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No Maintenance for New City Parks Over The Winter

By Katie Nicholls Oct 3, 2022 | 6:00 AM

The City of Thunder Bay has no plans for winter protection or maintenance of its newest parks, which cost more than $1.5M to build, including clearing the snow or erecting a temporary fence.

Both Centennial Park and Boulevard Lake Park are large attractions for city residents as well as for families that are coming to the city.

Centennial Park had a budget of $700,000, with the all-wood structure installed this summer and opened to families at the beginning of September.

Boulevard Lake Park was a joint build between the City and Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities. The City kicked in $400,000 for the playground and site related to it, another $400,000 for extras that include the shade structure, walkways that were extended, beach volleyball areas and the adult fitness space & equipment. Canadian Tire contributed $750,000, bringing the total cost of the new accessible park to $1.55M.

Acadia News reached out to the City to see what their plans were for maintaining the new park over the winter months.

It was indicated in an email response from Manager Parks and Open Spaces, Cory Halvorsen, that the City doesn’t maintain the parks in the winter.

“We do not clear/maintain playgrounds in the winter because we can not manage slip/fall hazards, and the safety surfaces are compromised due to the freezing temperatures. This applies to all Parks playgrounds and we do not currently fence any of them off in the winter. We will be taking down the swings like we do in the other parks, again because the safety surface below them becomes frozen and hard.”

At Boulevard Lake, the 11k square foot space will remain accessible to those using the park and the structure in the winter months, as well as risk the integrity of the park that will be unveiled in the eventual spring thaw.

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