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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Tot Park moves to arena grounds, new Hunter Park playground installed

by Sylene Argent

The Town of Essex is continuing to chip away at the action items in its Parks and Recreation Master Plan, and is currently wrapping up a few projects for residents to enjoy this spring.

  Just before the Christmas break, staff with the Town of Essex moved the Tot Park from its former location on Irwin Avenue, adjacent to the Essex Municipal Building, to the Essex Centre Sports Complex Grounds.

  The Tot Park is now situated beside the splashpad, which will give young visitors to the area plenty to do when they head there in the summer.

  “We are trying to kind of consolidate everything into one area. There is so much activity going on at the splashpad,” Jake Morassut, Manager of Parks and Facilities, said.

  The arena also has more parking available for users than the Municipal Building, where the Tot Park used to be located. The arena area also gives the Tot Park more visibility, so residents know it is available for youngsters to use.

  The Tot Park will be fenced in and will have a rubber surface. The hope is that work will be done by spring.

  The Town, he said, is strategizing on what to do with the property the Tot Park was formerly located.

  Also new to the grounds of the Essex Centre Sports Complex are the three new pickleball/tennis courts.

  Morassut noted the installation of the multi-use courts is nearly completed and will be ready for use this spring. The Town does have to complete a few tests in the meantime, such as on the lighting to ensure everything is in working order and will be sufficient for future users.  

  It was hoped the courts would be completed this fall, but the project did take a little more time to wrap up than expected, due to supply and other issues because of the pandemic, Morassut said, adding the benefit is that the courts will have a little more time to cure over the winter before they are used.

  The Town is planning a grand opening once the warmer weather hits.

  Hunter Park also recently received new playground equipment. Council awarded the Request for Proposal to design, supply, and install playground equipment for Hunter Park to New World Park Solutions Inc. last May.

  Community members were able to virtually submit their opinions on what design they liked the most out of the six available possibilities. 

  Morassut said there was a soft opening for Hunter Park. There is still some work to complete, such as on fencing and drainage before springtime. He suspects there will be, at that time, a grand opening of this park as well.   


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