Skating trail tender awarded for St. John's park

Bonnie Belec
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Work expected to start next week on Bannerman Park facility

The ice trail planned for Bannerman Park, shown in this drawing, should be completed in time for use this winter, city officials say. — Illustration courtesy of the City of St. John’s

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The total cost of the Bannerman Park revitalization project is about $6 million.

The goal of the foundation is to raise $3 million by June 2014, with the city matching the funds dollar for dollar.

About $1.3 million has been raised by the foundation so far and the federal government has provided funding towards work on the poolhouse in the amount of $496,000. The hope is for most of the work to be finished next year.

Walsh, of “This Hour Has 22 Minutes” fame, said she’s enjoying her work with the foundation.

“Fundraising is going brilliantly,” she said.

“The sense I get is that Bannerman Park is a special place to many Newfoundlanders and I feel so happy to be part of it because it is so nice to be part of something that everybody is positive about — not like politics or anything like that,” Walsh said, laughing.

As for the cost of the project, she said she hasn’t heard any criticism or complaints from people about money being invested in the park, which was given to the people of St. John’s in 1864 by governor Sir Alexander Bannerman.

“I haven’t heard any pooh-poohers because Bannerman Park has been there and has served everybody and is a very egalitarian space, isn’t it?” Walsh said.

“It serves everybody from the little hacky sack guys, right up to the people who have those big houses on Military Road, and it’s been neglected for far too long and yet has continued to offer great service to the citizens for all that time. And so it’s time it got a bit of love and attention. I think most people are feeling good about it and saying it’s about time.”



Organizations: Bannerman Park Foundation, Redwood Construction

Geographic location: Bannerman Park, Newfoundland, Military Road

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Recent comments

  • wayne
    June 20, 2013 - 05:38

    I am not convinced that this is the best bang for our bucks our winters are not cold long enough we have too many mild spots during winter usually wet dam our winters are unlike those on mainland where you get long cold weather spells on another light I wonder what the poor section of our community will think of such elaborate expenditure as they sit in their cold homes not able to pay for oil while the more affluent are out skating that their tax dollars paid for I HAVE TO QUESTION CITY COUNCIL IN THEIR DECISION TO SPEND MONEY IN THIS MANNER RATHER THAN TO MAKE TAXES MORE EQUITABLE BETWEEN RICH AND POOR "IF YOU HAVE ONLY 100.00 AND YOU HAVE TO PAINT YOUR HOME OR PUT OIL IN THE HOUSE WHAT WILL YOU DO"

  • Cathy Ivany
    June 20, 2013 - 04:25

    Great initiative.....looking forward to getting a new pair of skates....and joining my grandson,family and friends for a morning,afternoon or evening of skating. We have come a long way from skating on water flooded tennis courts/basketball courts ....which keep the baby boomers occupied and healthy when in our younger years. Great work Dave and The City of St. John's.

  • Darryl
    June 20, 2013 - 03:39

    A positive news story? Cant wait to hear what kind of complaints people will have about this. "Use the money for something more important" "Thats going to create so much annoying construction and noise" "I think the government needs to get their priorities straight" They could cure cancer and somebody would have a complaint about it

  • Starr
    June 20, 2013 - 02:21

    So nice to see Bannerman Park being revitalized. An skatng trail is a marvellous idea - for days its not RDF or outright rain. And then who will keep it cleared off with all the snow and blizzards? Its an ice trail so it has to be open during the winter . . . can't close it down because of snow.

  • Terry Whelan
    June 19, 2013 - 18:59

    This is wonderful Mary but it is not a totally new concept. Skated in the city maintained ballpark at bottom of the park many years ago. As you well know Mary, this park in our day was a focal point of family activity for anyone within walking distance of center and east end St. John's. That was before the swimming pool because Rennie's River was just down over the hill and bring your soap. Those too, were the days. Glad to hear of these renovations and innovations which will need to be rigidly supervised against modern day vandals. Will this of necessity become a gated and fee imposed facility I wonder. Pleasing concept, great improvement.

  • skater
    June 19, 2013 - 14:53

    what stupid idea? lol It would have even been a littler better if they had a standard type rink in the middle of that trail. what a weird idea.

  • Bob
    June 19, 2013 - 14:27

    As an avid life long skater, this is so 'cool!' (Excuse the pun.) But as a beer league hockey player, it would be great to have an outdoor rink as well. Someday perhaps!

  • Saucy Face
    June 19, 2013 - 14:23

    A sound system and lighting in that snobby neighbourhood? And you expect them to put up with that? Well, good luck with that! LOL

  • wavy
    June 19, 2013 - 14:21

    I hope whatever the surface is, it can be used for in-line skating (rollerblading) in the summer. That would be awesome.