Winnipeg skatepark could be renamed to honour one of its designers who died this year

WINNIPEG — A Winnipeg city councillor is looking to rename a skatepark in the city to memorialize a man who helped design the park, and passed away following a tragic accident earlier this year.

Coun. Scott Gillingham (St. James) said he is working with the family of Matt Jonsson to rename Skatepark West to the Matt Jonsson Memorial Skatepark.

“Matt Jonsson had an impact on so many people in St. James, and renaming the park in his honour keeps his memory alive, and reminds us all of the power and impact that young people have,” Gillingham said.

Jonsson, an avid BMX rider, passed away in February at the age of 24 following a freak accident. He was hanging out with friends in his basement when he jumped up and hit his head on a low-hanging ceiling, breaking his neck. He suffered brain damage and died soon after the accident.

Matt was one of the committee members involved with the initial design of SkatePark West, along with his brother Cole, noting they helped design it.

“When Matt was young, around the age of nine, that was when the concept of the Skate Park began,” said Tish Jonsson, Matt’s mother.

Cole said renaming the park after his brother would mean a lot, and help keep his memory alive.

“We both run deep in the BMX community, and it’s a very tight-knit BMX community,” he said. “I think this means a lot to everyone, not just Matt. I think he’d be very proud.”

Gillingham plans to introduce the motion in May. If it is passed, a renaming ceremony will take place later this year.

-With files from CTV’s Glenn Pismenny

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