Tourism building planned for City Park
Oct 2, 2012 / 5:00 am
A new Tourism Information Centre could be built in City Park as part of a planned redevelopment of a Kelowna century old landmark.
Parks and Public Spaces manager, Terry Barton, told City Council Monday a new tourism facility in the park would be part of an overall redevelopment of the park which would be phased in over several years.
The current Tourism Information Centre at Harvey and Ellis is woefully inadequate and both the newly created Downtown Plan and Official Community Plan identify City Park as a prime location.
Barton says it's preferred for its close proximity to a number of downtown attractions, hotels and other tourist related ventures.
He says a new building in the park could also house washrooms, bike rentals, concessions and open spaces.
The park has been without permanent washroom and concession facilities since the former pavilion was destroyed by fire in the spring of 2011.
Other areas considered for redevelopment include:
- Investment to spruce up the main entrance to City Park at Abbott and Harvey.
- Rejuvenation of youth facilities including the children's spray park, playground, skateboard park and basketball area. Barton says all were constructed in the early 80's and 90's and are coming to the end of their life span.
"This is an opportunity to reconfigured some of these areas, to reassess their location," says Barton.
- Rejuvenation of the waterfront promenade. The first phase of the promenade from the bridge to Hot Sands Beach was re-done in 2008. Barton says the rest of the corridor to the Sails needs to be replaced, widened and modernized.
Barton says there may also be an opportunity to look at incorporating a new aquatic centre into the park.
"Now is a great time to be doing this planning. We have such projects underway as the Bernard Avenue streetscape, the Kerry Park Site Development Plan as well as the public pier, recent investments with Stuart Park and the future phases of Stuart Park," says Barton.
"All these public spaces need to be able to work together and have a sense of continuity amongst them. This planning process will allow us to draw them together."
Councillor Colin Basran says the City Park initiative is another example of exciting things starting to happen downtown.
"I think it (new tourism building) will help to hold visitors downtown instead of stopping along the highway and carrying on. People will see the lake, the new marina, new Bernard Avenue, revitalized Kerry Park," says Basran.
"What a great first impression of our city. I hope this will also help to jump start the revitalization of the Abbott Street corridor and the first couple of blocks of Lawrence and Leon Avenue."
Councillor Robert Hobson agreed, however, he says council needs to be cautious when it comes to replacing the pavilion in City Park.
"I know we have seen correspondence from people concerned about the potential for a two story building affecting views of the lake. It's going to be important through this process to show people what the sight lines are for a building of that nature," says Hobson.
"I don't think that will be the case but it's good to have representations of what it might look like and why it go precisely where it goes."
Hobson says he also agrees with tying certain aspects of the park together.
"We have had so many individual projects over the years that have popped up and haven't really been integrated."
He says the park has changed over the years, citing the fact there was a public campground in the park at one time and also a roadway that went all around the park.
Hobson says he would also like to see the recreation of a running facility in the park - someplace where people could run when they are downtown.
Council unanimously agreed to spend $40,000 for the public process for development of a concept plan for City Park.
Read more Kelowna News
City of Kelowna
Kelowna Discussion Forum
Kelowna's Cultural District
Kelowna Road Closures
William R. Bennett Bridge
Central Okanagan Regional District
District of Peachland
District of Lake Country
School District 23
- Glenmore crash May 20
- Downtown stabbing mars May long May 20
- Grad party rollover May 20
- Annual regatta is largest in BC Interior May 19
- Rutland May Day Parade video May 19
- Kasugai Gardens open into the evening May 19
- The Week in Review May 19
- Rutland May Days' information May 18
- Knox Mtn. Hill Climb crash May 18
- Gas prices spike ahead of long weekend May 18