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Come to Breakwater Park's grand re-opening celebrations

July 24, 2018 -

The finishing touches on renovations are nearly complete as the City of Kingston prepares for the grand re-opening of Breakwater Park on Thursday, July 26, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Grand opening festivities will begin with opening remarks by Mark Gerretsen, Member of Parliament for Kingston and the Islands, Mayor Bryan Paterson, Mark Mattson, Swim Drink Fish President and Tamara Rebanks, Chair of the Conservation Committee, The W. Garfield Weston Foundation.

"After a year of construction and much anticipation, I look forward to joining our community in celebration of the grand opening of Breakwater Park. I am proud of the federal government's investment in this worthwhile renovation project. Thanks, in part, to the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program, we have a rejuvenated waterfront to enjoy for years to come," says Mark Gerretsen, Member of Parliament for Kingston and the Islands.

"It's great to see Breakwater Park open and ready for the community to enjoy. This beautiful waterfront park has amenities for the whole family to enjoy and I'm excited to see a space that will be enjoyed long into the future!" says Mayor Paterson.

"The restoration of the Gord Edgar Downie swimming pier and Breakwater Park is one of the highlights of my career. It's a testament to the power of community engagement, visionary funders like The W. Garfield Weston Foundation, and municipal leadership. I believe what's happening in Kingston will inspire more cities on the Great Lakes to embrace their connection to water and that we'll have healthier, happier communities as a result," says Mark Mattson, president of Swim Drink Fish and the Lake Ontario Waterkeeper.

Park Improvements

Breakwater Park renovations include a new promenade, pedestrian bridge and shade structure, pier upgrades, steps and seating, shoreline works including an upland beach, landscaping and tree planting and accessibility improvements.

With up to $1 million in support, provided through the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program, delivered by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), the revitalization project began a year ahead of schedule.

The renovations were also supported by $500,000 in funding by The W. Garfield Weston Foundation, which included project management support from Swim Drink Fish Canada.

"The W. Garfield Weston Foundation is proud to share in this exciting community effort to connect more people to the water of the Great Lakes and to support the City of Kingston's vision of a safe, beautiful, and accessible lakefront. It is only by working in strong, collaborative partnerships, such as those that revitalized Breakwater Park, that we can improve the health and accessibility of our waterways," says Tamara Rebanks, Chair of the Conservation Committee, The W. Garfield Weston Foundation.

Activities and Events

The first 500 people at the event will be treated to a free gelato and hot dog (following the opening ceremonies). Community groups and local businesses will be on-site to offer free all-ages activities including kayaking, slack-line and stand-up paddle boarding demonstrations, board and escape games and sessions with personal fitness trainers who can share how to enjoy the waterfront park as an outdoor gym.

Kingston Transit, Shuttle Service and Parking

Attendees are encouraged to plan their trip using Kingston Transit's trip planner at or to use the free 20-minute shuttle that will operate from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with pick-up and drop-off at Richardson Stadium. Pedestrians and cyclists are to access the park at the new traffic signals installed on King Street at Lower University Avenue. See for a list of parking options.


Accessible parking, drop-off areas, portable washrooms, seating areas, assistive hearing devices and mat-paths will be on-site throughout the event. Contact Emily Hatchette at with any concerns about accessibility.

For more on the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program:

For more on the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario:

For more on the Great Lakes Challenge:

About the City of Kingston

Kingston's vision of being a smart, livable 21st century city is fast becoming reality. History and innovation thrive in our dynamic city located along the beautiful shores of Lake Ontario, an easy drive from Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal, in the heart of eastern Ontario. With a stable and diversified economy that includes global corporations, innovative startups and all levels of government, Kingston's high quality of life offers access to world-class education and research institutions, advanced healthcare facilities, affordable living and vibrant entertainment and tourism activities.

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Media contact: For more information call the communications and customer experience department at 613-546-4291, ext. 2300.