It was a little too windy to test out the new pickleball courts at Thornton Park in Ottawa on Wednesday afternoon, but the final pieces of the renovation are now installed, painted and ready to go, the city announced Wednesday in A press release.
Two pickleball courts, two tennis courts, two four-square courts and a basketball court with two height-adjustable hoops are the final pieces of Thornton Park’s approximately $658,239 renovation.
This fenced area comes with new play equipment, a paddling pool, shelter and many new benches and greenery. This greenery includes a pollinator garden with educational signage explaining the importance of pollinators like bees and butterflies to foliage.
Half of the original $558,239 cost of the project was covered by an Open Space Land Acquisition and Development Grant and assisted in the development of the park, which was purchased in February 2015 from the Edmund B. Thornton Foundation . The city first sought community input in July 2019 before applying for the grant.
As with most things in the months following the COVID-19 pandemic, material and labor costs drove the price higher than originally expected. The city was able to cover the costs by diverting funds originally intended for the operation of the Riordan Pool, which is being demolished in order to build a new facility. This allowed the city an additional $100,000 for the project.
An important part of renovating the city’s park is ensuring that playground equipment is accessible to people with disabilities: Ottawa Mayor Dan Aussem said in May that playground equipment game had been purchased with this in mind.
While the wading pool is closed for the season, the rest of the park is open and operational.