Hundreds show up for official re-opening of Kingston’s Breakwater Park
There was a big turnout to Kingston’s waterfront on Thursday, as the newly-renovated Breakwater Park had its official re-opening.
The more than $6-million project was months behind schedule and $1.2 million over budget. But all that took a backseat to park-goers eager to go sunning, strolling and swimming. The surviving members of the Tragically Hip also showed up, as a pier was named in tribute to the late Gord Downie.
Paul Langlois is a member of the band.
“[I] spent a lot of time on this pier with Gord, with the band, with Gord’s family and I’m just very impressed that they did it, and it’s going to ensure it’s yet another great spot to see in Kingston now,” Langlois said.
WATCH: Rob Baker talks Breakwater Park reopening
Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson says the “new” Breakwater Park is a vision come true. The city wanted to transform the park into a space, he said, that would set the standard for what a 21st century urban waterfront park can be, and they’ve done just that. The facelift included a new upland sand beach, steps and seating, shoreline work and landscaping, as well as upgrades to the now Gord Edgar Downie Pier.
Patrick Downie is Gord’s Brother.
“It’s very special and meaningful for us,” Downie said, “and something that we know everybody can enjoy, and it will remain a source of pride and honour for our family forever and ever.”
The president and founder of Lake Ontario Waterkeepers, Mark Mattson, was on hand for the dedication. He says the revitalization of the park represents where the city can go in the future, and that it represents Kingston with swimmable, drinkable, fishable. Further, he said, the dedication is about restoring and rebuilding that connection between people and their communities.
The waterfront park runs almost five city blocks along King Street.
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