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Have your say about $5 million redevelopment of Silverwoods Park and Arena

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The city is planning to update and modernize one of its most popular but aging parks.

Public input is being sought ahead of a $5 million redevelopment of Silverwoods Park and Arena on Sycamore Street in east London, Ont.

“We're looking to see what people would like to have in terms of the park amenities, in terms of aquatics as well,” explained Coun. Hadleigh McAlister. “Whether people like to keep the wading pool or go with a splash pad.”

The plan envisions redeveloping the park, improving the outdoor pool, and upgrading the arena into a community centre by adding multi-use spaces.

Silverwoods Park and Arena, seen on May 17, 2024. (Daryl Newcombe/CTV News London)

Preliminary work to the pool has already filled in the diving well, added stairs, and increased aquatics programming including swim lessons.

A heater will be installed in the pool, which is the last in the city with ambient water temperatures.

For a park its size, Silverwoods has always punched above its weight by offering a wide variety of recreation opportunities.

Silverwoods Park and Arena, seen on May 17, 2024. (Daryl Newcombe/CTV News London)

“This park has everything going for it. There's always a cricket match going, there's always kids playing, things are going on in the arena. It’s a busy, busy place,” said neighbour Gary Elmer while out walking his dogs.

“The park gets a lot more use than people know,” said Trish Conrad, who brought her daughters to the park. “There are lots of kids in the neighbourhood. The park is pretty old and I think its time for something new.”

Conrad’s daughters have a wishlist for the park.

“Monkey bars, because I like hanging on them!” said 6-year-old Amelia.

Amelia Conrad enjoys the slide in Silverwoods Park on May 17, 2024. (Daryl Newcombe/CTV News London)

Her 9-year-old sister Auria would like a swing set, “I like going to swings and swinging as high as I can!”

As the City of London continues to grow inwards and upwards, greater population density and shifting demographic in existing neighbourhoods will require recreation facilities to be modernized and expanded.

“You definitely see younger families in this neighbourhood,” said Conrad. “There are three storey walk-ups going in around the corner, and you know there will be families there as well.”

McAlister is excited about the project, “It's an acknowledgement by the city that we need to reinvest in our older, established communities.”

The community is invited to offer input about the redevelopment during the Silverwoods Festival on June 1, or online at the Get Involved London website.

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