Splash pad, community garden and more proposed for ‘reimagined’ Lanspeary Park

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A soccer field, community garden, splash pad, and expansive playground may be in store for Lanspeary Park as part of the 104-year-old amenity’s redevelopment.

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Since Lanspeary will gain several acres with the $350,000 demolition of its nearly 100-year-old greenhouses later this year, “there is an opportunity to reimagine the park,” the city said Friday.

“The whole team is very excited,” James Chacko, the city’s senior parks manager, told the Star. “Lanspeary’s a very large park. It’s a very important park within, really, the heart of the city — there’s lots of great space, and a number of amenities are going to stay.”

Windsor’s parks development team is proposing to keep Lanspeary’s existing outdoor swimming pool, covered ice rink, washrooms, central plaza, heritage bandstand, and the heritage building near the greenhouses. The small existing playground would be replaced by a larger playground and splash pad along Langlois Avenue currently occupied by a sports field. Just south along Giles Boulevard would be a new soccer field.

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The preliminary design proposal also includes a multi-usage sports field, a community garden by Pierre Avenue, an area for picnic tables with umbrellas, and a new three-meter-wide asphalt pathway. Rainbow arches over the pathway and rainbow benches could also be park fixtures.

“We look forward to help design this park that will serve generations to come,” Chacko said. “It’s certainly been a well-utilized park for the last 100 years, and I personally look forward to being able to… take some part in helping to develop it for the next 100 years.

A portion of Lanspeary Park, set to undergo extensive renovations, is pictured on Friday, March 11, 2022.
A portion of Lanspeary Park, set to undergo extensive renovations, is pictured on Friday, March 11, 2022. Photo by Dax Melmer /Windsor Star

The park’s final design and amenities will be based on public feedback and consultation. Residents are encouraged to fill out a short online survey to provide comments and suggestions for improvements to Lanspeary. The survey remains open until April 19.

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The survey and a webpage dedicated to the Lanspeary Park redevelopment, with photos of possible park features, are available on the city’s citywindsor.ca website.

Once the survey is done, the parks department will come up with a conceptual plan for the park. A second request for public feedback will follow.

“At some point this year, we’ll bring forward the new master plan to council for their recommendation and hopeful adoption,” Chacko said. “At that point, the current implementation of the plan will be dependent on funding availability.

“I would expect that the redevelopment of a park this size, to ultimately complete what the master plan vision is, will take several years.”

The city has allotted $250,000 for the design phase of improvements to Lanspeary.

A new $7.2-million greenhouse built at Jackson Park is expected to be fully operational this year to replace the one at Lanspeary slated for demolition this fall or winter. At 22,000 square feet, the new greenhouse is twice as large as its predecessor.

In recent years, Lanspeary Park has hosted outdoor food halls, holiday markets, and annual Emancipation Day celebrations.

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