Kitchener’s Upper Canada Park Now Open - Dynamite New Facility Is Ready For Action
KITCHENER – This past Saturday, June 22, Mayor Berry Vrbanovic was joined by Councillor Christine Michaud, representatives from the Southwest Kitchener’s Optimist Club and City of Kitchener staff to celebrate the official re-opening of Upper Canada Park. During this first phase of work, the park’s five diamonds – three full size, one rookie/t-ball field and one t-ball/blastball field - were reconfigured and rebuilt, the playground was relocated and new pathways were created through the park.
“This reconstruction has positioned Upper Canada Park to become one of the premier sporting facilities in the city,” said Ward 4 Councillor Christine Michaud. “With its beautiful natural setting, amenities for the whole family and great pedestrian connections to shopping, restaurants and neighbouring homes, it is truly a showcase in south-west Kitchener.”
The Upper Canada Park master plan was completed in 2015 and outlined a series of upgrades intended to meet the changing demands of the community, improve the efficiency of the park spaces, replace aging infrastructure and improve pedestrian connections to and between recreational and commercial amenities.
Upper Canada Park is one of the city’s 17 District Parks and is second largest at 18.7 hectares. It was initially developed in 1986 and has been home to the Southwest Optimist clubhouse since 1988. Saturday’s grand opening was part of the Southwest Optimist Club baseball program’s year end picnic and “Day of Champions”.
“We are so excited to see the incredible transformation of this park. We’re pleased to continue to offer opportunities for youth in our community to participate in a team building sport at an affordable cost,” said Gary Young, t-ball/baseball convener for the club. “Our club focuses on non-competitive baseball programs that teach the basic principles of team play and above all, FUN.”
The work completed to date is valued at approximately $2.1M and intended to be the initial stage of the park’s redevelopment plan. Playball Academy has partnered with the City of Kitchener to sponsor one of the reconfigured diamonds at the park. This event also marks the official opening of the Playball Academy Field.