Development may split Navy Memorial Park in half

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Development may split Navy Memorial Park in half

Post by Spider on Thu 12 Oct 2017, 8:23 pm

Development may split Navy Memorial Park in half

By Elliot Ferguson, Kingston Whig-Standard
Thursday, October 12, 2017 4:39:44 EDT PM

Local navy veterans groups are upset that a proposed high-rise development could split Navy Memorial Park in half.

The 20-storey development proposed for the site of the former Marine Museum of the Great Lakes is to include an emergency vehicle access road into the site at the intersection of Ontario and Lower Union streets.

The fire route is proposed to run off Ontario Street through the middle of the park.

Plans for the development show Navy Memorial Park split into two sections on either side of the emergency route.

“For the city to even consider the removal of the Naval Memorial Park is utterly disrespectful not only to those gone before us but to members who are still serving,” Chris Varley, president of the HMCS Cataraqui Association, wrote in a letter to Mayor Bryan Paterson.

Varley noted that the park is the only memorial in Kingston dedicated solely to the navy.

The memorial was built by former members of the Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service. It was dedicated in 1994, and the park itself was dedicated in 2003.

In 2010, the park was turned over to the city, with the expectation that it would be maintained as a military memorial site.

The park has been used since 1994 for Remembrance Day and Battle of the Atlantic ceremonies.

“I would be astounded and enraged if council would agree to such a defilement of Canadian military heritage,” retired navy captain John Plant wrote in a letter to Paterson.

“The landscaping, trees, historical objects that tell the story for the Canadian Navy and Kingston were all donated by individuals from this city,” he wrote. “They explain Kingston’s naval heritage to the many that visit the park.”

The site was once the home of the Kingston Shipyards and Varley said Canadian warships were built there for the First and Second world wars, including several vessels lost in action.

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