Grand Concourse (St. John's)

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Lake-to-Lookout Walk atop Signal Hill, St. John's

The Grand Concourse is an integrated walkway and green space network connecting eight municipalities in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. These are: the City of St. John's, City of Mount Pearl, Town of Paradise, Town of Conception Bay South, Town of Portugal Cove-St. Philip's, Town of Torbay, Town of Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove and the Town of Flatrock. It has over 175 kilometers (109 mi) of walkways linking every major park, river, pond, and green space in the Northeast Avalon region.

Origins[edit]

The Grand Concourse was first developed through the generosity of the Johnson Family Foundation with Paul Johnson as its president and founder. A series of studies commissioned between 1989 and 1992 by the Foundation established the feasibility of connecting walks and parks via the publicly owned shorelines of aquatic networks throughout the St. John's Urban Region.[1] Trails had already been built by St. John's, the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Parks Canada, and the Quidi Vidi/Rennie's River Development Foundation, providing a start for the Grand Concourse. Four demonstration Walkways were built by the Johnson Family Foundation:

  • Lake-to-Lookout
  • Cuckold Cove (from Signal Hill to Quidi Vidi Lake)
  • Rennie's River to Memorial University
  • Riverdale to Memorial University

An overall plan was developed to extend the Walkway Network from Signal Hill in the east, to Octagon Pond in the west. This plan was completed in 2004 but efforts continue by involved members to maintain and further develop the Grand Concourse.

The Grand Concourse Authority[edit]

In 1994, the Grand Concourse Authority (GCA) was established under a Provincial Charter with a mandate to design and construct the Grand Concourse.[2] It is a charitable, non-profit organization, currently comprising 19 member groups who contribute funds for operations. Members have included Crown Corporations, Community Organizations, and all levels of Government.

Together the Members of the GCA have completed over 350 community-development projects since 1994. As of 2006, the cost to construct the Walkway Network was well over $27 million.[3]

Today, the GCA runs an extensive maintenance program, primarily in the City of St. John's, while continuing walkway expansion throughout the Northeast Avalon Region of Newfoundland. The Authority also participates in various environmental initiatives, open space and park development projects, as well as promotion and public education[4]

List of Grand Concourse Walks[edit]

  • North Head Trail
  • Ladies Lookout Trail
  • Cuckolds Cove Trail
  • Signal Hill Road
  • Battery-Signal Hill Walk
  • Lake to Lookout Walk
  • Quidi Vidi Lake Trail
  • Harbourside Walk East
  • Harbourside Walk North
  • Harbourside Walk South
  • Old St. John's Business Streets Walk
  • Military-Rennies-Circular-King's Bridge Walk
  • Heritage Walk Loop
  • Virginia River Trail
  • Kenny's Pond to Virginia River Walk
  • Kenny's Pond Walk
  • Kents Pond Walk
  • Kents Pond to Long Pond Walk
  • Long Pond Walk
  • Rennies River Trail
  • Elizabeth Avenue-Prince Phillip East Walk
  • Elizabeth Avenue-Prince Phillip West Walk
  • MUN Visitors Walk
  • Long Pond to Oxen Pond Trail
  • Oxen Pond to Wishingwell Walk
  • Mundy Pond Walk
  • Waterford River Walk (T'Railway)
  • Arboretum Walk (T'Railway)
  • Admiralty Walk
  • Sunrise Trail
  • Paradise Walk (T'Railway)
  • Neils Pond Walk
  • Riverdale to Mundy Pond Walk
  • Confederation Hill Walk
  • Trailer Park to Marine Institute
  • Southbrook Walk
  • Octagon Pond Walk
  • Branscombes Pond
  • Caribou Hill Trail
  • Clovelly Trail
  • Conception Bay South T'Railway
  • Western Island Pond Trail
  • Harbourside Park to Kent's Pond Link
  • Elizabeth to Courthouse Link
  • Elizabeth to Queens Road Link
  • Mundy Pond to Waterford Link
  • Mundy Pond to Bowring Park Link
  • Mundy Pond-Cowan-Bowring Link

Awards and Accolades[edit]

  • Canadian Parks and Recreation Association, 2001 - Award for Excellence in Innovation.
  • Newfoundland T'Railway Council, 2001 - Trailblazer of the Year Award.
  • St. John's Clean and Beautiful, Community Organization Award 2003 - Harbourside Park.
  • Historic Sites Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, Manning Heritage Award 2003 (Shared) - Bishop Spencer School Memorial.
  • Canadian Society of Landscape Architects, National Honour Award 2003.
  • CSLA Regional Honour Award 2004 - Bowring Park Duck Pond Rehabilitation Project.
  • CSLA Regional Citation Award 2005 - Walkway Maintenance Manual.
  • American Society of Landscape Architects 2005 - National Honor Award.
  • Canadian Institute of Planners, 2011 - Vision in Planning Award.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Peddle, Heddy M. and Johnson, P.J. (eds.) 1999. "Walker's Handbook. The Grand Concourse: Our Walker's Paradise" Johnson Family Foundation. St. John's, NL.
  2. ^ D.W.Knight Associates. "The Grand Concourse Authority Benefits Study." Final Report submitted to the Grand Concourse Authority. 30 May 2007.
  3. ^ D.W.Knight Associates. "The Grand Concourse Authority Benefits Study." Final Report submitted to the Grand Concourse Authority. 30 May 2007.
  4. ^ "The Grand Concourse Authority." www.grandconcourse.ca

External links[edit]