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Victoria Park Master Plan

 
Victoria Park Master Plan

PARK REDEVELOPMENT - FINAL PHASE
Victoria Park is currently under construction for the Third and Final phase of the park redevelopment. Please click on the link below to view a plan showing the work for the final phase of this plan.

  • Victoria Park - Park Redevelopment Final Phase

PHASE 2 VICTORIA PARK REVITALIZATION
In 2009, Phase 1 of the master plan was implemented, and involved extensive tree planting, construction of a trail loop, reconstructed parking lot, and revitalization of the park entrance at Locke and King St.

In 2010, Phase 2 of the master plan will be constructed. Work may begin in 2009, depending on weather. This phase will include the creation of a Community Garden (which will be ready for spring planting in late May 2010), Butterfly Garden, revitalization of the multi-use courts, additional tree planting, and an interpretive sign program that will highlight historical features in and around the park.

Community Garden 
A community garden is an allotment garden where citizens can rent space to grow vegetables, herbs and annual plants. This community garden will help ensure food security for City of Hamilton residents (see definition below), and can be used by anyone, from those with no garden space at their home to people who just want more space or a community atmosphere to garden in. This garden will host 10 regular plots, 14 plots with trellises for vertical gardening, and 8 accessible garden tables. The garden will be locked entry only for those with rented spaces. A renter will receive a cubby space for personal gardening tools, but there will also be communal tools available to everyone who rents a plot. The garden will be complete with fully accessible paths, compost bins, picnic tables, and hose connection locations close to each plot.

To rent a plot, please contact:
Ed DeVries - Business Initiatives Coordinator at (905) 546-2424 ext. 4819

Food Security Defined
The Food and Agriculture Orginization (FAO) of the United Nations defines food security as:
"A condition in which all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life."

Butterfly Garden
These butterfly gardens were created in conjunction with Strathcona School to support the Monarchs in the Classroom program, in which the students raise and release Monarch Butterflies each September. The butterfly garden will supplement the learning in this program, and will be maintained by the volunteers through the school program. Interpretive signage will complement the gardens and allow passers-by to learn about Monarch Butterflies as well. This is an exciting initiative and it will be exciting to see butterflies and children using this space!

PROJECT REFERENCES AND IMAGES


PHASE 1 VICTORIA PARK REVITALIZATION
In the 2006 Public Works capital budget, Council approved $60,000 to prepare a master plan for Victoria Park. In September 2006 Council pre-approved $725,000 in the 2007 capital budget for the construction of Phase 1 of the Victoria Park master plan. Part of the Phase 1 master plan includes the redevelopment of the main pedestrian park entrance at the corner of Locke and King Streets and the construction of a 3 metre wide loop recreational trail around the perimeter of the park that will provide for a broad range of recreational opportunities for park users. The loop will connect to the 4 corners of the park property as well as reinstate the heritage alignment of the former racetrack within the park. Images of the phase re-development plan can be viewed by clicking on this link.

PROJECT REFERENCES AND IMAGES



PUBLIC MEETING
A meeting was held on June 1, 2006 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Erskine Presbyterian Church on Pearl Street.  Click to View Map.  This was a joint meeting between Landscape Architectural Services and Park Planning, and the Planning and Economic Development Department, to discuss ideas and concerns with respect to Community Facilities in Strathcona Neighbourhood. 

Prior to the formal presentations, a walking tour of Victoria Park was conducted with our master planning consultant, Wendy Shearer Landscape Architect Limited.  There was a great turn-out for this walking tour, and we had some good discussions about the existing facilities in the park. 

At the formal presentation part of the meeting, the proposed master plan for Victoria Park was presented.  We were very encouraged that we had a great turn out, and the result was a terrific discussion regarding the use, location, and need for various components of the proposal. 

Pictures from June 1, 2006 Public Meeting:
Here are some pictures of the Victoria Park walking tour and public meeting.

Community Facilities in Strathcona - Public Meeting
Presentation of Master Plan concept at the Public Meeting.


COMMUNITY GARDEN PUBLIC OPEN HOUSE
A public open house was held on May 22, 2008 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm at the Queen's Terrace apartments gymnasium located at 151 Queen Street North.

Click on the links below to view or download material presented at the meeting:



Background:
Victoria Park is located on King Street West, between Locke Street North and Strathcona Avenue North in Ward 1.  The park is 5.68 hectares (14.03 acres) in size, and is one of the oldest parks in the City of Hamilton.  The land was purchased in 1859 as a location for the Great Central Fair, and was the home of the Crystal Palace.

The last significant re-development for Victoria Park occurred in 1980 through the Neighbourhood Improvement Programme when the main pedestrian entrance to the park at King and Locke Streets was redesigned. At that time the new entrance was created in response to a potential street re-alignment. The 1980 park redevelopment also included the planting of over 100 trees. The planting scheme included 44 Austrian Pines (Pinus nigra) for the main park entrance and the construction of a raised concrete planter for shrub beds.

In 2005 preliminary discussions between Public Works staff and the Strathcona Community Council identified several issues related to the trees in Victoria Park. General poor health of the mature trees and an overall shortage of trees was a predominant concern raised by the community. Forestry and Horticulture section of Public Works have confirmed that much of the tree canopy is in decline and will begin to disappear over the next 10 years if steps are not taken now to develop a replacement strategy.

Additional concern was expressed by the community regarding the configuration of the Austrian Pines at the main park entrance were the space appears unwelcoming and creates an uncomfortable feeling of fear for personal safety. Public works staff reviewed the park with Hamilton Police Services in 2006 and confirmed that the large concrete planter in combination with the dense planting of pines obstruct views into the park from King Street creating an unwelcome space as well as security concerns.

The Victoria Park master plan design for the revitalization of the park includes a future community garden and butterfly garden, interpretive signs, re-development of the remaining park entrances and .  Wendy Shearer Landscape Architect Limited is the consultant on this project.  There have been several public meetings to date to gather information on citizen's priorities and goals for the future of the park.


Tree Planting Within Victoria Park

 
Forestry and Horticulture experts in the Public Works Department have confirmed that much of the tree canopy is in decline and will likely disappear over the next 10 years if steps are not taken now to develop a replacement strategy. To reinstate the health of the urban forest within Victoria Park, the master plan recommends a significant new tree planting scheme that includes 285 trees. The majority will be native deciduous species (e.g. Maples, Lindens, Tulip Trees, etc.) with a few strategically placed spruce trees. As deciduous trees mature a large overhead canopy will form similar to the existing condition within portions of Gage Park. The overhead canopy eliminates the potential for screened views from the street into the park while providing shade for park users. The spruce trees will be planted as individual trees, not in masses, to provide bird habitat and winter wind breaks.

Austrian Pines at the main park entrance are in decline and the Strathcona community raised concerns that the dense planting obstruct views into the park creating an unwelcoming space as well as security concerns. Several of the Austrian pines are showing signs of Diplodia, a condition that spreads rapidly to other healthy pines and is fatal to the tree, consequently, this tree species is no longer planted in City of Hamilton Parks. Mass planting of spruce will be avoided to prevent a similar condition to the existing Austrian Pines from re-occurring as the trees mature.

The Austrian Pines at the corner of Locke and King will be removed in order to allow for construction of a new park entrance, along with 31 other trees across the park which are in poor health. All tree removals will occur in the first phase of construction and the planting of 285 trees will occur over 2 years with 175 planted in the first year.