Jubilee Park is set for a facelift.
The prominent downtown Abbotsford park will receive a $1.8 million redevelopment, it was announced last week.
The project is still in the early planning stages, staff noted, but a conceptual drawing shown at the annual general meeting of the Abbotsford Downtown Business Association suggests the re-design would see dozens of parking spots added, the relocation of tennis courts now used for pickleball, and the planting of many new trees, along with other additions.
The province will kick in $800,000 towards the redevelopment, with the city anteing up $500,000 and private funding eyed for the remaining $400,000.
City manager George Murray said the project is still in its early design stages, with construction not likely until the fall. The re-design hopes to preserve the park as a gathering space for stage-based events like Jam in Jubilee, while integrating it better into the surrounding area, he said.
Dave Algra, president of the Abbotsford Downtown Business Association, said the enhancements could allow for the park to host more events while drawing more people to the historic core.
“Jubilee is a public gathering space that the public isn’t utilizing right now,” Algra said. “It’s going to offer another opportunity for people to come visit, it’s going to offer another element of recreation for people who come to downtown, which is fantastic.
“Having multiple entrances to the park is a big thing; it provides more access points, it makes it more accessible to people.
A conceptual drawing suggests the changes could result in the moving of the Jubilee Park Lawn Bowling Club, whose fenced pitch currently borders Pauline Street.
Terry Wenzel, the acting president of the lawn bowling club, said his group had been approached by the city last month after it was suggested provincial funding may be available prior to the election. Wenzel said the possibility of moving to the eastern side of Mill Lake Park, near the horseshoe pits was floated. He said the club isn’t necessarily opposed to a move, but that “there are a number of concerns.”
He said the club would need sufficient parking near the club, lighting as games are played in the evenings, and a clubhouse of the same size of the one currently used at Jubilee Park with kitchen facilities.
An artificial turf pitch, as proposed to the club, would be acceptable, Wenzel said.