Skate park done by fall

Technical challenges held up project for two years

The long-anticipated skateboard park to be built on the northwest corner of Lake Shore Blvd. East and Coxwell Ave. should be ready for use this fall, according to Beaches-East York councillor Sandra Bussin.

Construction on the 2,000 square metre facility is scheduled to start this summer following ongoing site issues with soil quality.

The soil at Ashbridges Bay has caused complications because the ground is essentially a bog, says Stephen O’Bright, the project manager.

“The site has a very unusual and uncooperative sub-soil condition,” he said. “The city redesigned the substructure foundation for the skatepark to resolve those issues, which is costly but it enables us to then proceed with construction.”

Nothing will change in terms of the design of the skatepark itself, a plan developed in cooperation with the community, including youth, O’Bright said.

His solution to the peaty dilemma is the use of piles — large support beams — that will be used to stabilize the foundation before building begins.

“Piles are driven down to bedrock, and bedrock doesn’t move,” he said about the sub-structure.

Although physical construction hasn’t started yet, work at the site has been ongoing for a couple of years.

“We’ve actually been working on the site for over two years to try and resolve geo-technical sub-soil conditions that are unstable,” O’Bright said. “People don’t see the odd time someone is out there surveying, checking and monitoring.

“I can appreciate why the community is saying ‘it’s not there yet,’ but there is an awful lot of work happening behind the scenes,” he added. “And unfortunately it’s not visible to the community and the public at large.”

O’Bright said he can’t say how much it will cost to build the facility as the tender has just closed and the three bids received are under review.

A decision on which contractor will be awarded the project will be made in a few weeks.

Expected to be the largest skateboard park in the city, it will provide youth with a much desired recreation spot, Bussin said.

“I know that kids have been asking me in the East end about this for many, many years,” the Beaches-East York councillor said. “It’s a sport that’s extremely popular, and it would be much better having youth go there than where they’re going now, at the corners of busy commercial corners.”

The Lakeshore site is ideal for a skatepark because of the space, distance from residential neighbourhoods and access to public transit, Bussin said. Some design perks include ramps, manual dishes, a concrete recliner and a daewon song-style pad.

“This will be the major regional skateboard park in the city,” she said. “There’s been a high expectation for this, and it needs to be fulfilled.”

About this article:

By: Claudia Cautillo
Posted: Aug 17 2008 3:30 am
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto