The City of Victoria has unveiled its proposed redesign of Peter Pollen Waterfront Park.
In a video posted to YouTube on June 3, the City of Victoria showed off conceptual renderings and plans for the redevelopment of Peter Pollen Waterfront Park, formerly known as Laurel Point Park.
The city has also posted the conceptual designs on their website and is encouraging residents to provide feedback on them.
Conceptual renderings show the nearly three-acre park transforming from a large open space into an area covered with trees, gardens, other plant life and rocks. Upper and lower pathways would weave through the park, which would also feature a cove boardwalk, an overlook platform, granite steps, rocky bluff walls, a Gary Oak meadow, and two large grassy areas called Sunrise Lawn and Sunset Lawn.
The city says their draft concept design provides opportunities for park users to “access the water’s edge, encourages exploration, discovery and play, and includes elements that invite visitors of all ages and abilities to stay, relax and enjoy the park.
“The design concept aims to weave these community objectives into a new vision for the park,” the city said in the video.
The City of Victoria began public engagement on a new vision for the park late last year around the same time Transport Canada completed the removal of 35,000 cubic metres of contaminated soil from the site.
According to the conceptual plans, the upper pathway, called the Upland Path, would be the main pathway throughout the park and is designed to accommodate pedestrians, cyclists as well as emergency vehicles. Upland Path would connect to Belleville Street in the east and Montreal Street in the west.
The lower pathway, called Shoreline Path, will be for pedestrians only and has a “variable character” that changes throughout the park. Shoreline Pathway is planned to become part of the David Foster Harbour Pathway and would continue along the waterfront to the east and west.
Both pathways would be connected by other smaller paths, allowing users to access either path without having to leave the park.
Located on the east side of the park, Sunrise Lawn would provide visitors with views of the inner harbour and downtown Victoria, while Sunset Lawn, located on the west side, would be dotted with “granite seating elements” and provide views of the harbour, Esquimalt and beyond.
A planned overlook platform in the middle of the park would offer visitors with views of Songhees Point and is described by the city as a “gathering place” where visitors can socialize with other park users.
Meanwhile, a portion of the park would have a Garry Oak meadow as well as other native plants in order to provide an environment for “many native animals, birds and insects” to thrive in, according to the city.
Public art and interpretive signage providing information about the site’s history and significance to the Langkawan are also planned.
The city said it wants to incorporate “long-lasting tangible expressions” of Lekwungen culture into the new park and is “seeking to restore the function and vitality of the land, water and air that existed prior to European settlement of the area.”
Peter Pollen Waterfront Park was once the site of a paint factory owned by the British American Paint Company that operated from 1906 to 1975. Following the closure of the factory, a portion of the site became known as Laurel Point Park in 1975.
It was renamed Peter Pollen Waterfront Park late last year in honour of the former Victoria mayor who had pushed for public access to the inner harbour’s waterfront during his time in office.