New Plan for Gorsebrook Park ....is it right
The bottom line is that we want residents to be able to comment further on the proposed changes. If you have questions or thoughts please let us know . You can read the full report at ...more
Gorsebrook Park - Celebrating 200 Years of Greenspace
Over the years, the estate was divided leaving us with Gorsebrook Park, an active-living, neighbourhood park used by all ages all year round.
The commemorative plaque was affixed to a boulder that was found during the excavation of the recent Wellington Street development and moved by Urban Capital and Marco Construction to its current site in the Park. We felt it was fitting to have the rock come from the location where we waged and lost our first fight for responsible development in our neighbourhood. So far Urban Capital and Marco Construction have proved themselves good neighbours as the residents grapple with the ongoing construction noise and inconvenience.
Gorsebrook Park....Neighbourhood meeting
What to Keep, What to Change?
Hosted by Councillor Waye Mason, a meeting was held at SMU October 28, 2015 to discuss what people liked, disliked or would change about Gorsebrook Park, in the short term and the long term. Apparently there is no Master plan for the Park so Councillor Mason wanted to be sure any changes reflect what the community wants. The meeting opened with a short history of the Park lands titled Hay to Diamonds presented by Park to Park.
For the most part, the attendees were happy with the park as is, enjoying the informal open structure and the public access to many sporting venues and just as a quiet place to walk and sit.
In the short term possible changes included more signage and benches (already underway through a participatory budgeting grant to Park To Park) better maintenance, more garbage cans (recycle), poop bags, better defined paths, a water fountain for all the thirsty athletes and maybe a few more strategically placed trees to shade the new benches.
Discussion on longer term changes explored the idea of low lights along the walking paths, lights for the tennis courts, washrooms, an expanded community garden at the Inglis street end, painting the rink boards, and even flooding the rink to allow winter hockey. Just like a big backyard rink. People liked the idea of more community involvement, possibly the formation of a friends of the park group, park days etc.
For the longer term, proposals from sporting groups suggested possible improvements to the tennis courts and ball diamonds, including changing the location of the baseball diamonds and covering the tennis courts for private winter use, while maintaining open access all summer as usual.
Less is more seemed to be the overriding theme, with emphasis on maintaining the current park lands and if opportunities were to arise such as an unwanted school closure, that those lands be added to the park, not developed. There was no support for more highrise development around the Park.
If unwanted and inappropriate development continues to be permitted in the area, the idea was floated that developers should contribute to improving recreational/park amenities in the area. This is now required for new suburban development so why not on the penninsula. Something we could bring up during the Centre Plan discussions.
History of the Park
For those of you who didn't make it to the meeting, the text of the presentation is included below.
1800’s – early, south end Halifax began to be settled with large estates and land grants
1820’s – Enos Collins took over the estate of John Tremaine and called it Gorsebrook
Who was Enos Collins?
1774-1871 Born in Liverpool, NS
merchant, legislator, very successful privateer
a founding partner of the Halifax Banking Company, today’s CIBC
At his death, he was estimated to be worth $6,000,000+, a significantly rich man.
As time passed
1894 – estate was split in half with the extension of Inglis St
1900 – northern portion rented to the Gorsebrook Golf Club, a 9 hole
1922 – Ashburn established and Gorsebrook became a community golf course
1928 – course expanded to southern section and 18 holes. No trees were to be cut
SMU and the RCAF
1941 – Cartaret Collins, descendent of Enos died and the sell-off began
1949 – SMU took legal possession of lower half Late in WWII, the RCAF purchased and built RCAF Base Goresbrook northeast portion, the Women’s Air Corps residence
1953 – it expanded to a full air force residence
The Park Changes
Late 40’s, Halifax bought the remaining north lands and divided it into baseball diamonds
1949 – Gorsebrook School built
1952 – St Francis School was built, now called Inglis Street School
1983 – Sir Frederick Fraser School moved from Morris Street to Gorsebrook Park on South Street.
A unique space in south end Halifax - 2 baseball diamonds, 3 tennis courts, 1 lacrosse rink, 1 Class A soccer pitch, 42 plot community garden, And tobogganing and skiing in the winter.