KITCHENER - The skatebowl at McLennan Park will be permanently closed, following an engineering assessment that found the land beneath the skatebowl is settling differentially and more quickly than anticipated. This settling is causing significant cracks and separation in the concrete, creating an unsafe environment for continued use. Work will begin to remove the skatebowl in September.

The skatebowl was installed in 2011 and is a well-used amenity in the park. Since 2015, the city has had to perform enhanced maintenance on the bowl to address cracking and separation in the concrete. During a routine inspection in April, staff noticed more significant issues with the bowl than normal.  Specifically, several of the foundation piers meant to support and stabilize the bowl appear to be punching through the concrete and approximately half the bowl is sinking and pulling away from the other half, causing the whole bowl to rotate.  These shifting forces have resulted in an increased number of stress fractures and other structural defects, posing a significant safety concern to users.

Upon noticing these issues, the City engaged engineering consultant MTE to conduct a thorough assessment and provide an expert opinion on the integrity of, and options for the future of the skatebowl amenity. That review found that the differential settling and the rate at which the land below the bowl is settling is unpredictable. It is the differential settling that is resulting in the damage to the bowl. If left in place, the skatebowl will require ongoing repair at significant cost, with no guarantee on how long repairs will last to maintain usable lifespan of the feature. Removing the skatebowl is the safest way to ensure McLennan Park remains a great environment for all park patrons to enjoy.   

The space where the bowl is currently located will be filled in with clay cap and covered in topsoil and seed to turn the area into passive, landscaped ground until a future use can be determined. The skate street course and all other amenities at the park remain open to the public. 

“Creating an active park on a former landfill site is a unique concept for Kitchener that brings with it continued learnings,” states Niall Lobley, director of parks and cemeteries at the City. “What we know now is that that the continual settling and moving of the landfill below the bowl makes it unsuitable for a structure like the skatebowl. Keeping this feature in place would require ongoing, long-term maintenance at a significant cost, and we agree with MTE that the best option is to remove the bowl permanently.”

Since opening in 2011, McLennan Park has become one of the city’s most well-used parks, providing a unique blend of both active and passive recreation space for thousands of people from across the city and the region every year. “We appreciate that the loss of this amenity will have an impact on the community. We also recognize that this is an opportunity to engage residents on future ideas for the park as we prepare to update the master plan for McLennan Park.”

The city continues to invest in active recreational facilities that support skateboarding, including new facilities at Upper Canada Park and as part of the plans for the new RBJ Schlegel Park. The skate park streetscape features remain open and are available for user enjoyment at McLennan Park. Skateboard bowl features can be found at the skateboard parks at The Aud and Fischer Park. 

Work will begin to remove the skatebowl feature in September. Until that time, fencing has been erected around the site and enhanced security will be present in the park to prevent unauthorized use of the facility while it is closed.

For more information visit:


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For more information:
Erin Power
Communications and Marketing Associate, City of Kitchener
519-741-2200 ext.7547 |