Park turns ten


On Sunday, Nov. 27, RIM Park celebrated its tenth anniversary, hosting a free public skate in addition to the regular activities run during the day.

This was not an annual event, but rather a milestone celebration in honour of the park’s life.

“We have been in operation now for ten years; which thus far, has proven the council’s decision to build the facility was a good idea.

“We get very good use of the building, with a huge number of people coming through our doors annually. This is essentially what the day served to celebrate,” said manager of RIM Park, Chris Cressman.

The park stretches approximately 500 acres, with many different amenities, all of which are offered to the public.

“We’ve got walking trails, natural and artificial sports fields, Grey Silo golf course, and a fitness centre.

“The Manulife Financial Sportsplex is also on the property, which consists of four separate ice rinks that the K-W Skate Club uses regularly,” Cressman explained.
Many in the community value RIM Park for all it has to offer. For Diane Freeman, an engineer with Conestoga-Rovers and Associates, mother of two and city councillor of Ward four, RIM Park is practically a second home.

“Both my children play hockey, so they play on RIM ice, my husband convenes for boy’s minor hockey, and my youngest son also plays rep soccer — we’re there all year round.”

Aside from the free skate, the regular events typical of the park went on all day.
“A rink was divided into three sections where really young children learned to play hockey, and on the other end of the facility boys and girls rep soccer practices were going on.

“Games even continued into the evening; I saw a volleyball game in the gymnasium, and ultimate Frisbee on the fields,” Freeman explained.
With over 300 people at the free skate, and hundreds of others throughout the park’s facilities, overall turnout was exceptional.

For Freeman, “it felt like all of RIM Park was alive — it was packed with people. It was a perfect example of what a strong community centre it is.”

Cressman agreed that the success of the event was entirely reflective of RIM Park’s role in the Waterloo community.

“As people walked around looking at the story boards, all you could hear was ‘Wow, It’s been ten years already?’ RIM Park has become a regular outlet for recreational activity and is now a staple part of every household in the community.”

However, RIM park’s image has not always been so positive.
When the city signed the contract to construct the park they were under the impression it would cost $112.9 million over 30 years, however the cost was actually $227.7 million.

After a lawsuit, the city accepted a settlement which saw the amount owed reduced to $145.7 million, still over 30 years. Cressman concluded, “It’s public reception like this that can mean only good things for us, especially as we continue to facilitate great ideas and activities into the future.”

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