To the editor:
The recent loss by fire of the Pavilion building in City Park may be a blessing in disguise.
The city now owns two properties on the waterfront that must be demolished before anything can be done. I refer to the Cedar Avenue/Abbott Street properties originally purchased for future parkland, and the Pavilion in City Park.
Plans for a park at the bottom of Cedar Avenue have been changed. What Kelowna will get instead, if city planners have their way, is a mixed use residential/commercial building, with a café or bistro, as well as a “linear park” along the lake behind the building. If Kelowna residents fail to persuade the city they want the Cedar Avenue properties for parkland, as was originally planned, they will not likely have another opportunity for a fair-size waterfront park in the city.
This is where the former Pavilion site in City Park can be used to benefit all of Kelowna.
Instead of selling the Cedar Avenue properties to a developer, why not sell the Pavilion site to Tim Hortons? The chain is a Canadian icon, everyone knows what to expect both in food quality and price. A Tim Hortons in City Park would be a welcome addition for park users in all seasons.
A residential/commercial development on waterfront property at Cedar Avenue would indeed benefit the city’s coffers, but the losers would be future generations of Kelowna residents who would lose a proper park. With the sale of the Pavilion site to Tim Hortons, everyone would benefit. A real park would be created at Cedar Avenue, City Park visitors could enjoy familiar and safe food, and city planners would get the money they crave.