Five Thornhill parks set for redevelopment
By 2028, 40 per cent of Vaughan’s parks will be 30 years and older
The City of Vaughan has released a new parks redevelopment strategy (PRS) that identifies five Thornhill parks as priority sites to be redeveloped over the next 10 years.
Out of a list of 11 parks across Vaughan, Dufferin District Park, Glen Shields Park, Conley Park South and Gallanough Park were deemed high priority, and Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park was categorized as medium priority. The capital costs for the implementation of the PRS are estimated at around $24,329,000.
“Because of my area being in the older part of the city, our parks are older, and our approach to dealing with issues in parks was all on a fixture-based approach,” said Thornhill Ward 5 councillor Alan Shefman, in whose ward five of these parks are located. “[For example], the tennis court was falling apart, so build a new tennis court; get it on a list.”
Shefman describes this new revitalization approach, of which he has been an advocate for about five years, as a full-park holistic approach. This means replacing and improving deteriorating infrastructure but also modernizing parks to suit new
innovations in park infrastructure
as well as the changing demographic of the area. In a statement, representatives
of the City of Vaughan confirmed that individual parks’ master plans will be prepared for each priority park. These master plans will consider local demographic factors, including population distribution and growth and age composition.
“It is noted that with an aging demographic there would be greater demand for more passive activities and spaces (e.g., adult fitness equipment, seating and shade, pathways, etc.),” they wrote.
According to a study prepared by Monteith Brown Planning Consultants Ltd. for the City of Vaughan 2018 Parks Redevelopment Project, 18 per cent of Vaughan’s parks are now over 30 years old. This figure will increase to 40 per cent in 10 years.
“We’ve always been a growth-focused city,” said Shefman. “But now we’re a city with some aging infrastructure, like our community centres and our older parks, and we’ve got to start turning from just building new things, to how do we maintain and improve what we had before to meet the future?”
The first proposed park up for redevelopment is Glen Shields Park, which will begin in 2019.
How do we maintain and improve what we had before to meet the future?”
Dufferin District Park is a high priority site in the redevelopment plans