Saanich reawakens redesign planning for Gyro Park
Saanich is reviving its plans to upgrade and improve Cadboro-Gyro Park, the municipality’s prized waterfront greenspace in Cadboro Bay.
The Saanich parks department and community stakeholders went through an extensive process between 2009 and 2011 to redesign the park, a space known to many generations of Victoria residents for the concrete octopus and Cadborosaurus play structures.
Saanich parks manager Rae Roer expects to hold a meeting in March to reengage stakeholder groups – such as community associations and park user groups – and then a public open house in the spring or summer, where people can give input on concept drawings.
“Cadboro-Gyro Park is unique. It’s the only true waterfront park in the municipality and our main waterfront park,” Roer said.
Roer expects the iconic concrete play structures and the boat to remain, but how parking, buildings, pathways and greenspace is organized is up for debate and input.
A draft master plan from March 2011 envisioned restructuring the parking lots, moving the washrooms, creating a community plaza, improving the promenade and landscaping, creating a wetland area and a series of pathways.
“We did lose momentum with changes to staff and community users,” Roer said. “But there is a lot of interest and we’re taking everything into consideration. We want to get it right and not have it rushed.”
Jonathan Stoppi with the Cadboro Bay Residents Association, said the park as its designed now has problems with standing water and flooding.
With plans put forward in 2011, Stoppi said some residents had concerns about how the ecosystem would be protected and beach erosion prevented.
Improvements to the promenade and the creation of a plaza for public markets and performances, “is quite nice, a lot of thought has been put into this,” Stoppi said.