Talks continue on parc des Cèdres expansion
In its 2015 budget Gatineau earmarked $5.4 million to renovate Aylmer’s parc des Cèdres, but no major changes will take place this summer.
“We need to make plans first,” said Aylmer ward councillor Josée Lacasse. “We have the plans from 2007, but we need to update them. We will organize meetings and seek recommendations from community leaders. After that (by fall), we should have a good idea of what we want, and then we can talk to architects.”
Renovations at the pavillion (Resto Bar Marina) will, according to Lacasse, consume the majority of the million-dollar allocation. The city-owned pavillion, mainly occupied by the restaurant, is leased out but its future is unclear.
“The restaurant will remain open for the summer, but its lease is expiring soon,” added Lacasse.
Chances of lease renewal are slim since, according to Lacasse, the pavillion needs to be completely rebuilt. “It’s not a four-season pavillion,” said Lacasse. As councillor for this area, she’s monitoring the des Cèdres file and hopes to bring more winter activities to the popular riverside park. “We have plenty of activities here for the summer; we could offer more with a four-season pavillion.”
A small ice rink was built in the marina parking lot in 2012 by APICA, but the project was costly and participation rates low. The project was not repeated.
A rink was featured in the 2007 proposal, plus room for ice fishing and sliding. The plans included the site’s cultural vocation, the heritage of the area, and an improved link between rue Principale and the park.
Although the 2007 master plan was apparently shelved by the city administration, the park has still benefited from significant investments over the years. These include a resurfaced and relocated bike path, new play structures, plus additional trees and lights. The Marina itself also saw many improvements: a new visitor wharf, resurfaced parking, and a rebuilt boat launch.