Reforesting the ball park
New plan for park des Cèdres scraps baseball diamond
Community organizations in Aylmer were shown a preliminary update on the Park des Cèdres renovation plans, February 28. This is the result of a request to update the plan for the park that was adopted after public consultations in 2007. In 2015, Gatineau council adopted a resolution to set aside $5.36 million for the reconstruction of the pavillion across from the marina, as well as to update the improvement plan and design for the park in general. In the plan, the current baseball diamond is being replaced with an area of reforestation and meandering pedestrian walkways. No new bathrooms are included in the plan, despite the thousands of people who use the park currently, making a pressing need for public utilities.
The architectural firm Lapalme, Rheault et associés prepared the plans. Council requested that the plan be updated and carried out, a city spokesperson told the Bulletin. By updating, the spokesperson noted that the main changes to the plan and design of the park are in line with new objectives and are as follows: Decompartmentalize the park and improve user traffic, give back the shoreline to the community, promote art and culture, promote year-round physical activity, live with nature. These guidelines for updating the 2007 plan were adopted by council and given to the architectural firm. In late February, they were displayed to some community organizations, including APICA, the business association, and other park users, such as baseball leagues and volleyball players.
APICA president Stéphanie Olney-Lessard noted that the plans look nice, but that she hopes there will be improvements to what was shown during the consultation. “Sporting activities attract business to Old Aylmer, so more infrastructure would help commercial activity,” Olney-Lessard told the Bulletin. “Nautical activities could use more space, as well as baseball and volleyball. From what I understand, this is not a firm plan yet, so I hope with a more dynamic park that includes ball parks, the impact will be more significant on local businesses.”
President of a ball league, Wilfrid Croteau said that “over 500 players who participate in the leagues are devastated to see that the City wants to demolish the ballpark and we sincerely hope the council members will reconsider and modify the plan accordingly.”
The city councillor for that area, Audrey Bureau, told the Bulletin that the plan is slated for public consultation in April and she will comment at that time. Indeed, April 18 is the date of the public consultation, at which time city representatives will explain the plan and take comments it. The consultation will be at 6 pm at the Ernest-Lattion Community Centre. Final council approval will come after the consultation notes are integrated into the plan and a new plan is offered to the council for review. The time frame for this process is June of this year.