Westboro Beach has happily joined other west end communities such as Champlain Park, McKellar Park and Laroche Park in having its own neighbourhood Field House.
Councillor Jeff Leiper and other community partners officially cut the ribbon on the new Westboro Beach field house on Van Lang Private Sunday, May 8 with a party attended by about 200 neighbours. Other partners who helped cut the ribbon were Councillor Mathieu Fleury, chair of Ottawa Community Housing and Cameron MacLeod, Director of the Carlington Community Health Centre. Councillor Leiper gave special thanks to the late Sean Pigeon, Beth Nolan, the Westboro Beach Community Association and the Van Lang Tenants Group who all worked hard to champion a community facility to host events and programs.
The field house to be administered by the Dovercourt Recreation Centre will offer programming in co-operation with the Carlington Community Health Centre. Although located in the Van Lang Housing Community, the Westboro Beach Field House is open for use by the entire community. This city recreation facility can also be rented by groups and individuals through Dovercourt.
The field house is Phase III of the Westboro Beach Community Association (WBCA) plan for the neighbourhood that began in 2007 with a survey and public meetings. Among the priorities identified were upgrades to the Roy Duncan Park and a need for a community space. The WBCA developed a four phase plan. Phase One (2007) included a renewal of the Roy Duncan Park as part of the 15 year lifecycle plan of the city (new playground equipment and splash pad). Phase Two completed in November, 2010 included the purchase of new benches, new fencing, flag pole, bulletin board and removal of debris from the wooded area. Phase Three was the establishment of a community house or field house to offer a place for the neighbourhood to meet as well as where services could be offered such as the homework club, community kitchen and recreation programs and camps. The land is being leased from Ottawa Community Housing for 22 years as a city facility and will complement the Roy Duncan Park. Phase four will include improvements and trails in the wooded lot behind the Roy Duncan Park.
Work began on the new field house at Van Lang in early summer, 2014. Although there were stoppages during the two year construction, the WBCA worked doggedly with Ottawa Community Housing and Councillor Jeff Leiper to get construction re‐started. The building was funded by the City of Ottawa’s cash‐in‐lieu of parkland policy.
The WBCA gives special thanks to Councillor Fleury and Councillor Catherine McKenney for their interim financial assistance. A special thanks also goes to Stéphane Giguère of Ottawa Community Housing who worked with the community throughout the many delays on the construction. There was also strong support of the Ottawa Community Housing Board of directors including Linda Hoad and former Councillor Diane Holmes. Also special thanks to Yasir Naqvi MPP who urged us to get drawings and be shovel ready and Gary Ludington of the Westboro Community Association who helped make this happen.
The WBCA would like to thank all the councillors who worked so hard to support the WBCA in this long journey. It would not have been possible without their support in securing funding from the in-lieu of parkland policy. The WBCA also thanks the Carlington Community Health Centre who helped secure funds with the WBCA from the Telus Canada Foundation for computers for the homework club, the Harry P. Ward Foundation for park improvements, the West Ottawa Kiwanis for the purchase of park benches, and finally the Max Keeping Foundation and the United Way which supports the community kitchen. Everyone is invited to come and enjoy this new facility.