PHOTOS: New Topaz skate and bike parks open in Victoria

Skateboarder Francis Lemoy rides the railing in the new Topaz skate park. (Austin Westphal/News Staff)Skateboarder Francis Lemoy rides the railing in the new Topaz skate park. (Austin Westphal/News Staff)
The Topaz skate and bike park opening celebration on Saturday (Aug. 20) drew a large crowd. (Austin Westphal/News Staff)The Topaz skate and bike park opening celebration on Saturday (Aug. 20) drew a large crowd. (Austin Westphal/News Staff)
A mountain biker leans into a corner while testing out one of the park’s new bike tracks. (Austin Westphal/News Staff)A mountain biker leans into a corner while testing out one of the park’s new bike tracks. (Austin Westphal/News Staff)
Skateboarder Jon Parrott braves the bowl during his maiden skate at Topaz Park. (Austin Westphal/News Staff)Skateboarder Jon Parrott braves the bowl during his maiden skate at Topaz Park. (Austin Westphal/News Staff)
Many kids and teenagers enthusiastically took to the park to test out their skills. (Austin Westphal/News Staff)Many kids and teenagers enthusiastically took to the park to test out their skills. (Austin Westphal/News Staff)
Skateboarder Sebastian Corby effortlessly pulls off the perfect grind. (Austin Westphal/News Staff)Skateboarder Sebastian Corby effortlessly pulls off the perfect grind. (Austin Westphal/News Staff)
Topaz Park’s new skate bowl. (Austin Westphal/News Staff)Topaz Park’s new skate bowl. (Austin Westphal/News Staff)

The new skate and bike parks at Topaz Park were officially opened with fanfare on Saturday.

“This is an exciting day for the city and for so many people in our community who have advocated for these skate and bike parks for a long time,” said Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps.

“As a cyclist and skateboarder myself, I understand how important recreation opportunities are for everyone, including people who enjoy an active lifestyle on wheels.”

The 6,000-square-metre bike park and 3,000-square-metre skate park were designed with inclusion and accessibility in mind, creating a space for community members of all ages.

Items from surfaces and access points to lighting and furnishings were all designed to be used by visitors of all ages and abilities. Input was even collected from technical experts and people with lived experience, including athletes, to aid in the design process.

“This a proud moment for the project team who have built an exceptional recreation experience for the community and delivered the project on budget,” said Thomas Soulliere, city director of parks, recreation and facilities. “Now that the park areas are open, staff will focus on helping the new green spaces take root and deliver new recreation programs for residents, especially youth.”

The new skate and bike parks, as well as the ongoing replacement and expansion of the turf sports field, are part of an initial $10 million investment in improvements directed by the Topaz Park Improvement Plan.

Design for the next phase of Topaz Park improvements is planned for 2023. It will include new pickleball courts, ball diamond upgrades and an improved leash-optional dog area.

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austin.westphal@saanichnews.com

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