Master plan includes built infrastructure, restaurants, commercial development at 70-acre Innisfil Beach Park on Lake Simcoe

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

Innisfil Council and the public got a look at a master plan for Innisfil Beach Park last week and some proposed changes including more trees and fewer parking lots.

There are also plans for more built infrastructure, floating docks, restaurants, skatepark and BMX track, leash-free dog park and commercial development within the approximately 70 acre park on Lake Simcoe.

The final report is expected at the end of April.

“I would urge people to go through it. It’s going to be the document that’s going to guide us for many years,” said Mayor Lynn Dollin. “Tell us what you don’t like and tell us what you do like.”

According to a report from policy planner Gaelen Pierce, the plan is “a bold, long-term vision for the revitalization of Innisfil’s largest urban park,” and addresses congestion, over-crowding, and “underutilization of large swaths of land,” to create a more accessible and pedestrian-oriented space.

The master plan also proposes dividing Innisfil Beach Park into five distinct areas:

Gateway Hills Place:

  • A wide plaza with trees and benches at the base of constructed rolling hills;
  • A water feature for families seeking water access away from Lake Simcoe;
  • Abundance of shaded open green space for picnic, passive enjoyment; and
  • Small lookouts atop hills will draw visitors seeking an idyllic view of the Park and lake and will attract tobogganers in the winter months.

Youth Place:

  • Conversion of the old operations building for an indoor youth space, programmed throughout the summer and winter;
  • Outdoor BMX pump track;
  • Outdoor skateboard park; and
  • Shaded seating area.

Port of Innisfil:

  • Conversion of the boat launch parking area into a large open-air event space;
  • Maintaining pedestrian and non-motorized access to the water;
  • Boat launch area converted into arrival point with expanded dock system;
  • Adjacent greenspaces for passive recreational use;
  • Large washroom facility;
  • Lake-based equipment rentals facility;
  • Restaurants with views of Lake Simcoe.

Beach Place:

  • A wide square with iconic public art installation connecting major drop-off area to the shores of Lake Simcoe;
  • Shaded eating and seating area;
  • Large washroom facility and changerooms;
  • Expansion and enhancement BBQ areas; and
  • Expanded sandy beach areas.

Neighborhood Place:

  • A large, enclosed community pavilion;
  • Surrounding landscape enhancements, suitable for weddings, classes, and community event programming;
  • A nearby community garden and outdoor kitchen;
  • Replacement of operations equipment storage and facilities near the wastewater treatment plant; and

Gateway Place:

  • Low-rise institutional mixed-use building located at Innisfil Beach Road and 25 Sideroad;
  • Multi-use community space on the ground floor with strata residential units will activate west entrance to the Park and support regular resident occupancy of the west area of
  • the Park; and
  • Enhanced streetscaping, public art.

Downtown Commercial Area extension

  • Low-rise commercial mixed-use development informed by sympathetic infill guidelines;
  • High quality streetscaping enhancements; and
  • Improvements to the Innisfil Beach Road corridor.

Each area will contain a significant portion of planned capital investments. Investments will include the expansion of existing pedestrian pathways, realignments of roadways, and diversification of park landscapes.

The budget for Innisfil Beach Park in 2019 includes $318,000 for a docking system while 2020 includes $1.1 million for a docking system and $537,000 for trails and fitness equipment; and in next year spending will include, $1.13 million for docks, $610,000 for a pavilion, and $2.5 million for a skating rink or path.

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