Action soon returning to Sandy Hill tennis/pickle ball courts

Bob Whitelaw

Three tennis courts at Saint Germain Park (Templeton Street and Sweetland Avenue) were closed in late August and through September for a major rebuild and renewal project. The work is expected to be completed in early October, which will allow late fall community use for tennis and pickleball.

“The courts were aging,” Councillor Mathieu Fleury told IMAGE, “And although the community was not at my door knocking and protesting, we had heard some feedback about safety and undertook a lifecycle review. We rely on community feedback for these free outdoor spaces.”

The City’s asset management group is repaving the playing surface, installing new fencing and painting lines on the courts at Saint Germain Park for both tennis and pickleball. The cost is $304,000, which includes $175,000 from a CIL (cash-in-lieu of parkland) fund directed by the councillor.

At the same time the City’s asset management group conducts reviews. “For example,” Fleury continues, “we have identified that the play structures in Strathcona Park near the wading pool are at the end of life. So, we are going to consult over the fall what the community would like in terms of play structures in that area.”

This cooperation is standard: the City does the basic work, Fleury says, and the CIL fund makes sure it is “done right.” Every time there is a development happening in Ward 12 (Lowertown, Sandy Hill, Vanier), he says, “a proportion goes into a CIL fund, which we use to redo parks. In Lowertown, Jules Morin Park; in Vanier, Smith Park behind the Beechwood fire station, and [in early October] we will have the new tennis and pickleball courts at Riverain Park [as well as Saint Germain].”

Avid neighbourhood pickleball players Beth Smith, Tom Zed and Roger Bilodeau used the courts regularly during the spring and summer until they arrived one day in late August to find the site fenced off and digging had started. They were happy to learn on Oct. 1 that nets would be placed by Thanksgiving, making possible the return of pickleball to the new community courts.

Ward 12 Councillor Mathieu Fleury checks the level of the surface before the start of paving the new tennis and pickleball courts at Saint Germain Park while Tom Zed, Beth Smith and Roger Bilodeau eagerly await the return of pickleball to their new community courts.