Oshawa’s Lakeview Park supporters win battle to keep park open until midnight

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Published December 13, 2021 at 11:39 am

Photo Colin Williamson

A public campaign to keep Lakeview Park open until midnight won the day at Oshawa Council Monday morning, with the motion passing – after considerable debate – 10-1.

The public push, which included 200-plus emails to the City, a petition with more than 300 signatures in favour of the proposal and a social media campaign from residents – including photographer Colin Williamson – was enough to sway council.

The park currently closes at six p.m. during the winter months and the public campaign got underway in early November when private security staff hired by the City started forcing people out of the park at six.

Several councillors were concerned about increased vandalism that the increased hours of the pilot project would bring, with Councillor Rosemary McConkey mentioning “unwelcome behaviour” and Councillor Jane Hurst expressing concerns about the danger to Oshawa Museum buildings at the park.

“If anything happens there it can’t be replaced.”

Councillors John Gray and Brian Nicholson both noted that increased public presence in the park after hours will increase public safety and decrease vandalism because, as Gray said, “vandals don’t want to be seen.”

“The public will also be our eyes and ears,” he added.

Several amendments were added to the motion, including one where signage would be in place that would remind residents that water and beach access would not be monitored – an amendment targeted at surfers who frequent the waters of Lake Ontario 12 months of the year.

The Community Services Committee had voted 6-0 last week to recommend to Council that the hours of operation at Lakeview Park be extended to midnight, and that staff prepare a report on the impacts of the change in late spring-early summer of 2022.

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