It was one of the City’s most exciting grand opening in years, and a revitalization project that proved a huge success as thousands flocked to waterfront to enjoy the newly transformed park.
And now, Breakwater Park has won a Canadian Society of Landscape Architect’s (CSLA) 2019 National Award of Excellence.
Breakwater Park received the award in the category of medium-scale public landscapes designed by a landscape architect, with a size of one to five hectares. The award is bestowed to landscape architectural firms whose projects feature distinctive design and sustainable landscape management.
The CSLA celebrates 15 winning projects from across Canada that demonstrate excellent practice in a multipdisciplinary approach in planning and design.
“Breakwater Park is a project in three parts: the revitalization of an existing park, a redesign of shoreline infrastructure, and an expansion into a neighbouring terrain vague with a derelict post-industrial dock transformed into Canada’s first deep water urban swimming pier,” the CSLA noted in the award citation for Breakwater Park.
Breakwater Park underwent extensive renovations, which were completed in 2018, just in time for Kingstonians and tourists to enjoy the park during the summer months.. The project was supported by approximately $900,000 in funding through the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program, delivered by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario). The renovations were also funded with $500,000 by The W. Garfield Weston Foundation and Swim Drink Fish Canada.
Breakwater Park was identified as the highest priority for improvements in the City’s Waterfront Master Plan, which was awarded a CSLA Award of Excellence in 2017.
“Breakwater Park has proven to be a tremendous success since its reopening last summer. This park is an incredible asset situated on Kingston’s beautiful waterfront with features that the whole community can enjoy. We love Breakwater Park and it’s an honour to see it recognized with a national award,” said Mayor Bryan Paterson.
Patterson’s sentiments were echoed by MP Mark Gerretsen, noting that the park has been enjoyed by residents of all ages, and will continue to be enjoyed for generations to come. And for Mark Mattson, president of Swim Drink Fish, the overall project deserves the acknowledgement its getting, not only because of the successful reaction from Kingstonians, but because it can serve as an example to other cities and communities.
“The thousands of people who flocked to the new Breakwater Park and swimming pier show how important this space is to the community. Stunning architecture has elicited a profound response. This project changes the way other cities are looking at waterfronts and restoration projects. If they follow Breakwater Park’s example, the result will be healthier, more active communities and swimmable water for all,” Mattson said.