The City of Winnipeg says recent renovations at two city parks will make them both more enjoyable and more accessible.
Fort Rouge East-Fort Garry Coun. Sheri Rollins, chair of the city’s protection, community services and parks committee, along with other members of the council revealed the new facilities at Little Mountain Park and Crescent Drive Park Thursday.
The improvements include a new modernized shelter and washroom facility at Little Mountain Park.
The project involved a complete interior renovation of the shelter building, along with the installation of three all-gender single-occupancy washrooms, and a fully accessible universal toilet room.
The refurbished facility upgrades the original seasonal shelter and public washrooms, which were constructed in 1978, according to a release from the city.
The $350,000 project was funded from the city’s Parks Building Capital Budget.
“The newly modernized shelter with a dedicated water supply, power-assisted doors, and all-gender universal washrooms, represents a $350,000 investment towards making Winnipeg park amenities accessible and inclusive for all,” said Rollins.
Old Kildonan Coun. Devi Sharma said the upgrades come at a good time with the increase in park use over the pandemic.
“Little Mountain Park is busy year-round with people of all ages and abilities enjoying the park’s wonderful amenities and activities like walking, enjoying the off-leash dog area, picnicking and observing nature,” said Sharma
“With the completion of the newly modernized and fully accessible shelter and washrooms, such a gem in our city is now more accessible for all to experience.”
The land was formerly operated as one of Winnipeg’s first limestone quarries from 1896 to 1905. To complement the unique natural features of the park, a rustic-looking log-cabin-style shelter was originally constructed for public convenience.
The original separate-gender two-stall washrooms were serviced by well water, and a cistern supplied by truck-delivered-water fed the sinks.
Additionally, Crescent Drive Park has been fitted with a fresh new $1.5-million pavilion that was built in the same location as the former picnic shelter, which was built back in the 1960s.
The new structure is a bright and cheerful hub within the park to meet the recreational needs of the community throughout the year
The building design combines bright chartreuse walls, and perforated Douglas Fir slat siding, and nearly quadruples the multi-purpose space available to park visitors.
Amenities include modern four-season accessible washrooms, a covered picnic space, a weather-protected warm-up room, a bright west patio, and an enclosed fireplace plaza with a landmark 20-foot-tall firepit chimney for enjoying cool evenings or cold winter days.
“The pavilion also features a beautiful new outdoor fireplace that will be enjoyed all year long and will provide additional warmth for those who enjoy the park for tobogganing, cross country skiing and other fun winter activities,” said Rollins.
“I am very excited to see these long-anticipated new amenities for Crescent Drive Park finally opening with a new playground and new washrooms that will serve Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry for many years to come,”
The play area and play structures received a fresh coat of paint and features safety surfacing that promotes ease of mobility around the inclusive play elements that were designed to entertain kids from two years of age onwards.
The $270,000 capital-funded project is rounded out by a sand play spot, with a shaded seating nook among the mature trees.
In a release, the city says it has seen increases upwards of 51 per cent in park use over the pandemic time period.
“So today is the perfect timing to welcome these new facilities that will make the park even more accessible and enjoyable for all,” Sharma said.
Little Mountain Park and Crescent Drive are not the only parks in need of an upgrade and plans are in place for more funding towards park renovation, said River Heights-Fort Garry Coun. John Orlikow
“Council will continue the funding…trying to get more funding towards parks and also working with community members to be revisiting some of our green spaces and public spaces,” Orlikow said.