We acknowledge that the land we are on is the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples and is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.
I skate on Native land and I'm thankful to all the First Nations who have let me skate their parks.
These are the parks I have been to and skated. There are many more in Ontario and Canada.
Aamjiwnaang At the Maawn Doosh Guming Community Centre 1972 Virgil Ave, Sarnia
For more info on the Durham Meadoway Click HERE & attend the Open Houses At Durham Region Headquarters, 605 Rossland Road East, Whitby on January 17 from 6 to 8 p.m OR at Chestnut Hill Developments Recreation Centre, O'Brien Rooms A and B(Rear Entrance), 1867 Valley Farm Road, Pickering on January 19 from 6 to 8 p.m.
Regarding the Durham Meadoway
With full understanding that this project is in the early stages and the purpose of the January 19th open
house is to evaluate route options, I would like to ask, on behalf of the Skatepark Users of Durham
Region, that the Meadoway considers including offset skate trails, skate dots and/or skatable features.
In recent years, the popularity of skateboarding and the use of skateparks has exploded. Covid saw a
further increase in popularity with skateboarding being an individual outdoor activity & since
the 2020 Summer Olympics, requests for information to The Skatepark Project have risen 700%
(The Skatepark Project, formerly known as The Tony Hawk Foundation, provides Skatepark Advocacy
support and skatepark grants). Canadian construction companies who specialize in the Design and
Building of Concrete Skateparks can not keep up with the demand.
Skateparks possess the unique characteristic of being able to fit into an available space compared
to other sports which usually require a rectangular court. There are several Skate Trails & Skate Dots
around the GTA which are very popular. The Skate Trail in Markham is approx 60m long and features 2
obstacles, a multi-ledge and a Flat Rail/wall ride ledge with a key-hole gap. The Trail runs parallel and
separated from the walking trail in Ada Mackenzie Park. A skate dot in Aurora keeps it simple with
a flat rail and 40cm high ledge. The simplicity of these spots means any qualified general contractor
could build them.
Please find attached some examples of Skate Trails.
Thank You on behalf of the Skatepark Users of Durham Region.
Since you've skated more skateparks than most, I wanted to ask you if you'd participate in a little article survey. I want to know what you think the 5-10 most groundbreaking designs in skateparks would be?
It can be new or old. I want to have the lead of the article/survey be skaters who have skated hundreds of parks offering up their favorite innovations then have a worldwide survey open to everyone.
I’d love to give you my 2cents. As of last weekend, I’ve been to 500+ skateparks across Canada and a few in the US.
I’d be happy to break down some of my favourite parks, designs and features for you and explain why I find them groundbreaking.
I’ll start with my single favourite skatepark; Campbellford, Ontario. The park isn’t huge but it does have a variety of obstacles and the bowl has plenty of features. One of the things that sets the park apart is the use of real and faux stone finishes.
This ledge has stone and metal edges and is supported by rocks found during the digging of the bowl.
Great use of real and faux stone.
This gem is located in a beautiful park with a community centre, washrooms, playground, splash pad & sports fields. The skatepark uses aspects of the river near the park including polished granite ledges, stone features and custom concrete work.
Another feature I loved is the Friendly locals. Not only this turtle but town residents. The first time I visited Campbellford in October of 2010 I did a quick recon of the park and returned to my car for some wax. While waxing a ledge an older gentleman approached me and what I thought of the park.
"I just got here but it looks pretty nice." I replied.
"Yeah well I think it's great. The missus and I moved here from Port Hope after I retired and the kids love the park there and we thought there should be a park here cause it's great and it gives the kids something to do besides drugs."
The Forks Plaza is so plaza-ey that tourists have been known to stroll through the entire park, disrupting skaters, not realizing it's a skatepark. Only when they make it through the entire plaza and reach the competition level bowl do they discover that it is, in fact, purpose built for skateboarding.
Admittedly, The Forks Plaza was designed to blend in to The Forks area of Winnipeg. The Forks is the Historical, Cultural and Tourist hub of the city featuring shops, restaurants, a baseball stadium and The Museum of Human Rights.
The Forks Plaza was at the forefront of putting public skateparks in public places and not sticking them behind a Rec centre and forgetting about them.
The park is a tourist attraction (I've been there 4 times despite living in Toronto, some 2000km or 1200miles away) and even hosted Tony Hawk's Secret Skatepark Tour #3 only a few weeks after opening.
3. Long and Lean
Skateparks hold the advantage amoung sports facilities in that they can be designed to fit into the space available. While most sports require a rectangular playing surfaces (some exceptions, baseball, cricket etc), skateparks can fit in narrow strips of a lawn or even weave between the trees of a park.
The West Shore Skate Spot fits into a 30ft wide strip between a parking lot and road. An integral wall was build on the road side to protect skatepark users and appease neighbourhood concerns. Other concerns included noise (the park is concrete and 200ft from the closest residence) & size (the city acknowledges this is a small spot but only the beginning of a well funded skatepark network). On the low budget, locals were expecting a quality, 4 obstacle spot. When Transition Construction presented this mini-skatepark design, users were stoked. The construction crew were skaters themselves and made changes to the design on the fly to improve the park.
Caesarea's skatepark fits into a narrow section of the community park and features references to the towns waterfront heritage.
Jubilee Skate Spot in Georgetown, ON. Small but fun in a neighbourhood park, close enough for a parent to supervise a child on the spot and playground simultaneously.
Springbank Park, London, ON. The lightning bolt design maximized surface area without having to remove any existing trees.
4. Simplicity Rules!
I believe every skatepark design should begin with the basics. Flat bar, Flat Ledge, Manny Pad & Quarter Pipe(optional). Then continue to build from there. A basic skate dot can be as little as 2 obstacles, often 1.
Churchill Skatepark, Cambridge, ON.
Garden City Skate Spot is a perfect Ledge/Manny Pad Combo.
Maple Grove Skate Spot features the same style ledge paired with a flat rail with a laser cut support plate.
This style of flat rail can be used to brand a park to the neighbourhood/city or display inspiring words.
5. Prince Edward County Skateboard Park
This park in located in a small town on the shore of Lake Ontario and attracts riders from all over the province. It features an amazing mini-bowl and street section that also has a skate trail that wraps around the bowl.
The Pac-Man Manny Pad spins. Waka Waka
This park is the perfect example of everything mentioned above. It is in a public location and featured prominently by the city in its tourist attraction info. It contains all the features skaters want and way, way more. The park also has a washroom, seasonal canteen and sits next to the playground and splash pad.
This park is busy all summer. I met up with a friend there last summer, him from Ottawa and I from Toronto. While skating the bowl I noticed stickers from an Ottawa Skateshop on another skaters board. I struck up a conversation and He explained the he and his daughter traveled to Picton often to skate. I have another acquaintance that hits Picton every year on his annual skatepark road trip.
I hope that works. I'm always up for talking skateparks.
2022 has been a pretty great year for me. I hit 49 new skateparks,(EDIT- got to a private park making 50 for the year) hitting my 500th skatepark, House of Vans - Toronto Pop-up, in the process.
At one point I thought I'd been to all the outdoor public skateparks in South West Ontario. Then I found out that the new Mold-master skatepark in Georgetown had opened. So I bee-lined there from Strathroy (where I was checking out the build in progress). Little did I know a park I had hit in MAY, Corunna, had been completely replaced.
Corunna & Mold-master were not the only skateparks that were replaced this year. The Harrow and Essex skateparks got new ramps. Tecumseh Skatepark in Sarnia is currently under construction, replacing their metal park with concrete and Amherstburg has opened a metal park (phase 1 of 3(pumptrack and concrete bowl)).
I also had a bunch of strike outs in the last 2 years. On the 80 Skatepark run, Dunbat was closed and Sheldon Skate Spot in Burlington was just gone. I went out to find parks in Sterling, Harwood, Hastings, Paisley and Millbrook only to come up empty.
7 years of advocacy saw the first new concrete in Pickering in over 20 years come to my neighbourhood. The West Shore Skate Spot is amazing and extremely well loved and used.
After seeing the work that went into the West Shore Skate Spot and chatting with the crew, I learned that the need for skatepark builders is extremely high. Projects are popping up all over Ontario and towns are asking for accelerated timelines. This has led to some projects having few bidders and some companies getting more work. It's good but comes with some issues.
I created a listing of all the skatepark companies that have projects/ramps in Ontario and broke down Their Best & Worst projects. It's an interesting compare and contrast.
The new Strathroy All-wheels Park was a perfect example of a Great looking Design but an end product that is underwhelming.
Wrapping up the year, I headed into the basement for an end of year Christmas Edit full of NBD's
Ready for more parks next year and more fun road trips.