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All wheel park gets closer to becoming a reality in downtown North Bay

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Martin Simard once dreamed of a brand new all wheel park in North Bay more than three years ago.

After seeing all wheel parks built in southern Ontario cities, he attended a city council meeting to show off his own plans for one.

“When I started this, I just thought there was a missing space for wheel sports," Simard said.

His dream finally became a reality in May when city council awarded a $1.6 million contract to New Line Skateparks Inc. to design and construct an all wheel park.

Guided by consultations held during the creation of the Downtown Waterfront Master Plan and the city’s Parks Master Plan, the project is being supported by the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation, which is providing $801,198, as well as the Kiwanis Club of Nipissing, which is contributing $100,000.

The park will be called the ‘Kiwanis All Wheel Park,’ because of the club's financial contribution.

"It's not as if the property taxpayers are on the hook for the whole thing," said city councillor Mark King.

"For a medium-sized city like North Bay, it is quite something to have this developed."

In its current design, the all wheel park will feature a plaza-style concrete skatepark and pump track meaning shredding skateboarders, cruising cyclists and scooter riders can ride in style.

Nearby container washrooms will be built and there will be accessible seating, lighting, and landscaping throughout the zone.

The park will be located adjacent to the multi-use basketball courts near the North Bay transit depot.

“The kids are going to love it. It's going to be a very busy spot in North Bay with the basketball courts, splash pad and playgrounds", said Simard.

"It's really going to be the heart of North Bay."

Two public meetings have already wrapped up. There will be one final meeting early next year. An online survey is also available on the city's website. These meetings and the survey are looking for more feedback to assist with a final design.

"This will bring a substantial change to the overall atmosphere in the downtown," said King.

Construction is slated for next year.

Simard said in the latest timeline he heard, the build would start in May and finish sometime in August. He told CTV News that he hopes the process will be swift and fast.

“When it's ready, it'll be good for the next generation of kids," he said.

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