Future Uses of the Dease Pool & Park Area

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On Dec. 16, 2019, the Corporate Report: Potential Future Uses - Dease Pool/Park Sites was presented to City Council for further consideration.

Next steps: City Administration will report to City Council in March 2021 on options for the former Dease Pool site. Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in a delay on this project.


How Citizen Input Was Used:

Feedback from public engagement sessions and the online survey was incorporated into the Dec. 16, 2019 Corporate Report on potential future uses of the Dease Pool/Dease Park sites.

The Report reflects community feedback, identifies proposed changes to the draft plan, suggests a phased-in approach to redevelopment that reflects residents’ priorities, and shares recommendations from the Heritage Advisory Committee.

Subject to Council direction and community feedback, the City’s Recreation and Culture staff and community partners, would plan to deliver programming through this site and nearby facilities (Fort William Gardens, McKellar School, Fort William Curling Club) through the existing annual operating budget.

Council approval would be required to support the installation of any new park infrastructure components and any incremental park maintenance costs.

It will be at the direction of City Council if any or all of the proposed changes are implemented in the Dease neighbourhood. We appreciate your feedback so we can present Council with all the information, including the voice of the community.


Past Engagement Activities:

Drop-in sessions and an online survey were held October 24 - Nov. 11, 2019, as listed below to collect community feedback.

  • Drop-in Session: Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019, 11 am – 1 pm, Victoriaville Mall Village Green, 125 Syndicate Ave. S.
  • Drop-in Session: Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm, Fort William Garden Lobby, 901 Miles St. E. (during the 6-7pm family free skate)
  • Online Survey: Oct. 24 – Nov. 11, 2019


Background:

In December 2018, City Council approved the closure of Dease Pool due to the state of the 106 year old facility which had reached the end of its lifecycle – no longer compliant with the Ontario Building Code and Health Regulations, nor meeting today’s accessibility or aquatic facility standards. (Learn more: August 2018 Corporate Report - Enhanced Park Programming and Dease Pool)

The majority of the pool’s operating budget was redirected to support enhanced neighbourhood/park recreation programming in the Dease area. Beginning in April 2019, the City’s Recreation and Culture Department delivered new programming in the Dease neighbourhood. This included free family skates at the Fort William Gardens, Playground Programs for children age 5-12 years, Youth Move activities, Kids Nights in the McKellar Park gym, and special events such as a movie night, fall festival, winter wonderland and more.

Given Dease Pool’s extensive history in this neighbourhood, the City’s Heritage Advisory Committee (HAC) has been evaluating the site’s cultural heritage value in the community. (Learn more: Memorandum from HAC: Dease Pool Designation, July 29, 2019). Opportunities to celebrate the historical significance of the site have been considered in the draft plan and the Committee will be providing further input. Feedback from the Heritage Advisory Committee on the draft plan will be incorporated into the Report to Council on the future of this site.

The City is exploring potential future uses of both the Dease Pool site and Dease Park area. Planning has incorporated both of these areas because of the limitations that exist within the pool site alone – close to neighbours and roads, and limited space. By looking at the pool and park sites together this opens up further opportunities.

In February 2019, the City gathered feedback from residents to learn what recreation and leisure activities were desired for this area to inform the enhanced programming implemented to date. This programming, the demographics of the area, and identified park infrastructure gaps in the surrounding area have informed the draft plan.


Proposed Changes:

View the Draft Plan


Dease Pool Site Proposed Changes:

  • Removal of the pool basin and change building
  • A fenced outdoor tennis/pickleball court
  • A community garden
  • A shaded sitting area with cultural historic story panels
  • Edible fruiting trees

The proposed site design is a mix of active and passive activities geared to the broad demographic making up the local community.

Dease Park Site Proposed Changes:

  • Removal of an existing half-court basketball area
  • Creation of a large, green open space
  • A boarded rink with lights, asphalt surface to support multiple activities in the summer (ie basketball)
  • A permanent change room and washroom building
  • A larger playground
  • A new circular sitting area
  • A circular walkway path around the park
  • Large trees to buffer active play areas
  • Crab apple trees
  • Enhanced traffic calming on Dease St. to connect the former pool site and park area.

The proposed site design allows the introduction of new recreational opportunities without creating negative implications for local residences.



On Dec. 16, 2019, the Corporate Report: Potential Future Uses - Dease Pool/Park Sites was presented to City Council for further consideration.

Next steps: City Administration will report to City Council in March 2021 on options for the former Dease Pool site. Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in a delay on this project.


How Citizen Input Was Used:

Feedback from public engagement sessions and the online survey was incorporated into the Dec. 16, 2019 Corporate Report on potential future uses of the Dease Pool/Dease Park sites.

The Report reflects community feedback, identifies proposed changes to the draft plan, suggests a phased-in approach to redevelopment that reflects residents’ priorities, and shares recommendations from the Heritage Advisory Committee.

Subject to Council direction and community feedback, the City’s Recreation and Culture staff and community partners, would plan to deliver programming through this site and nearby facilities (Fort William Gardens, McKellar School, Fort William Curling Club) through the existing annual operating budget.

Council approval would be required to support the installation of any new park infrastructure components and any incremental park maintenance costs.

It will be at the direction of City Council if any or all of the proposed changes are implemented in the Dease neighbourhood. We appreciate your feedback so we can present Council with all the information, including the voice of the community.


Past Engagement Activities:

Drop-in sessions and an online survey were held October 24 - Nov. 11, 2019, as listed below to collect community feedback.

  • Drop-in Session: Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019, 11 am – 1 pm, Victoriaville Mall Village Green, 125 Syndicate Ave. S.
  • Drop-in Session: Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm, Fort William Garden Lobby, 901 Miles St. E. (during the 6-7pm family free skate)
  • Online Survey: Oct. 24 – Nov. 11, 2019


Background:

In December 2018, City Council approved the closure of Dease Pool due to the state of the 106 year old facility which had reached the end of its lifecycle – no longer compliant with the Ontario Building Code and Health Regulations, nor meeting today’s accessibility or aquatic facility standards. (Learn more: August 2018 Corporate Report - Enhanced Park Programming and Dease Pool)

The majority of the pool’s operating budget was redirected to support enhanced neighbourhood/park recreation programming in the Dease area. Beginning in April 2019, the City’s Recreation and Culture Department delivered new programming in the Dease neighbourhood. This included free family skates at the Fort William Gardens, Playground Programs for children age 5-12 years, Youth Move activities, Kids Nights in the McKellar Park gym, and special events such as a movie night, fall festival, winter wonderland and more.

Given Dease Pool’s extensive history in this neighbourhood, the City’s Heritage Advisory Committee (HAC) has been evaluating the site’s cultural heritage value in the community. (Learn more: Memorandum from HAC: Dease Pool Designation, July 29, 2019). Opportunities to celebrate the historical significance of the site have been considered in the draft plan and the Committee will be providing further input. Feedback from the Heritage Advisory Committee on the draft plan will be incorporated into the Report to Council on the future of this site.

The City is exploring potential future uses of both the Dease Pool site and Dease Park area. Planning has incorporated both of these areas because of the limitations that exist within the pool site alone – close to neighbours and roads, and limited space. By looking at the pool and park sites together this opens up further opportunities.

In February 2019, the City gathered feedback from residents to learn what recreation and leisure activities were desired for this area to inform the enhanced programming implemented to date. This programming, the demographics of the area, and identified park infrastructure gaps in the surrounding area have informed the draft plan.


Proposed Changes:

View the Draft Plan


Dease Pool Site Proposed Changes:

  • Removal of the pool basin and change building
  • A fenced outdoor tennis/pickleball court
  • A community garden
  • A shaded sitting area with cultural historic story panels
  • Edible fruiting trees

The proposed site design is a mix of active and passive activities geared to the broad demographic making up the local community.

Dease Park Site Proposed Changes:

  • Removal of an existing half-court basketball area
  • Creation of a large, green open space
  • A boarded rink with lights, asphalt surface to support multiple activities in the summer (ie basketball)
  • A permanent change room and washroom building
  • A larger playground
  • A new circular sitting area
  • A circular walkway path around the park
  • Large trees to buffer active play areas
  • Crab apple trees
  • Enhanced traffic calming on Dease St. to connect the former pool site and park area.

The proposed site design allows the introduction of new recreational opportunities without creating negative implications for local residences.