City to receive $1 million plus donation for park improvements

By Staff

May 6th, 2022



Burlington is about to receive a very generous donation in the way of funding for  us recreation and park infrastructure amenities that will be managed by the Parks and Recreation department.

The gift to the city is from the  Patrick J McNally Foundation,.

The McNally Foundation contributed to the development of this parkette.

The City of Burlington and the Patrick J McNally Foundation  have worked together  in recent years  and have partnered on the design and construction of various recreational facilities throughout the City.

In 2018, the Foundation funded a water service and splash pad for Bolus Park as part of the KABOOM! community project. They also financed a new water service for the Francis Road community garden.

Most recently the Foundation financed the reconstruction of Valley Inn pedestrian bridge and 100 sheets of artificial ice. Both contributions support year-round outdoor recreational opportunities. The artificial ice provided a much-needed outdoor activity during the pandemic.

The Foundation has now committed to donating $1.125 million over 2022 and 2023 for the design and construction of new park amenities.

2022 Projects
Central Park

$150,000 Accessible multi-user swing This multi-user swing will accommodate mobility devices and up to four people at once. No wheelchair transfer will be required. This will be the first in Ontario.

Sweetgrass Park
$60,000 Medicine Wheel/Healing Garden To coincide with the renaming of the park, work will include a park identification sign and interpretive signage. Details and scope of this project will be determined in consultation with the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.

Leighland Park
$450,000 Ball hockey/basketball combination court
Fitness equipment loop
Shade structure w/picnic tables

The park amenities included here will be added to the larger park renewal project that is currently underway.

All these additions are requests from the public but could not be accommodated within the park capital program.

2023 Projects
Lansdown Park
$400,000 Splash pad
New water service This splash pad will be a new feature to the park and designed/constructed as part of the larger park renewal.

Port Nelson Park

Port Nelson Park
$65,000 New water service
Drinking fountain with bottle filler This feature will support this lake-side park and users of the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail, supporting active transportation.


The Foundation’s wanted to have the work done within the next 6 to 15 months. Current staff workload and the risk of building new park amenities without associated operating budget, the approach for the current funding is to enhance already active park revitalization projects. The new park amenities will have a positive community impact and associated operating budget can be captured in the 2023 budget process.

Staff considered other parks and needs in the community but given timing and existing workloads, it was decided to focus efforts on park projects currently underway to have most opportunity for success.

Staff also considered the option to not accept the donation. However, with a willing donor and strong community interest in parks and park amenities, staff felt it was important to pursue this opportunity.

Total donation to the City is:

• $660,000 in 2022
• $465,000 in 2023

Except for the proposed work at Sweetgrass Park, all of the proposed donations will be included in the larger capital revitalization projects currently underway.

Human Resources
Additional staffing is required to operate and maintain these amenities; particularly, the expansion of assets at Leighland Park. This work will require two seasonal staff, one temp and one student, which amounts to $46,500.

The $30,000 listed for utilities is specifically related to the splash pad at Lansdown Park to cover this service.

Labour/Materials/Purchased Services
With new assets being installed, additional costs to maintain these items through the year are required. This includes work such as required inspections, litter/debris pickup, infrastructure repairs, keeping surfaces clean/safe, grass cutting/trimming and regular annual seasonal-specific maintenance.

Source of Funding
These estimated operating impacts will be phased in over the 2023 and 2024 budgets as the associated assets are slated to be completed. The City’s multi-year budget simulation will be updated to reflect these estimated impacts.

So who was Patrick McNally and where did the money come from? That is a separate and remarkable story that you can read HERE


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