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Jubilee Park honours queen

City hall says a test of a new way of designing city parks – with a lot of public input – has been a success, resulting in a plan for a new south end park whose name honours the queen.

A conceptual master plan for Jubilee Park – named for Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee, which in 2012 marked her 60 years on the throne – will go to council’s community and social services committee on Feb. 11.

The method used to design the 4.9-acre park on Sweeney Drive in the Kortright East subdivision was a pilot project.

It was different from the city’s traditional approach of seeking feedback from neighbours to a design prepared by city hall. Instead, the public was presented with a “blank slate” for the design of Jubilee Park, a city staff report says.

Last fall, the city asked future park users to identify the features they wanted to see in Jubilee Park. Residents were also given an opportunity, in person and online, to provide input into the development of park concepts.

There were five engagement opportunities – four public meetings and an online discussion forum.

The resulting master plan calls for Jubilee Park to include a play structure, natural playground, shade structure, splash pad, tennis courts, natural ice rink/multi-use court, open play space, naturalized area, sculpted earth, butterfly garden, game tables, public art, and educational and historical elements.

“Collaborating with future park users allowed us to develop a unified vision for Jubilee Park,” Karen Sabzali, the city’s manager of parks and open space, said in a news release.

“Residents chose the program elements for the design concepts, and refined and chose the preferred conceptual master plan – one that best reflects the community’s outdoor recreational needs and aspirations.”
Jubilee Park is to be built in two phases. Phase one, funded through council-approved capital budgets in 2013 and 2014, is expected to be completed this fall. The second phase will happen in 2016, pending budget approval, the release said.

The report puts a $75,000 price tag on development of the conceptual design for the park and the associated community consultation.

The first phase of development is budgeted at about $1.1 million, and the forecasted budget for the second phase is $730,000.

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