City staff have released a new concept plan for the Village Square Park (VSP) at Stittsville Main and Abbott Streets. Last year, Stittsville residents were asked to provide input to the new design for the play area in the park. The many comments received made it clear that residents want to retain the train theme.
The historical theme of Village Square Park denotes Stittsville’s first heritage park, created in the 1990s, as a tribute to the importance of the railway’s influence on Stittsville and its prosperity. The initiative was led by Allan Ryan, in collaboration with the historical society, when the park was first designed in the mid-90s. From the first steam train, the H.A. Abbott, that passed through Stittsville on September 16, 1870 on its route connecting Ottawa and Brockville – to the last train, ‘The Canadian’ that passed through on Route #1, January 14, 1990, continuing on its way to Canada’s Western frontier, the history was to be marked through the park’s play structures and water tower.
Speaking with Councillor Gower, he told Stittsville Central and wants to assure residents that, “the playground structures in the concept plan are just that conceptual and meaningless. A builder who creates specialized wooden play structures is being sought out to design the new park structures and they will not appear as they do in the current concept plan.”
“Having said that, the landscaping shown is what will be included in the park plan,” Gower added.
Based on the feedback received, the following changes will be included in the playground:
- Replacing the existing wood play structures with new wood play structures
- Replacing the sand surface with an engineered wood fiber safety surface
- Creating a sand play area with climbing rocks
- Installing an asphalt tyke track around the perimeter of the playground
- Adding a bench and armourstone seating walls
The new play structures will maintain the wood rail theme. The design will be finalized after the project is tendered in Winter 2021, with the start of construction planned for Spring 2022. The existing playground is about 200 square metres in size and has a sand and grass surface.
Although the playground renewal will mean the loss of the old play structures, it is an opportunity for the community to increase play within the park with new play structures and other elements. The redesign will maintain the rail theme of the park and our history.