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Refreshed look proposed for Richmond's "Lakes District"

The lakes at Minoru Park were created in the 1970s but are considered in poor condition.
Proposed Minoru lakes area redesign

The lakes at Minoru Park could get somewhat smaller but deeper as the city looks to refresh the look of the park and its “Lakes District.”

Richmond city council approved exploring a park renewal process already four years ago, and now the design plans are coming back for approval.

The plans include reconfiguring the ponds with the southeast section – currently over-run by “aggressive” cattails - converted into a picnic area.

The plan also includes using rainwater runoff east of the park – including from Richmond Centre and Minoru Boulevard – in the renewed ponds and waterfall.

Other features outlined in a city staff report are plazas, lighting and furnishing at entry points as well as connections to greenways to the Oval and Lansdowne Village (currently the mall is being redesigned as a residential/commercial area with about 4,000 homes).

Pathways will be simplified and widened throughout the park.

Seating will be added by the renewed lakes as well as new bridges and canal crossings.

The park currently has 649 trees. During construction, 32 trees will be removed – 15 are considered in good condition – while others will be relocated within the park. The plan is to add 61 new trees.

Construction of the first phase of the park renewal process is expected to begin next February and continue until the fall.

In the meantime, the construction of the new lawn bowling club in the park – called the Bowling Green Community Activity Centre – is expected to run from November to February 2023.

The lakes were construction in the 1970s and its infrastructure is past its useful life, the staff report notes. Furthermore, the water quality is considered poor.

From just 2011 to 2016, the population density in the area increased by 25 per cent. The population within 400 metres of the park is about 20,000 and should double by 2041.

The lake renewal project is on the agenda for next week’s parks, recreation and cultural committee meeting.