, a sales representative with ABC Recreation hired to do the design of the two playgrounds, said most of public needs can be accommodated but they are “budget-dependent.”

“Some of their wishes and desires are beyond of what the scope of the budget might allow,” he told The Lake Report. “But everything I’m hearing from comments being made from a variety of sources is good information and all easily done and taken into consideration in terms of the playground designs.”

Residents have until Aug. 30 to send their feedback through town's online Join The Conversation page. After that, the town will decide what features the the new playgrounds will have.

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