The wait is finally over for many in the Greater Victoria community who have been advocating for new skate and bike parks.
On Saturday, the City of Victoria unveiled a 6,000-square-meter bike park and a 3,000-square-meter all-wheels skatepark within Topez Park.
Mayor Lisa Helps may prompt more youth to drop their phones and get outside.
“This is apparently one of the largest skateparks and youth-oriented facilities in Canada,” Helps told CHEK News.
“You cannot be on Facebook, Twitter and TikTok and skateboarding at the same time. This is a great way for youth to get outside, to build community, and to have a good time.”
The skatepark has the largest skate bowl on lower Vancouver Island and the city believes it will be a popular regional destination to host events and competitions.
Local rider Jimmy Miller has been on a board for 30 years and recalls how skateboarding was frowned upon by the city. Up until 2016, there was a bylaw in place that banned the use of skateboards in the downtown area.
Miller says seeing the city recognize the need for another skate park and finally making it happen means a lot to the community.
“The creation of the Topaz park is a victory for all users of skateparks. To go through that journey like I and others, have where it was a frowned upon activity to now it’s a celebrate activity, it’s great,” added Miller.
Construction began in December 2021 and was part of an initial $10-million investment guided by the Topaz Park Improvement Plan.
The next phase of improvements is planned for 2023 and will include new pickleball courts, ball diamond upgrades, and an improved off-leash dog area.