Riverside Park Improvements

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Riverside Park is one of the City's most well loved and busiest green spaces. Over the next few years, residents and visitors will notice improvements in different areas of the park to make it safer, more accessible, and potentially offer more year-round activities.

The improvements at Riverside Park can be divided into two components: Outdoor Recreation improvements - which include replacing the aging water park, as well as the potential for a winter-time ice surface; and Flood and Erosion Protection.

Outdoor Recreation

The City needs to replace the aging water park, which it has budgeted for as part of the

Riverside Park is one of the City's most well loved and busiest green spaces. Over the next few years, residents and visitors will notice improvements in different areas of the park to make it safer, more accessible, and potentially offer more year-round activities.

The improvements at Riverside Park can be divided into two components: Outdoor Recreation improvements - which include replacing the aging water park, as well as the potential for a winter-time ice surface; and Flood and Erosion Protection.

Outdoor Recreation

The City needs to replace the aging water park, which it has budgeted for as part of the its Asset Management Program. The City has also been pursuing a community and recreation focused grant that would transform the aging spray park into a new water park and winter-time ice surface to provide recreational enjoyment year-round.

Project Features

The multi-purpose ice surface/spray park project would be constructed in the same place as the current water park, which would be replaced entirely with the following:

  • new spray park including features and equipment that could be swapped out in the winter for an outdoor ice surface
  • benches and a potential warming area
  • renovated accessible washroom facilities in a building that would also include an ice plant and storage for an ice resurfacing machine and other equipment.
  • signage recognizing cultural and historical significance of the area

The City, in consultation with community stakeholders and citizens, is also considering implementing sustainable project components including:

  • cold water resurfacing technology
  • heat recovery system from the ice plant to be used for things like snow removal on pathways and space heating
  • an electric ice-resurfacing vehicle (Zamboni)
  • LED lighting for the rink and washrooms
  • future electrical infrastructure to accommodate low-carbon electrification opportunities such as EV chargers and e-mobility chargers

Community, Culture and Recreation Grant

The City is seeking a grant through BC’s Community, Culture and Recreation Program to cover approximately three quarters of the estimated cost for construction of this new infrastructure and lighting and pathway improvements. The results of the grant application should be received in 2021 and, if successful, construction would start 2022. The City had applied to the same grant program in 2018 for a similar project in the park, but was unsuccessful. This new grant intake has provided an opportunity for staff to refine the project concept and resubmit an application. The project team is also working closely with Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc to protect archaeological and cultural resources.

Riverside Park was chosen as the location for the project based on the need to replace aging spray park infrastructure over the next one to five years. This opportunity, combined with community support and evidence from the City's Recreation Master Plan, which indicates ice surface utilization at 100% during prime ice time, makes this multi-season infrastructure a desirable destination for residents and visitors in winter and summer.

If the City is unsuccessful in receiving grant funding, the spray park infrastructure update will still move ahead as part of the City's five year capital plan. However, the outdoor rink component would not be part of the project.

Do you have a question about this project? Take the opportunity to ask it below.

Flood and Erosion Protection

The City recently received funding from the Provincial Government in the amount of $750,000 to aid in flood mitigation efforts along the riverbank at Riverside Park as part of the $1.5 million Structural Flood Mitigation Project.

This projects is intended to protect Riverside Park from flooding, and specifically critical sanitary sewer infrastructure within the park. In addition to raising the grade of the Rivers Trail, the City intends to complete bank stabilization near the pier to prevent erosion and damage to infrastructure during high water periods, building on temporary emergency work that was undertaken in 2018. The City will reconstruct the Rivers Trail to a higher elevation to provide a barrier to rising waters, and reduce the frequency of deploying temporary measures.

The project is expected to begin later this year. More details will be released as construction plans and public impacts are finalized.




Q and A

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    How will the ice rink be kept frozen, it is often warm enough in winter that none of our current rinks freeze over for more than a few weeks

    Cp asked about 1 month ago

    The ice surface would be maintained through an ice plant, similar to arena ice surfaces. The exact method and equipment are still being discussed. 

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    I understand that the City of Kamloops was unsuccessful in obtaining grant funds for this project - what is the scope of the project now and when will it begin? I understand that the concession stand will be demolished? Where has this been in the proposal, what will be in its place and where will the funds come for this?

    pdc asked about 1 month ago

    The City was successful with grant funding for a portion of the Riverside Park Flood protection project. The project is fully funded and approved.  The scope of work includes construction of a private dyke (raising Rivers Trail) to protect critical sanitary infrastructure, and bank stabilization west of the pier to prevent erosion.  Included in this scope of work is demolition of the existing concession building due to its elevation within the flood plain, and it's age and condition.  The project will start when the City has all provincial and federal permits in place and when it also makes sense to do so.  At this time, we estimate fall/winter 2021/2022.

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    I trust the city will provide night-time security, but are there any other measures being proposed? i.e. Better lighting from access points to the proposed rink area. Kelowna smartly put their rink in a popular spot, alongside a well traveled street, busy public walking area and public transit within a few steps.

    mark fisher asked 4 months ago

    Thank you for your question. The project would include new LED lighting around the splash park/outdoor rink and areas for benches. The project scope is dependent on the outcome of a grant the City applied for under BC's Community, Culture and Recreation Program, which would cover approximately 75% of the project costs (including new infrastructure and lighting and pathway improvements). This page will be updated with the outcome of the grant and the City is anticipating results in the Summer of 2021. 

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    As we deal with covid I am wondering why outdoor rink would be dismissed when we need more outdoor activity for both children & adults. It should remain in the budget.

    pat kaatz asked 5 months ago

    Thank you for your question. The Riverside Park Improvements Project has not been dismissed. The City is currently awaiting the outcome of a grant application through BC’s Community, Culture and Recreation Program, which would cover about three quarters of the project costs. Results of the grant adjudication should be known by spring of 2021. If successful, designs would start later in 2021 and construction would start in 2022. If the City is unsuccessful in receiving grant funding, the spray park infrastructure update will still move ahead as part of the City's five year capital plan, but without the ice rink infrastructure. If you have further questions, please reach out to our Civic Operations Department at civicoperations@kamloops.ca.
    This page will continue to be updated as the project proceeds.

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    What do the Riverside Park improvements involve?

    hummingbird1 asked 9 months ago

    City staff have proposed combining a new outdoor skating rink and water park into one facility. The existing spray park is almost 30 years old, and staff estimate it will need to be replaced within the next one to five years. The existing washroom and storage building would be repurposed to include the following:

    •    new washrooms and change rooms

    •    storage

    •    ice plant and operating equipment

    •    storage area for ice resurfacing equipment 

    The project would also include new LED lighting and improvements to area walkways.