Kingston Breaks Ground at Breakwater Park

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Time statue, Kingston Ontario
A year earlier than scheduled, Kingston broke ground this morning for renovations to Breakwater Park.

Dignitaries on hand to celebrate the beginning of the renovations to the park included Mark Gerretsen, Member of Parliament for Kingston and the Islands, Sophie Kiwala, Member of Provincial Parliament for Kingston and the Islands, and Mayor Bryan Paterson.

“The Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program will preserve and develop our community infrastructure so that Canadians and their families can enjoy moments of culture, sport, recreation and leisure for years to come,” said MP Mark Gerretsen, in a release. “I am proud to see our community benefit from this program, and I look forward to visiting the new and improved Breakwater Park.”

Mayor Paterson said previously that he was pleased renovations to Breakwater Park are beginning a year early, adding “This is a wonderful park located on Kingston’s beautiful waterfront. I’m excited to see this iconic park revitalized so that residents and families can continue to enjoy this space long into the future.”

The early start to this project is largely due to $1 million in financial support from the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program (CIP 150), one of more than 730 CIP 150 projects approved in southern Ontario by FedDev Ontario.

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The W. Garfield Weston Foundation is credited with donating $500,000 to Swim Drink Fish Canada which will go towards a new park promenade, a pedestrian bridge, pier upgrades, steps and seating, and shoreline works that will include a beach area, landscaping, tree planting and accessibility improvements.

“We are proud to be a part of this effort to restore Breakwater Park as a swimmable, drinkable, fishable destination on the Kingston waterfront,” said Mark Mattson, president of Swim Drink Fish Canada. “The generous contribution from W. Garfield Weston Foundation sends a signal to other municipalities that these types of investments in recreational waterfront development not only should happen, but that the partners exist to make sure they can happen.”

The City consulted extensively with the public in designing the renovations, which support the objectives of its Waterfront Master Plan by improving connectivity and access to the lake along Kingston’s waterfront.

The former Public Utilities Commission dock was approved to be renamed as the Gord Edgar Downie Pier by Council on June 20th (below). This honour is in recognition of the Tragically Hip singer’s involvements in stewardship of Lake Ontario.

The renaming will be formally recognized during the official re-opening of Breakwater Park when the current project has been completed.

Photo (Waterfront “Time” statue): Aidan Wakely-Mulroney (cc)