After years of planning, extensive renovations to Edward J. Kirwan Park in Cote St. Luc will begin at the end of this summer. The $6.5-million refurbishment and upgrades are being supported by two matching $1,972,050 grants from the Government of Quebec and through The Government of Canada’s Investing in Canada Plan.
The official announcement took place at Kirwan Park on April 9, 2021. In attendance were Anthony Housefather, former Mayor of Cote St. Luc and current Member of Parliament for Mount Royal, Cote St. Luc Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, District 5 Councillor Mitch Kujavsky, and D’Arcy-McGee MNA David Birnbaum.
Speaking from a podium in the centre of the park, Housefather said that since 2008 when the park’s chalet burned down, city officials have been looking at doing “a holistic renovation of the park.” The federal and provincial funding will “ensure that this park can be renovated to the fullest extent possible,” he added.
The new “sports park” will provide a variety of physical and recreational activities. Youngsters 2 to 5 will have an all-new playground with an adjoining tricycle/wheelchair track, the existing play area for those 6 to 12 will be renovated, and families will be able to cool off in a new splash pad. The new design of the toddler playground will allow children of all abilities to play alongside each other and features a variety of physical and sensory-friendly elements.
There will also be a running track around the perimeter of the park, outdoor exercise equipment, a redeveloped trail with lighting, a new main chalet, an ice rink, basketball courts, and the development of a dance floor.
A park for all ages
“The challenge was to build the park to be as inclusive as possible while still keeping it challenging for all and respecting the environment,” said Marianne Zalzal, Senior Project Manager – Urban Development, City of Cote St. Luc. “The park will have activities for all ages, from the very young to our seniors who will be able to enjoy the beautiful green space. The benefits of providing the community with an outdoor space of this nature to socialize and be active will have a profound positive impact. I am very excited that this park will finally be built with the help of funding from the various levels of government. The most successful works are usually a result of a combined effort.”
Cote St. Luc residents and staff played a vital role in shaping the park’s future and took part in on-site visits, brainstorming sessions, and public consultations.
“We launched the first steps in the renewal of Kirwan Park at a December 2017 public consultation meeting over at the ACC [Aquatic and Community Centre],” Brownstein said. “About 80 people took part and shared their vision for this space. That feedback was vital to understand what our residents wanted. This newly renovated park is a true collaboration between the city and its residents, and between the governments of Canada and Quebec.”
Named for one of the city’s founding fathers
Originally Wentworth Park, it was renamed Kirwan Park in 1976 for Edward J. Kirwan, a city councillor from 1923 to 1973. Kirwan was known as “Mr Recreation” for his work with the city’s parks and recreation department, and for sponsoring sports teams throughout the community.
Work at Kirwan Park will begin at the end of summer 2021 and be finished by the end of summer 2022.