Survey on Strathcona Park Fitness Equipment

posted in: Your Voice

Image: courtesy City of Ottawa


The ASH survey on fitness equipment in Strathcona park closed February 21st.  Here is the summary of responses:

  • 85 responses in total
  • 44.7% in favour:
  • 55.3% against:
    • 31.8% against the idea in general
    • 23.5% against the idea but would prefer the equipment installed elsewhere


Here is a representative selection of the  many thoughtful comments on the proposal provided by survey respondents :

For the equpment:

  •    Great idea and I love the site for the fitness equipment
  •    J’applaudis tout effort pour rendre le Parc Strathcona utile et accessible à tous.
  •    Yes, I think it’s an amazing initiative, there should certainly be accessible outdoor fitness equipment available in the Sandy Hill area. I think however, the fitness equipment might be better suited on the Riverain Park side of the Adawe bridge so as to preserve the historic feel of Strathcona, but either way, I think it’s a great idea.
  •     L’équipement devrait s’intégrer visuellement avec le parc et être approprié à différentes cohortes d’âge (as seulement les plus jeunes)
  •     Looks great. Can’t wait to use the equipment. I love to work out. I think many of the students will get more use out of the park now
  •     I like it! Strathcona needs more things like this, too much open space right now.


  • We need green space, not “fitness stations.” The park is perfect as it is. Please leave it alone.
  • Strathcona Park is a place of green trees and flowers. It is also a space for interaction with nature. It is a place “to be outside” and serves to protect what remains (given the sprawl permitted to occur in Sandy Hill) of the City’s ecosystem (e.g., home for animals, mature trees to clean the air, etc.). This project appeals to a very narrow demographic and is not a responsible use of the existing green space. This project is not in keeping with the historical and current community use of Strathcona Park. Strathcona Park functions as a green venue for social interaction, for some physical activity, and much needed nature contact. This proposal better fits Dutchie’s Hole Park. Research shows that different kinds of parks provide different health benefits for residents. Dutchie’s Hole Park, given its size, could provide the additional function of adult fitness equipment, as people from different age, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups may have different traditions in physical activity. For people who are economically disadvantaged, Dutchie’s Hole Park would be an accessible and affordable means to healthy activities. Lastly, and most importantly, if Strathcona Park is to be re-imagined, then proper consultation with long time residents should occur.
  • What was the city consultation process? The garbage receptacles in the park have untreated, unpainted 2 x 4’s installed on them as of this Fall, hillbilly fashion – it all takes away from the beauty of an historic park where neighbours over the years have taken great care to improve it. It seems inconsistent to spend money on installing equipment when you don’t have money to install reasonable garbage receptacles.
  • It is entirely possible to do exercises to keep fit without the use of equipment. Our society seems to be addicted to ‘stuff’. I think it would be a shame to impinge further on the natural beauty of this location by installing equipment. I ask that the funds that might be allocated to the purchase, installation and maintenance of equipment be allocated instead to trained instructors to conduct classes in Strathcona Park but the without the use of equipment or loud amplified music.
  • I have seen similar equipment installed in other parks. It is an eyesore and is not used on a regular basis by anyone with the exception of small children who use it as a play structure.
  • I would like to see the community consulted with all proposed uses and options for this park, not only [this] project. How about the proposals from Prime Minsters’ row? There is so much that could be done with that park. It is historic, don’t destroy it.

Novel Suggestions:

  • I would like to see the fitness equipment distributed in Sandy Hill parks (Strathcona, Dutchy’s Hole/Robinson Field, Sandy Hill Community Centre park, the park behind Viscount Alexander Public School), rather than concentrated in one place. This encourages movement between the structures – something very popular in Switzerland.


ASH has analyzed the survey results and used them as the basis for its response to our Councillor in the attached letter, concluding as follows:

“Given all the above, ASH cannot support the installation of adult fitness equipment in Strathcona Park as
proposed. That said, the survey led to a very constructive suggestion that several members proposed and
which ASH would like to support – a distributed system with equipment being installed along a route
through several parks including Strathcona, Riverain and Dutchy’s. We would like to meet with City staff
to discuss this option and involve some of the individuals who suggested it. If this isn’t acceptable to the
city, then we would prefer that this equipment be installed in a nearby park, not Strathcona. Our priorities
for Strathcona Park would be to improve the quality and quantity of the garbage receptacles and the
lighting. We would also strongly encourage a substantive community consultation on the vision for this
historic park.”

ASH Letter on Strathcona Park Fitness Equipment (Feb 22, 2016)


Subsequent to a consultation held October 21, our City Councillor Mathieu Fleury would like to proceed with plans to install adult fitness equipment in Strathcona Park near the new Adàwe Crossing.  Thank you for taking the time to complete the following survey:

If you have any additional comments on this plan, please write to Action Sandy Hill and our City Councillor at the following address:

Suite à une consultation tenue le 21 octobre, notre conseiller municipal Mathieu Fleury tient à procéder à des plans pour installer des équipements de conditionnement physique pour adultes dans le parc Strathcona, près de la nouvelle Passerelle Adàwe.  Merci d’avoir pris le temps de remplir le sondage suivant:

Pour ajouter des commentaires à ce plan, s’il vous plaît écrivez à Action Côte-de-Sable et à notre conseiller municipal à l’adresse suivante: