Committee endorses $25-million upgrade for Kilcona Park

An artist's impression of the refurbished off-leash dog park at the redeveloped Kilcona Park.


An artist's impression of the refurbished off-leash dog park at the redeveloped Kilcona Park.

A $25-million redevelopment is being proposed for the Kilcona Park/Harbour View recreation complex.

Plans released this morning call for a dramatic overhaul that includes rebuilding many of the structures at Harbour View, including the wooden tower; fencing and relocating areas of the off-leash dog park; construction of a three-kilometre roadway linking both sides of the area; and a 10-kilometre internal network of active-transportation pathways.

"It’s our fair share, it’s our time," North Kildonan Coun. Jeff Browaty said of the proposal.

The Kilcona/Harbour View complex is a 178-hectare recreational site on the northeast corner of Lagimodiere Boulevard and Springfield Road. It began as a landfill and storm water retention complex in the 1970s. The landfill has since been closed and sodded and used as the city’s largest off-leash dog park.

The Harbour View component, at the eastern edge of the site, includes a nine-hole golf course, pro shop, driving range, mini-putt, tennis courts, lawn bowling, toboggan hill, indoor concession and lounge area.

The Kilcona Park portion is visible along Lagimodiere, where it includes the 48-hectare off-leash dog park, toboggan hill, and sport fields.

Maureen Krauss, a planner with local firm HTFC, said the park facilities and structures are old and in poor condition. The park’s location — in the far northeastern corner of the city — has kept it off the radar for many residents and made it difficult to access.

Krauss recommended that as part of the redevelopment, the entire site get a rebranding: losing the Harbourview name and formally calling it Kilcona Park.

Browaty said city hall has upgraded parks in other areas of Winnipeg and it is time funds and effort are allocated to the northeast quadrant of the city.

The planning report, presented at a special meeting of the East Kildonan-Transcona community committee, envisions the redevelopment to be phased in over a six-year period, with the first projects being the fencing of the dog park and rebuilding of the dock areas at Harbourview, which is estimated to cost $9.3 million.

Other park upgrades include: new community picnic and recreation sites; washroom upgrades; refurbishment and re-purposing of old maintenance yards into a sports complex; and paving Norris Road.

In addition to improving the park facilities, Krauss recommends making it easier for residents to access the site. She proposes a pedestrian overpass across Lagimodiere into the All Seasons Estate neighbourhood ($4 million) and trails linking to the newly-built Chief Peguis trail and the Cordite trail that goes into north Transcona ($860,000).

Krauss said there is potential for private sector partnerships, with possible commercial development along Lagimodiere Boulevard and commercial operations in selected areas of the redeveloped park, which could offset some of the development costs.

The first phase of the complex was opened in 1982: the Harbourview golf course and recreation complex. The three scenic bridges, visible from Lagimodiere Boulevard, were built in 1988 and the parking lot and sport fields near the McIvor Road entrance were built in 1990.

The committee endorsed the plan and instructed the administration to prepare a proposal for council’s consideration and inclusion in budget deliberations.

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