London officials say they’ll reassess the potential uses for the new bandshell in Harris Park after the taxpayer-funded stage became the home of Rock the Park’s portable washrooms.
Weeks after it was used for the first time during Canada 150 celebrations, images showing the $672,000 pavilion lined with porta potties have gone viral.
After the model of the Canada 150 pavilion was released last year, the local firm that designed it said it was meant to improve sound quality.
However, Brad Jones with Jones Entertainment, which organizes Rock the Park, said the placement of the structure cuts the park in half, so it wasn’t appropriate to use as a main stage.
In an email to AM980, Jones also said the pavilion is “perfect for wheelchair access … with the rain we can’t have WC (wheelchairs) on the grass … so it worked out very well for that reason.”
Despite the less than desirable optics, division manager of parks and community sports with the city, Scott Stafford, told AM980 the decision makes sense.
“You know, the old pavilion had been used for storage and some things like that during the event and they chose, because of the pathway and the accessibility and the weather forecasts … that was a location to create some accessible washroom space there,” he said.
Stafford said they’ll reassess the potential uses for the bandshell after the concert series.
“There’s always things that come up that we weren’t anticipating and we’ll look at having ways to regulate different things, not just that, but other things as we go, and we constantly work with the organizers to change and make things better annually,” he said.
He insisted residents will be able to enjoy the Canada 150 pavilion in many ways, for many years to come.
“You know, hopefully, we can move forward in a positive light with the pavilion. It really is a cool structure and something that I think the community will enjoy for many years to come.”
Over 40,000 people are expected to attend Rock the Park, which runs until Sunday.