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icons Council Strategic Plan Report

Usage of Public Spaces

Usage of Public Spaces is one of three key performance indicators relating to the Building Stronger Neighbourhoods priority, one of five priorities outlined in City Council's 2018–2022 Strategic Plan.

Why this Measure Matters

The most impactful measure of a great public space is that it is used by the community, however, this is also extremely difficult to measure.

2019 Performance

In 2019, we measured usage of the waterfront beaches and Meridan Place at 181,500 users. This represents an Increased year-over-year performance of 14,000 or 8%.

How this is Measured

Currently, the Recreation & Culture Services department tracks beach usage for our lifeguard operations event programming at the waterfront. As we identify better ways to measure usage of other public spaces, we will add additional public spaces to this measure

2019 Activities

Outdoor Recreation facilities (sports fields, tennis courts, and beach volleyball) accounted for over 60% of total recreation facility booking hours in 2019. There was a slight decline in Community Group usage of these outdoor facilities versus 2018 due to an excessively wet spring resulting in field closures.   

By the time our beaches opened for summer on June 29, 2019, the weather was cooperating with many warm, sunny days. Total usage in 2019 was 134,500, an increase of 10,000 from the prior year which was primarily due to the Air Show and also partly due to a four-day extension of our lifeguarding services.

Estimated attendance at Meridian Place events was almost 47,000 compared to 44,000 the year prior. This was primarily driven by an expanded Lawnchair Luminata series of events including Mindful Mondays Yoga, outdoor films on Wednesdays, and the live music series on Friday evenings.

2020 Activities

Plans for 2020 included increasing the number of special events permitted throughout the City and to work with key stakeholders such as the BIA to increase events at Meridian Square. Additional funding for beach lifeguards was approved by City Council which saw lifeguard service extended by an extra week due to a late Labour Day weekend at both Centennial and Johnson’s beaches.

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