Facebook Memories brought this post in which I was tagged four years ago, to my attention. Jubilee Park is an historic Park that was run down, with needles to be found in the gravel of the playground and unfortunate people tenting in the park despite the lack of washrooms. In short, from a downtown business point of view, it was a very sad gateway to the downtown. With a large provincial grant, city of Abbotsford money, and a $400,000 contribution from the Abbotsford Downtown Business Association’ the park was reconstructed. Better parking was created, with better assembly space and facilities. Many said it was wasted money and that the park couldn’t be returned to its former glory. But many said the same about the entire historic downtown of Abbotsford twenty years ago.
Today the park is a busy centre of the downtown. The children’s playground is safely used, Banters ice cream brings crowds as do pickle ball courts. Not to mention the highly successful Saturday Farmers Market. The park has been restored as a well used centre of the community, part of the return of our downtown to being the heart of our city. A success story!
I have had the privilege of being on the executive of the ADBA for these last twenty some years and having a major sense of accomplishment.
Oh, about the homeless. Although the park is less attractive to them the provincial government has financed shelters and housing in the downtown, so they have not been entirely displaced by the “dreaded gentrification”. In fact another organization of which I am president, the Kinghaven Peardonville House Society (we treat addiction) is building a further 60 plus units of support housing in another location in Abbotsford. It is possible to work towards an attractive business community centre and contribute to the social well being of the marginalized. But there is so much more to do.
Photo by Dave Loewen -- June 7, 2019
Posts copied from FaceBook.