Between the years of 2005 and 2007, a full consultation process was undertaken to determine what was required for the replacement of aging facilities and the development of new lands within Memorial Park. Suggestions and concerns from the input sessions were taken into consideration as well as the proximity to the Downtown and the extension of Park Drive. The consultants Basterfield & Associates and The Rethink Group created the Memorial Park Plan. (Concept drawing seen above.)
The Memorial Park Plan builds on the storied history and natural features of the park, while introducing some new facilities and promoting the enhancement of existing facilities and features. In recognition of the proximity to the Downtown and adjacent neighbourhoods, the Park Plan promoted linkage to enhance pedestrian and cycling opportunities. The Plan was proposed to be constructed over phases between the 2009 and 2015 time period.
The Master Plan recommended a reorganized park, with the northern half-devoted to passive, less structured, historical and cultural attributes and activities that include: walking trails, a common area for outdoor performances, and enhanced natural heritage areas including Stouffville Creek, Sangster Grove and the southern woodlot. The southern half featured a busier atmosphere and cluster of facilities and activities that included: water feature/splash pad, winter skating, accessible washrooms/change rooms, accessible play structure with Junior, Intermediate and Senior components, expanded parking, relocation of tennis courts, lawn bowling, skate park, basketball, and the introduction of beach volleyball.
Above: photo of the renovations to Civic Square
To date there has been extensive work done in the initial phases of the Memorial Park Plan. The Layout of the Park has taken on new dimensions with the relocation of Diamonds 2 and 3 to Bethesda Park, the removal of the water pollution control plant and recycling depot, and, the construction of the Park Drive extension.
The restoration of the former Town Office, now known as the Lebovic Centre for Arts & Entertainment, Nineteen on the Park and the refurbishment of Civic Square at Nineteen on the Park create the ideal setting for indoor/outdoor community based events at the northern edge of the Park. Diamond 1 has been renovated, along with new bleachers, and Church Street south of Main Street has been stopped up at the Memorial entrance gate to the park. The Lawn Bowling green has been completely renovated in its existing location. The old tennis courts have been removed and are currently slated for relocation in 2012 to the south portion of Memorial Park.
Above: updated concept drawing of Memorial Park Master Plan (southern area), focussing on the active area of the park in support of a 2011 Grant Application
Now in the next phases of the park development, the goal is to finalize the undeveloped areas of the Park. Opportunities exist to provide four-season recreational and leisure pursuits for residents of all ages and abilities.
A Public Consultation meeting will take place on December 5, 2011, 7 p.m., Council Chambers, Town Municipal Offices, to review and finalize the park design based on the current requirements.
Everyone is encouraged to attend this meeting to provide input and feedback on the final design of Memorial Park.
Memorial Park Master Plan - Meeting #1 - Dec5-2011.pdf