Paddle Centre to become permanent part of Kelowna’s newest waterfront park | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Paddle Centre to become permanent part of Kelowna’s newest waterfront park

Image Credit: Submitted/City of Kelowna
March 19, 2021 - 11:45 AM

Kelowna’s Pandosy Waterfront Park is so far ahead of schedule that it will take five years for a local paddle club to transition into a new home in the park.

Land for the park, near Cedar Avenue in the South Pandosy neighbourhood, was bought decades ago but construction wasn't planned for another five years.

That schedule was moved up after new money was paid into a parks development fund starting in 2019.

READ MORE: Kelowna city council raising charges to developers to pay for parks

The Kelowna Paddle Club has been renting one of the houses on the park site since 2014 but needs time to raise enough money to build a 6,000 square foot “modern, forward-thinking building,” states a report going to city council on Monday, March 22.

Council is being asked to allow the club to rent the existing house for $1 a year for five years while it raises money, designs and builds the new facility.

The club, formally called the Kelowna Outrigger Racing Canoe Club Association, has 350 members and offers programs to about 1,000 non-members, the report states.

Image Credit: Submitted/City of Kelowna

“Kelowna Paddle Club has already become a key provider of affordable and accessible paddle opportunities in the community,” the report states. “A new building will enable Kelowna Paddle Club to continue to grow their membership and programs, increasing opportunities for all to access the lake.”

The beach in front of the paddle club building is not suited for swimming or motor boats but is ideal for paddling, the report says.

“(It) will create an important full-service hub for Kelowna's 28 km Paddle Trail spanning from McKinley Beach to Bertram Creek Park,” the report adds.

The design for the park was approved by city council in 2014 after some heated public debate. The city had wanted to sell part of the land to pay to build the park but residents insisted it all become a park.

READ MORE: Pandosy waterfront park supporters sway council

At that time, work on the park was not scheduled to begin until 2025/26 but was moved up to this year because of the new funding.

Phase 1 will include the removal of the houses on the site, creating a waterfront green space with pathways, lighting and trees, along with shoreline restoration and protection.

Image Credit: Submitted/City of Kelowna

Phase 2 of the $4.5 million park is scheduled for 2022. Further phases will depend on the city buying more land.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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