Langford council and the Island Corridor Foundation announced plans for a new park on the railroad land at Station Avenue in downtown Langford. Phase one — a parking lot and dog park — should be ready by this fall.
An eyesore for the apartment buildings on either side, the 500-metre corridor is overrun with Scotch broom and Langford Mayor Stew Young said it has been a destination for overnight camping and crime. Residents and local business owners have wanted something to be done here for a long time, he said.
The city will take on a 30-year lease from the Island Corridor Foundation and develop it into a public-use area with up to $1 million in funding from the Union of B.C. Municipalities’ Gas Tax Fund.
Artist's rendering of the Station Avenue park in Langford. (City of Langford image)
The second phase will include huts for artisans or small businesses that the city envisions as a stepping stone for new businesses to test their concept before committing to a long-term leased space. There are also plans for food trucks and an informal stage for performing arts. Phase two will be under construction by spring 2022.
“We need to find the little jewels in our community and fix them up,” Young said.
The roughly five-acre strip of land between Veterans Memorial Parkway and Peatt Road is padded by Station Avenue and the E&N Trail on either side. Part of the area is currently used as a park and ride.
Young said the development is in alignment with Langford’s hopes for rail service to resume sometime in the future. The more density that develops in the downtown core, the more viable trains become, he added.
Parks such as this one are part of Young’s plan to bring culture to Langford along with all the density and development. He also hinted that a performing arts theatre will be announced soon.
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