A skateboarder ollies on to a rail at Second Haven Skate Park in Riverdale in 2015. An agreement announced earlier this week between the Yukon government and City of Whitehorse would see the skate park rebuilt by the territory with the city then taking on ownership and maintenance of the site. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)

New skateboard park expected this year

Yukon government official says the tender will be released in the Spring

Plans for a new skateboard park in Whitehorse are rolling along.

A proposed agreement between the Yukon government and City of Whitehorse would see the Second Haven Skateboard Park on Lewes Boulevard rebuilt by the territory with the city then taking on ownership and maintenance of the site.

The proposal came forward at Whitehorse city council’s March 2 meeting.

Also proposed was rezoning and a land acquisition bylaw that would allow the plans to go ahead.

Pat Ross, the city’s manager of land and building services, told city council members there are “several deficiencies and safety issues” with the park, meaning it needs a rebuild.

Cracks in concrete, uneven surfaces where asphalt meets concrete and other problems are all issues most skateboarders would not expect to encounter at most parks, he told council.

Efforts to build a new skateboard park have been underway for a number of years, primarily led by a campaign the Skate for Life Whitehorse organization started.

The park is located on Yukon government land, but it was not clear which party was responsible for the maintenance though the city has provided some efforts in the form of garbage pickup and site cleaning over the years, Ross said.

“The City and YG have been in discussions for several years over the potential for the City to formally take over the Skateboard Park,” Ross said in his report to council.

“In those discussions, the City has indicated willingness to assume responsibility and maintenance of the facility on the condition that the facility be rebuilt to current standards. YG is currently concluding the design phase of the rebuilding process and is working towards issuance of a tender for the construction of the project.”

Yukon Department of Community Services spokesperson Kara Johancsik said a tender for the skateboard park will be released in the spring with the work expected to be done in the fall.

As for how much it’s expected to cost, those details aren’t being released.

“As is typical with our funding structure, YG contributes about 25 per cent of the costs and the other 75 per cent will be covered under federal funding from the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Plan,” Johancsik said in an email. “We prefer not to release budget details until the tendering process is complete.”

The new skateboard park is expected to be about 1.5 times the size of the current park.

For the rebuild to happen and the city eventually take over the park, a portion of the park space will need to be rezoned from a greenbelt zone to a public service zone. The sewage lift station on the site will also require rezoning from its current greenbelt zone to public utility.

First reading for the rezoning will come forward March 9. If approved, a public hearing on the change would be held at city council’s March 30 meeting with a report on that coming forward April 6. Council would vote on the final two readings April 14.

The rezoning would allow for the land to be subdivided. It could then be transferred from the Yukon government to the City of Whitehorse.

At the same time as considering the rezoning, an agreement is proposed that would set out the territory’s role in building the new skate park and then transferring it to the city when it’s finished.

Finally, another bylaw is proposed for the city to formally acquire the land. Its suggested council moves ahead with first reading of the land acquisition bylaw, but hold off on the final two readings until after the zoning changes are approved.

Questioned by council members about the operating costs, Ross said the city had initially been estimating it would be in the ballpark of about $5,000 per year similar to playground costs, but with a larger area now planned for the skateboard park it’s anticipated it will be more. Just how much more isn’t yet known.

Coun. Jan Stick recalled her son Elijah taking up the cause in council chambers before the current park was built, calling for a skateboard park in Whitehorse.

She said she’s pleased to see the new park will be in the same location, which provides an open space.

Council will vote on whether to move forward with the zoning changes, service agreement and land acquisition bylaw March 9.

Contact Stephanie Waddell at stephanie.waddell@yukon-news.com


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dawson the dog sits next to the Chariot Patrick Jackson has loaded and rigged up to walk the Dempster Highway from where it begins, off the North Klondike Highway, to the Arctic Circle. (Submitted)
Walking the Dempster

Patrick Jackson gets set for 405-kilometre journey

Liberal leader Sandy Silver speaks outside his campaign headquarters in Dawson City following early poll results on April 12. (Robin Sharp/Yukon News)
BREAKING: Minority government results will wait on tie vote in Vuntut Gwitchin

The Yukon Party and the Liberal Party currently have secured the same amount of seats

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
YUKONOMIST: The Neapolitan election

Do you remember those old bricks of Neapolitan ice cream from birthday… Continue reading

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Exposure notice issued for April 3 Air North flight

Yukon Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley has issued another… Continue reading

Crystal Schick/Yukon News file
Runners in the Yukon Arctic Ultra marathon race down the Yukon River near the Marwell industrial area in Whitehorse on Feb. 3, 2019.
Cold-weather exercise hard on the lungs

Amy Kenny Special to the Yukon News It might make you feel… Continue reading

Today’s Mailbox: Rent freezes and the youth vote

Dear Editor, I read the article regarding the recommendations by the Yukon… Continue reading

Point-in-Time homeless count planned this month

Volunteers will count those in shelters, short-term housing and without shelter in a 24-hour period.

The Yukon’s new ATIPP Act came into effect on April 1. Yukoners can submit ATIPP requests online or at the Legislative Assembly building. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News file)
New ATIPP Act in effect as of April 1

The changes promise increased government transparency

A new conservancy in northern B.C. is adjacent to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (Courtesy BC Parks)
Ice Mountain Lands near Telegraph Creek, B.C., granted conservancy protection

The conservancy is the first step in a multi-year Tahltan Stewardship Initiative

Yukon RCMP reported a child pornography-related arrest on April 1. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press file)
Whitehorse man arrested on child pornography charges

The 43-year-old was charged with possession of child pornography and making child pornography

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The postponed 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been rescheduled for Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
New dates set for Arctic Winter Games

Wood Buffalo, Alta. will host event Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023

Victoria Gold Corp. has contributed $1 million to the First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun after six months of production at the Eagle Gold Mine. (Submitted/Victoria Gold Corp.)
Victoria Gold contributes $1 million to First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun

Victoria Gold signed a Comprehensive Cooperation and Benefits Agreement in 2011

Most Read