Like many people in the North Kildonan neighborhood, I have driven by Kilcona Park and the Harbourview Recreation Complex many times but I have never visited the park.
When I looked at a map of the park on the City of Winnipeg’s Property, Planning and Development web page, I could not believe the site is a whopping 382 acres!
The expansive site is bounded by Lagimodiere Boulevard to the west, Cox Boulevard to the east, Springfield Road to the south and Knowles Avenue to the north.
Of those 382 acres, 25 acres comprise the Harbourview portion at the southeast corner of the property, complete with a restaurant, pro shop, lawn bowling field, soccer fields and driving range. The remaining land, named Kilcona Park, includes 112 acres of lowlands, a former landfill area 155 acres in size, 54 acres of a continuous lake system, a 20-acre maintenance yard and 41 acres of golf course. It’s a rarity within City limits!
Although our home is across the park on the west side of Lagimodiere Boulevard, I couldn’t help but wonder why we hadn’t taken advantage of our close proximity to the park, what opportunities it held and how many others were in the same situation.
Back on Feb. 2, there was a visioning workshop facilitated by landscape architects from Hilderman Thomas Frank Cram to identify future programming and facility requirements for the park and to explore the possibility of potential redevelopment and re-investment opportunities on the site.
At these workshops, constraints such as access, approach, views and signage were critically analyzed.
The primary vehicular entrance to the park is off Norris Road, a service road which runs parallel with Lagimodiere Boulevard. A single parking lot for the entire Kilcona Park is located close to this primary park entrance. There are no entry features or sign indicators at the primary entrance telling visitors that they are entering Kilcona Park — only a sign that it is a dog park.
Who is going to access this large park? Local residents, of course.
Homes are located in two areas surrounding the park. The first area includes the majority of homes west of Lagimodiere. But McIvor Avenue and Springfield Boulevard offer the only opportunities for vehicles to cross Lagimodiere from the neighbourhood. Currently, there are no pedestrian sidewalks or crosswalks, making it dangerous and inconvenient for the pedestrians to cross and access the park.
The second area includes the properties on Countryside Way and Knowles Avenue. Currently there is no vehicular or pedestrian connection from these streets to the service road that loops around the northern portion of the park.
Kilcona Harbourview Park offers many exciting opportunities for the future, some of which include kayaking, tennis courts and improved bike trails. In order for the park to flourish, access to the site needs to be greatly improved.
Charlene Kroll is a community correspondent for North Kildonan. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.