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Settling In: Highlighting 50 Years of Kitimat's History

Public Space

50% of the townsite area is public parks, playgrounds, and recreational areas.  Canadian Geographical Journal, November 1959

In addition to the green space with walkways established by the town planners, The Corporation of the District of Kitimat established parks and playgrounds.  The Cenotaph, Centennial Park, Radley Park, Hirsch Creek Park, the Giant Spruce, and Haisla Lookout - now Coghlin Park and Kemano Garden - have become popular destinations for Kitimat citizens.  Children benefited from the assortment of playground equipment provided by District Recreation and wading pools on hot summer days.

The Story of One District Park

On the recommendation of the Parks Committee in 1958, Municipal Council set aside parkland beside the Kitimat River and Haisla Bridge and named it after former B.C. Project Manager for Alcan, Percy E. Radley.  He is "the one man who has done the most locally for Kitimat" stated Reeve M. E. Gooding.  Roger Willcox, the assistant to town planner Clarence Stein, personally persuaded Mr. Radley to preserve the land "with its towering baldies that many thought should be cut down". February 2003

The Gyro Club improvement program started in 1963, included a covered picnic shelter with a barbecue pit, washroom facilities, and campground units outfitted with tables, barbecue pits, and wood.  Eaenotaphch Gyro and his family were assigned a unit and it was their responsibility to maintain that unit, to make sure it was clean, no damage, barbecue pit was ready to go, and an abundance of stacked wood was on hand.  Gyros were instructed to visit their units once each week.  Mr. Radley attended the opening by the Gyros, August 28, 1965.

Radley Park

Land that would eventually be known as Radley Park, shown with the old road to the smelter, circa 1955

Day Camp at Hirsch Creek

Day camp at Hirsch Creek, the District of Kitimat's summer playground program, District of Kitimat, July 1959. 

Children Playing Backyard Croquet

Boys playing croquet on the lawns behind Albatross Street houses. Open public spaces were part of the Master Plan - a green space model - for Kitimat. A colourized version of this photograph was featured in "Kitimat: Tomorrow's City Today", Canadian Geographical Journal, November 1959, and taken by famed Canadian photographer Malak Karsh. Courtesy of Malak

Swimming - Kitimat YMCA 1960's Wading pool

Children's wading pool in Kildala, July 14, 1961. 

Cenotaph Design

Aubrey Creed, President of the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 250, Kitimat, and Kitimat first Fire Chief, designed the cenotaph, which opened October 15, 1972.