The Beginnings of Beaconsfield Heights Park

As in most housing development of the mid 20th century in Beaconsfield, the Beaconsfield Heights Association was created by the residents of the neighbourhood. For several years, the thought of a community park had been discussed but no definite progress was made until April 1950 when it was found that the last available property suitable for parks development was about to be subdivided into building lots. As immediate action could not be expected from the Town, the B.H.A. called a meeting and established the “Beaconsfield Heights Recreation Park Fund” with a view to purchasing this 6 acres highly desirable piece of property. Approximately two thirds of the area was cleared, suitable for field sports and playground developments. The remaining third was heavily wooded, providing excellent facilities for nature study.
Fundraising brought enough money to take an option on the land on May 4, with a second payment on May 16, 1950, for a total of $500. At this point several City Councillors took an active interest in the project. At the May 16, 1950 Counsel meeting, it was voted that the Town assume the balance $2 360 of the purchase price thus ensuring a permanent public park in the neighbourhood. Members of B.H.A. were to assist in the development of the Park.
Tuesday and Thursday evenings of each week citizens of all ages participated in the development of activities. They installed a backstop and levelled the softball diamond and the playground area. Horseshoe pits were constructed for the 19 teams of the Horseshoe League ready for the season’s play. Other important items for immediate consideration were provision of a well, sanitary conveniences and first aid necessities, purchase of sports equipment, construction of see-saws, swings, slides, sand boxes, park benches and a picnic area.
The official opening of Heights Park was held on Labour Day. The President of B.H.A., Ronald Turnham, announced the transfer of the land for the right of way to the Park from Beaconsfield Court (now Westcroft). Mr. Les Barrell and Mr. Turnham each gave three feet (approximately 1 meter) along their entire joint boundary to serve as permanent access to the Park, and handed to His Worship, Mayor L. Parry, the deeds to the property. He accepted them in the name of the Town of Beaconsfield. He thanked the donors and christened the path “Alimar Lane” in honour of the wives of the donors, Mrs. Alice Turham and Mrs. Marguerite Barrell.
The other members of the Park Committee were George Osborne, Clarence Woolley, Gaston Boyer, Paul Poupart and Ronald Barrie, with William Barrell, member ex-officio. Supporting this project were Councillor J. Pynn and Ex-Councillor J. Knowles, defeated at the June 1950 elections.
Mayor Parry cut the white ribbon and sport activities got underway. Even with intermittent showers, the crowd enjoyed picnicking in front of the new barbecue pit.

Author: Pauline Faguy-Girard, President, Société historique Beaurepaire-Beaconsfield, October 2019
Sources: The Lakeshore News; Minutes of Beaconsfield Council Meetings

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