The Town of Newmarket held an iWonder Public Information Centre (PIC) for Philmore Hamilton Park that took place on Saturday, March 2, 2019 at Newmarket’s Old Town Hall. Over 150 residents attended this interactive PIC for the proposed stormwater management facility that will also act as a rain park public space.
In 2014, the Town of Newmarket initiated an investigation into flooding in the Wayne and Waratah area. Through this investigation, it was determined that the Town needed to incorporate additional stormwater controls in the area to reduce flooding.
In 2017, the Wayne and Waratah Area Stormwater Management Study Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (MCEA), determined the types of stormwater management facilities that would be constructed in the area. The Town’s Engineering Services and the Recreation and Culture departments join forces to combine recreational, social and cultural experiences that could be incorporated into the project to address the needs of the community.
“The iWonder Public Information Centre is another innovative way for the Town of Newmarket to gather feedback and to engage the public. Community engagement is a priority for the Town and members of Newmarket Council.” says Mayor John Taylor.
“Congratulations to Town of Newmarket staff for a very successful iWonder Public Information Centre for Philmore Hamilton Park,” says Ward 3 Councillor Jane Twinney. “This event represents a different approach to gathering feedback for an environmental and recreational space. We look forward to more future opportunities to engage our public in an informative, interactive and most importantly, fun way.”
The PIC invited residents to participate in various multi-sensory activity stations that would help them re-imagine and experience how rain/water can be fun and playful at this proposed park.
The various interactive stations included a nighttime experience where residents were acquainted with the sounds and smell of rain while evoking memories of comfort. Daytime experiences included secret messages revealed by sunlight, rain music made by pouring water into various instruments, and two rain story activities that focused on gathering feedback on the participants’ experiences throughout the PIC and a brainstorming session about what rain means to them.
“The success of the iWonder PIC revolved around the collaborative partnerships between the Engineering Services department, the Recreation and Culture department and the community,” says Rachel Prudhomme, Director of Engineering Services. “The iWonder PIC allowed us to view stormwater management through a different lens. Through imagination and shared ideas, we were able to envision a public space that will help residents connect with the environment and celebrate their community.”
Feedback gathered from the PIC will be used to shape the design, land use and programming for the park. Construction on the park is expected to begin in summer of 2020.
Residents who could not attend the event may visit newmarket.ca/iwonder to view the concept drawings and designs, and to gather more information on Philmore Hamilton Park. Residents can also view the flyover concept video for the park.