December 12, 2023
Town of Sidney establishing new park to support growing community
Sidney, BC – The Town of Sidney has negotiated an agreement to purchase a nearly one-acre parcel of land near downtown to serve as a community park. The properties included in the agreement are 10103 and 10097 Third Street close to Rothesay Beach.
The decision to create the neighbourhood park follows the Town undertaking a Parkland Needs Assessment to identify gaps in Sidney’s parks system. The Shoreacres area of Sidney was identified as a neighbourhood lacking a community park. The Town also recognizes that recent Provincial announcements changing housing legislation to facilitate greater density and more housing units across BC will create more demands for parks.
The agreement for the future park includes a purchase price of $1.51 million. Due to the institutional zoning of the property, the land value is significantly lower than residential property in Sidney.
“The chance to purchase parkland at a reasonable price, in an area of need, represents a rare opportunity to ensure Sidney continues to be a complete and healthy community,” said Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith. “I’m glad Council is looking to the future and considering the need for greenspace as we accommodate more housing density and our population grows. This new park will be a place where people of all ages can stay active, make social connections, and enjoy the outdoors.”
The site has a long history serving as a place for recreation, restoration, and play. In 1909, it was the home of a post-operative rehabilitation centre, Quisisana, with opportunities to play tennis and lawn-bowling on site. Generations of community members may also recognize the site as the former home of Discovery House Early Childhood Centre with grounds that included on-site play structures and natural areas for exploration.
The Town will make the land purchase through assent-free borrowing. The properties are expected to be transferred to the municipality in spring 2024. Until that time, the site remains private property and the Town asks that the privacy of the current occupants of the property be respected. Once the lands are transferred and ready for public use, the park will initially serve as an open greenspace. The Town will consult with the community on more detailed park concept plans.