Located on the Cataraqui River just north of downtown Kingston, this 17 ha (44 acres) site was used as a municipal landfill from 1952 until 1974. In 1978 BellePark opened featuring a 9-hole golf course, sports courts, connections to belle island and walking paths. In 2016 council directed a public engagement process to look at the uses of the park and to determine a vision and appropriate programming for a broader scope of users. As a result of this process, it was resolved that a reduction in golf activity would make way for alternative recreational programming and naturalization measures with walking trails and lookout opportunities. The intent of this project is to develop a set of guiding principles for the design of the park that will result in a final master plan.
thinc design is collaborating with the community to develop an exciting master plan for the next stage in the park’s evolution. The engagement process includes the involvement of a focus group, a working group and a series of public open houses. Key challenges of the site include finding a balance between active recreation facilities and more passive uses on the site, incorporating naturalization and habitat opportunities, and integrating new park amenities while respecting the ongoing management requirements and required infrastructure associated with a former municipal landfill.