Refurbishing Memorial Park on Manitoba’s to-do list for 150th birthday bash

The province will freshen the look of Memorial Park in time for Manitoba’s 150th birthday bash.

Upgrades to the fountain, as well as lighting, seating and signage around the water feature, are among the projects benefitting from a $45-million investment in Manitoba’s infrastructure, the provincial government announced on Tuesday afternoon.

The funding will represent a legacy for Manitoba 150, a year-long celebration in 2020 to mark the province’s sesquicentennial.

The news release says all components of the park have reached the end of their life, according to an engineering report.

Fountain reaches its end

The fountain requires mechanical, electrical and structural improvements, the province said. Preliminary work is underway to improve the park’s design, which is expected to include lighting, seating and signage around the fountain.

As well as upgrades to the two hectares of green space in front of the Manitoba Legislature, the province will refurbish the adjacent Memorial Boulevard between Broadway and York avenues.

Premier Brian Pallister called the road work “long overdue.”

“I think it’ll be easier on the body for people driving down Memorial, that’s the first objective,” Pallister told reporters from the grounds of Memorial Park.

Road upgrades

In addition, the intersection to turn toward the Brandon Municipal Airport will be improved, along with 37 kilometres worth of pavement on Provincial Trunk Highway 20 between Cowan and Camperville in Parkland and nearly 20 kilometres of Provincial Road 326 north of Arborg.

The province would not estimate the value of the projects before the tendering process is complete, but said it’s the first phase of infrastructure projects dipping into the $45-million fund.

The renewed infrastructure should be ready in time for Manitoba’s sesquicentennial, the news release said.

At the news conference, Pallister wasn’t willing to speculate on the timing of an election, despite saying last week an election during Manitoba 150 “is not good” because advertising restrictions in advance of the election would prevent the province from promoting the event. 

Pallister said his energies are focused on the flood threat, which he estimated would crest in six or seven days at least.

“Every time I do make myself available to the media, I’m reminded of how important and critical it is that I comment on it, but I have said frequently and I’ll say again: We’re focused on the issues around flooding, and the potential for flooding in our province, so that’s where we’ll stay focused.”