Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson has attended his share of ribbon cuttings and sod turnings — but none quite like this. The Mayor jumped into an excavator this morning to break ground on the multi-million dollar “Breakwater Park” facelift. Mike Postovit was there.
Kingston’s “Breakwater Park”. The waterfront park that runs almost five city blocks along King Street is ready for change. In fact — some work on the multi-million dollar revitalization has already started.
Numerous officials were on hand for the official sod turning ceremony including Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson.
Bryan Paterson/Kingston Mayor
“It’s exciting to be able to take this park and make it an even better, more exciting space then it’s ever been before.”
Mark Gerretsen/Kingston and The Islands M.P.
“The upgrades will include a new park promenade, a pedestrian bridge, pier upgrades and a new beach area.
And it’ll happen a year sooner thanks to one million dollars from the federal government.
Neal Unsworth/Parks Development Manager
“We’re going to have very high quality facilities — we’re going to have an exciting large public pathway system with lots of public lights — we’re going to have a lot of really neat opportunities with the Gord Edgar Downie pier and the pedestrian bridge getting out to that space.”
That said — it was on to the sod turning — the traditional way.
And then there’s the mayor and this new twist on things.
“We had originally budgeted about 5 million dollars — but then we received a million dollars from the federal government — half a million dollars from Ontario Water Keeper — and when we actually put the project out for bids — we actually got under budget.”
Under budget — but what about the time table? This year’s high water levels could cause some complications.
“We will be making adjustments, it could hurt the schedule a little bit, but we’ll see how it goes during the summer and we’ll have a much better sense of it as the water levels drop in September.”
Delay or not the end result will have a long and lasting impact on the community.
Krystyn Tully/Swim Drink Fish Canada Vice President
“When you create a public space like this — invest in making accessible and invest in making it clean — really what you’re also doing is creating a quality of opportunity for everybody who lives in this city and when you have that — you makes those connections that’s when you also get innovation and creativity — thriving culture, thriving business and you get a prosperous city.”
It’s hoped the project will be complete by spring of 2018. Mike Postovit, CKWS News, Kingston.
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