City mulls limiting festivals, events at City Park
KINGSTON — High demand for City Park as a venue for community events has the city considering ways to better regulate how and when groups use it and other parks.
City council passed a motion Tuesday evening directing staff to look at ways “to identify specific criteria and parks that can properly accommodate events with larger crowds and significant logistical needs.”
The author of the motion, Sydenham District Coun. Peter Stroud, said the issue of traffic congestion on streets around City Park during the summer has become an issue.
Stroud said that in many cases, events may have outgrown the location, especially when multiple events are taking place at the same time.
“It’s a good problem to have, to have too many successful events in one place,” Stroud said.
Stroud said the use of city parks could be handled by the city in a similar way that arenas are rented by groups organizing hockey tournaments.
He said better co-ordination of events at City Park could better distribute events to parks in other parts of the city.
“I’m hoping with this policy that more different neighbourhoods, and different neighbourhood parks, get these special events rather than always the same events. This would hopefully involve the whole city,” he said.
“I am the district councillor for City Park, and for me the problem is too much congestion for City Park, but for other councillors and other districts, it might be a problem of not enough.”
Portsmouth District Coun. Liz Schell said limiting the number of events allowed at City Park may not be a popular move.
“City Park is very popular and I can already hear some of the groups that rent it getting very frightened at this,” Schell said. “It is the central park for the city of Kingston.”
Schell asked that Tourism Kingston be consulted about the planned policy changes.
City staff are to return to council with a report in the new year.