Lakawanna Park a priceless playground born in the Depression - InfoNews

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Lakawanna Park a priceless playground born in the Depression

Penticton's popular lakeside kid's park was a product of a work program dating back to the days of the Great Depression.
May 16, 2015 - 2:34 PM

PENTICTON - Lakawanna Park lost a landmark earlier this month when the wooden locomotive parked alongside the washroom building was hauled away by the City of Penticton due to age and safety concerns.

The park continues to thrive in spite of losing the popular icon.

The child friendly park has been a fixture on the Penticton lakefront since the early 1930s, when the local Rotary Club first began developing Lakawanna Park.

According to the history book “Penticton Years to Remember, 1908-1983” it was during some of the worst years of the Great Depression, between 1931 and 1934, the park was constructed as an employment project through the Corporation of Penticton, which applied for then available provincial unemployment grants. The park was named after a contest was held amongst Penticton schools. Thora Forster (Laidman) submitted the winning entry.

It’s unknown exactly when the city took over operation of the park, says communications officer Simone Blais. The Rotary Club’s initial construction of the park included small open cabins with lattice sides containing brick fireplaces. The arrangement provided a means of cooking and some shelter for those using the park.

Sometime during the late 1970s or early 1980s the park was expanded, with the concession, locomotive and watermark opening in 2001 under a lease agreement with the concession operator.

In spite of the locomotive’s recent departure, the park continues to be a fun place for children which will become more so as summer approaches. 

To contact the reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad at or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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