Exploring Design Ideas at the Mid-summer Roundtable

After two and a half months of conversation and consultation with the Moss Park community–and with another two and a half left to go–residents and community members joined the More Moss Park design team for the Mid-summer Roundtable on July 20 at John Innes Community Centre. It was an opportunity to hear about the public consultation’s progress so far and to explore early design concepts for the proposed redevelopment of Moss Park.


Robert Allen from MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects outlined the design team’s concepts, which were informed by the feedback from over 1,000 conversations with the Moss Park community during the public consultation.

Issues the design team has learned about the site include: there is little physical connection between the buildings and the park, building entrances aren’t very welcome or accessible, crossing the park is difficult, and some people find the neighbouring Armoury on the west side of the park to be intimidating because of its gated, unwelcoming presence. Programming is also vital, Allen said, and any new facilities need to accommodate various needs of the community.


The building design proposed a new multi-floor facility situated at the west side of the park, a plan that would create more activity space than currently exists while ensuring that Moss Park Arena and John Innes Community Centre can be kept open during construction of the new building. Roof space could accommodate multiple uses, including a community garden and running track, while a new arena would be situated in the basement level, along with parking space. Other preliminary features included several flex activity studios, a multi-use pool on the top level, a range of changing room options and easy-to access washrooms, a commercial-grade community kitchen, and many other amenities.


After Allen’s presentation, participants joined roundtable discussions to share their first reactions to what was presented, assess the strengths and weaknesses and offer suggestions on how the proposed design would meet their needs and those of the community. Members of the design team sat down with each table to discuss the various options.

Many in attendance liked the proposed idea to build the new facilities on the west side of the park. Some people expressed concerns about how to ensure the park would be safe, accessible to everyone and would maximize available green space, while others commented on the need for more space for sports, including skating and hockey. Howie Dayton, Director of Parks, Forestry and Recreation, and Maura Lawless, Executive Director of The 519, were on hand to answer questions and clarify the roles of their organizations in the partnership.


The Mid-summer Roundtable was a unique opportunity to share and explore some exciting new ideas for the future of Moss Park Arena, John Innes Community Centre and the surrounding park space. Many thanks to everyone who came out to see the progress being made in this public consultation and share their thoughts.