Centennial Park to get $700K upgrade

Skateboard park, two basketball courts, new outdoor rink boards and accessible benches included in project

By Jeff Morris

Centennial Park in Manotick is getting a major upgrade worth close to $700,000. The project includes constructing a new skateboard park, two basketball courts, and landscaping to improve accessibility.

The announcement was made in a press conference via Zoom Tuesday involving politicians from all three levels of government. Attending the virtual announcement were Catherine McKenna, Federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities; Anita Vandenbeld, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence and Member of Parliament for Ottawa West—Nepean; Goldie Ghamari, Member of Provincial Parliament for Carleton, on behalf of the Honourable Laurie Scott, Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure; Jeremy Roberts, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Children, Community and Social Services and Member of Provincial Parliament for Ottawa West–Nepean, Jim Watson, Mayor of the City of Ottawa, and Councillor Catherine McKenney, Somerset Ward.

The Government of Canada is investing more than $3.5 million toward these projects, with the Government of Ontario providing over $2.9 million through the Community, Culture and Recreation Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada plan. The City of Ottawa is investing over $1.4 million in the Centennial Park and the playground renewal projects. The Manotick Culture Parks and Recreation Association is also providing $93,960 in the Centennial Park project.

“This is incredible news for communities in rural Ottawa such as Manotick, Osgoode, Richmond and Greely,” Carleton MPP Goldie Ghamari said. “The Manotick Culture, Parks and Recreation Association, along with support from key local organizations, businesses and community leaders, has been working on redevelopment of this critical and much needed public space that will benefit thousands of rural youth and families in Carleton.”

The announcement of the Centennial Park upgrade was made via Zoom Tues., April 27.

Ghamari said she has been working on the project for more than a year.

“I met with the MCPRA in December 2019 to discuss this important community project and how I can support the people of Carleton to make this a reality,” she said. “That’s why I’m so excited to announce today that the Province has approved the Centennial Community Enhancement Project’s application. I look forward to seeing shovels in the ground as soon as possible.”

Ghamari said that the project was made possible by the involvement of various groups in Manotick and in the surrounding communities in South Carleton. Fundraisers like the annual Chic Time in the ‘Tick event, as well as organizations like the Kiwanis Club of Manotick, the Manotick Lions Club, the Youth of Manotick Association and the Osgoode Youth Association all worked on helping the project come to fruition. She added that there was a lot of support from the Manotick business community.

“There were a lot of local businesses who are invested and provided in-kind donations or monetary donations to help make this a reality,” Ghamari said. “Although this is located in Manotick, this is a project that will serve tens of thousands of people in the area. It’s a rapidly growing area.”

The renovation to Centennial Park will be the first major project at the site in more than three decades. Last year, there was a major renovation at the adjacent Manotick Arena, which was built in 1974. The park, however, has had small upgrades and enhancements over the years, but nothing to this scale since the park opened nearly 50 years ago.

“It’s something that was desperately needed, and it’s something the community has been working on for years,” Ghamari said. “It’s not something new. This was well thought out, and well planned. I was happy to support it and happy to champion it. It will not only serve the people in Manotick, but people all across Carleton.”

There is no specific timeline for the Centennial Park project. Ghamari wants the project to get underway as quickly as possible.

“We will be working very closely to get shovels in the ground as soon as possible,” she said. “We don’t have a specific timeline yet but the group is in good hands and we’ll be working hard to get this going as soon as possible.

In addition to the park upgrade in Manotick, a second project was announced which includes the replacement of non-accessible and outdated playgrounds in 29 parks in Ottawa with accessible benches, swings, and play structures. These projects will provide residents with safer and more accessible parks for years to come.

Included on the list of playgrounds in the area that will receive these upgrades are Bramble Lane Park in Osgoode, Munster Community Park, and Honey Gables Park north of Manotick.

Also included in the announcement were major projects for the Bronson Centre and Carlington Community Health Centre.

The rehabilitation of the Bronson Centre includes renovating the entranceways to improve access, refurbishing the façade’s stonework, replacing windows, and upgrading ten studio spaces and the theatre for creative arts use. This work will allow the Bronson Centre to provide continued and improved access to recreational, artistic and other programs and services for culturally diverse and low-income communities across the city.

The community service centre at Carlington Community Health Centre will be renovated to include expanded and more accessible rooms for large community spaces. An outdoor garden area will also be built to be used as a programming space and children’s play area. The project will improve access to community infrastructure and services, especially for seniors and children.

“Our community, culture and recreational facilities are critical to our residents’ well-being, and their importance has been underlined by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson. “The City of Ottawa appreciates the investments from our federal and provincial partners, which will help to ensure that these important community assets remain accessible, inviting, enjoyable and safe spaces for our residents for years to come.”