Five Thorn­hill parks set for re­de­vel­op­ment

By 2028, 40 per cent of Vaughan’s parks will be 30 years and older

Thornhill Post - - News - by Jes­sica Wei

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

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