Six months after Victoria’s homeless camp was shut down, the province is finally moving to do some remediation work on the lawn of the city’s courthouse.
The lawn, where tents and permanent structures were pitched, was heavily damaged during the encampment, but will now be turned into a children’s playground.
The province says a playground emerged as the most popular choice for the site during discussions with neighbours.
The remediation work will remove a 1.5-foot layer of contaminated soil to make the area safe for the public again.
The testing of soil samples from the site found the presence of residual contaminants, including lead, gasoline, diesel and trace amounts of methamphetamine.
The layer of contaminated soil will be removed by truck and replaced with new top soil.
PHOTO GALLERY: Remediation works begins
Arborists will also determine what trees growing at the site can be saved.
Currently, of the 20 trees at the courthouse site, 11 were deemed healthy and will be preserved. However, nine trees have been identified as having shallow roots, making them unsafe and unlikely to survive the remediation, which is expected to be completed in February.
The new playground is scheduled to be ready for use by spring.