New pavilion to finally fill site of old Waverley Park band shell

Construction is set to start this fall on a pavilion in a north-side Thunder Bay park, on the site where a band shell stood for decades.

The band shell, which used to host Thunder Bay's free outdoor summer concert series, was demolished in 2011

The old band shell at Waverley Park on Thunder Bay's north side was torn down in 2011. (Matt Prokopchuk / CBC)

Construction is set to start this fall on a pavilion in a north-side Thunder Bay park, on the site where a band shell stood for decades.

A citizens group that advocates for Waverley Park has been working with city administration for years to get the pavilion built, and now, Werner Schwar, the northwestern Ontario city's supervisor of planning for parks and open spaces, said the project has gone out for tender.

"This project has been a long time in the works," he told CBC News. "If people remember the old Rotary band shell that was at Waverley Park on that giant concrete slab there, it was really too big for the park."

The band shell came down in 2011, Schwar said. Prior to that, it sat virtually unused for years after being a long-time site for Thunder Bay's free, outdoor summer concert series, which is now held at the waterfront.
A citizens group dedicated to advocacy for Waverley Park has been working with city officials planning the new pavilion. (Matt Prokopchuk / CBC)

The process by which the city will take submissions from contractors to build the new structure closes on September 26. Schwar said he expects construction to begin once a firm has been selected. He added that the pavilion will likely have multiple uses.

"[It] could be as simple as people sitting under it to have a picnic or for wedding photos or small performances," he said. "Acoustic [concerts] that people could do impromptu or for small events in the park."

The projected cost is around $200,000, Schwar said, adding that the Waverley Park advocacy group has raised about 10 per cent of that. A federal government grant that the group secured is also expected to contribute a significant amount, he said.

The city is expected to fund about $100,000 of the cost; Schwar said the money will be taken from an existing municipal fund dedicated to matching funding raised by community groups for projects that provide an asset to the city.

Construction is expected to be completed by the end of March, 2018, Schwar said.
City officials say the pavilion's design will be in line with the character of the surrounding neighbourhood, which is a designated historical area in Thunder Bay. (Supplied by the City of Thunder Bay)


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