*This post is sponsored by TD and the TD Common Ground Project.  All opinions are my own, or that of my family.*

In recognition of Canada’s 150th anniversary, TD has teamed up with many Canadian municipalities to revitalize 150+ green spaces across Canada, to bring communities together.  They’re calling this initiative the TD Common Ground Project.  Click here for more information about this national project.

Kingston’s Victoria Park has been chosen as one location to get substantial upgrades.  Victoria Park was formally established by the City of Kingston in 1892 although the area had been in use as a public space since 1877.  The city chose to name the park after Queen Victoria.

Victoria Park is centrally located in a heavily populated area of Kingston.  Many families and students live in very close proximity to the park.  When I went to Queen’s University I walked through this historic park every day to get to classes.  It’s a great place to gather with friends in the city.

It’s a beautifully shaded park with a few great amenities.  In the winter the city maintains ice surfaces in the park, and there’s a baseball diamond.  These features will stay the same after the renovation is complete.  The city is upgrading the water feature and the play courts (basketball and tennis) as well as adding BBQ stations and more park benches.  I understand there are going to be more trees planted as well.  I have to say this is already a well-treed municipal park!

My kids and I went to the park to see if we could envision the end result.  They’ve removed the wading pool, which had been a feature of this park since well before my time, and are installing a “water feature” which is basically a large splash pad.  Thanks to the grant from TD, the city is able to make the water feature larger and install a water conservation garden to help manage the water runoff from the splash pad.

The construction is already well on its way.  When we visited in late April the new basketball pad and tennis court were in, and it looked to me as though the pipes are now in place for the new water system.  The project manager at City Hall told me they’re hoping to have a grand opening in mid to late July.  From my vantage point that looks like it should work out!

If you’re interested in reading more on the project from the City of Kingston website, visit this link.

My kids are dying to check out this new splash pad.  I had to tell Rose that it won’t be ready for a while yet, but that we would be visiting once it’s ready.  In fact, with new BBQ areas we could invite some friends and make a full day of it!  I would especially love bringing my camera and getting up close with the water conservation garden.  I try hard to be a green thumb, and anything that’s environmentally sustainable is of interest to me.

Kingston is very historically significant, and being able to upgrade Victoria Park will help bring the local community together.  There has not been a large scale upgrade to this park since the 1970s, although the newer play structure was installed in 2007.

Victoria Park is such a large space I can envision many different aspects of the park being used simultaneously, but also not interfering with each other.  The play structure is near to the water feature, so families with young ones will gather there, while the BBQ area is sufficiently far away to not be a hazard to wild young children intent on having fun.  The open spaces and baseball diamond are also sufficiently far that there should not be too many stray fly balls or Frisbees bothering either the BBQ users or the water play-ers.  I had forgotten (15 years post-graduation!) just how large and sprawling this downtown park really is.

I see many more generations of families enjoying this park once it is fully revitalized.  I look forward to creating a follow-up post in the fall when the project is complete and I’ve had a chance to visit Victoria Park with my family and friends.  Hopefully it will be more photogenic then!

Do you have any memories or stories about visiting Victoria Park?  I’d love to hear them – please share with me in the comments below!

To learn more about the Victoria Park project, please visit:

TD Common Ground Project

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