News Local

Refurbished park will feel like a 'living room'

MATT KIELTYKA, 24 HOURS

Downtown Eastside residents don't have to wait much longer to reclaim one of their parks.

Once the centre of activity in the neighbourhood, the colourful Pigeon Park has been fenced in and dug up for weeks.

But Vancouver parks board project manager Alan Duncan promises the park, on the corner of Hastings and Carrall, will be returned to the people by October but with more seating, a bigger public space, washrooms and new water fountains.

"There will be a lot more seating than there is now. We want it to feel like a living room," Duncan said.

The park's closure - much like similar work going on at Oppenheimer Park - has raised suspicions that the construction is meant to displace and clean up the area ahead of the Olympics.

Even the construction sign caused a bit of a stir by using the park's original name, Pioneer Place.

But Duncan says the park - and the name - will still belong to DTES residents.

"No where will it say Pioneer Place," Duncan said. "People know it as Pigeon Park and it'll say that in the park. It won't be called anything else."