Today, the Steve MacLean Park reopening lifted off with a community launch with Mayor Jim Watson, Knoxdale-Merivale Ward Councillor Keith Egli, former Canadian astronaut Dr. Steve MacLean, and Lyn McCaw from the Fisher Heights and Area Community Association.
Over the past year, Steve MacLean Park has undergone revitalization work. The new play structure has been designed with a space theme inspired by the park’s namesake. Other play amenities include: spacecraft spring toys, planets of the solar system, space pods, swings and a new rotating Astro web climber. Glow-in-the-dark stones have been embedded in the pathway near the structure to simulate the Milky Way. Three new trees were also planted in the park.
The park revitalization has been a collaborative effort with the City and the community, which also included community consultation.
In addition, the resurfacing, line painting and new hoops on the basketball court were funded through fundraising efforts by the community association. It was matched by the City’s Planning the Parks Community Partnership Grant Program, along with additional cash-in-lieu from Councillor Egli.
Background on Dr. Steve MacLean
Ottawa native and Merivale High School alumnus, Dr. Steve MacLean, has had a long and distinguished career with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) as an astronaut serving on two shuttle missions and as the president of the organization.
In 1983, Dr. MacLean was selected, along with five other individuals, as Canada’s first astronauts.
He was onboard for two space missions – Space Shuttle Columbia in 1992 as a payload specialist, and as a flight engineer and robotics specialist on Space Shuttle Atlantis in 2006, where he assisted in the assembly of the International Space Station using Canadarm 2.
Dr. Maclean's contribution to the space program went beyond the depths of outer space. Back on Earth, he served in many important roles in the CSA and NASA. In addition to his role as President of the CSA, he also served as:
- Chief Astronaut and Director General of the Canadian Astronaut Program
- Capsule Communicator for both the International Space Station and Shuttle programs at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.
Before his space career, Dr. MacLean worked in sports administration and public relations at York University. He was also part of the Canadian National Gymnastics Team from 1976 to 1978.
“Parks are the extension of our homes in our neighbourhoods. They act as green space and community hubs for children and youth to play and dream of reaching the stars. The City is proud to take part in developing, revitalizing and maintaining the Steve MacLean Park. This unique park is an important part of this dynamic community and enhances the quality of life of our residents and their families.”
Mayor Jim Watson
“The importance of Steve MacLean Park was truly reflected in how the community and the City worked together to revitalize this park. Dr. MacLean is example of how an Ottawa kid can dream and realize his or her potential and reach great heights. Parks play an important role for our young residents’ development, whether they dream to travel to the stars or be on the basketball court at university, the Olympics or the NBA.”
Councillor Keith Egli, Knoxdale-Merivale Ward
“I am so pleased to be present today to participate with the community where it all began for me. I have such fond memories of growing up in Ottawa. Green space made a difference for me. And I know it will make a difference for the children in the community.”
Dr. Steve MacLean, former Canadian astronaut