Rotary Park walkway reopens

Walkers can wander a little further on Penticton’s waterfront this summer.

An enhanced Peach Plaza and reconstructed Okanagan Lake walkway officially opened this week, offering an extension of the wide walkway path from the SS Sicamous all the way around Rotary Park.

Reconstruction involved building a three-metre wide walkway from The Peach to the north end of Rotary Park started in March. The project continued walkway work started in 2013 along Lakeshore Drive, constructing a 3-metre (10-foot) wide concrete walkway with energy-efficient lighting, additional seating and landscaping designed for goose management. The area surrounding The Romp sculpture has become a landscaping feature along the walkway. Event organizers will be able to offer more amenities in the area with built-in vendor power, and festive banners continue along the walkway.

A new concrete Peach Plaza area features intersecting arcs and concentric circles to highlight Penticton’s signature landmark. Signage and amenities were also added.

"Penticton is known for its stunning lakes and beaches, and extending the walkway along this section of waterfront trail showcases the community’s natural beauty,” said Mayor Andrew Jakubeit. “Making the Okanagan Lake walkway accessible to those with strollers or mobility aids mean even more people can experience the community’s waterfront. We are happy the project has completed just in time for summer.”

The City of Penticton received $661,000 from the Government of Canada’s Gas Tax Funds in support of the project.

“This project is a great example how dedicated gas tax funding can help communities create and improve local infrastructure that encourages an active healthy lifestyle,” said Okanagan-Coquihalla MP Dan Albas. “I hope all citizens take the time to walk this area and enjoy Penticton’s wonderful waterfront that is now more accessible to our community and many visitors.”

The waterfront walkway project also supported patient care in Penticton. Over 100 pallets of paving stones were salvaged from the previous walkway, which were auctioned off during a silent auction that closed last Friday. Thirty-five different people bid on pallet packages, some several times, for a total of 135 bids and $9,275 raised for the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation. Funds raised will support the Penticton Regional Hospital Patient Care Tower expansion project. 

“We’re thrilled by the support from the City through their paving stone auction,” said Janice Perrino, Executive Director of the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation.  “Penticton Regional Hospital belongs to our entire region and the region is clearly showing its support for the campaign to supply the medical equipment for the Patient Care Tower. We’re thankful to everyone involved.”

Waterfront enhancement is among two Council strategic priorities designed to create a vibrant Penticton.