Municipal staff on Wednesday could be seen beginning the task of taking apart Yellowknife’s downtown pop-up park, two years after it opened.
The park was established by northern environmental non-profit Ecology North, which ran contests where residents came up with ideas for features like a mural, a learning and literacy garden, and even a mini golf course.
At the time, Ecology North’s then-boss Craig Scott described the vacant lot as “just gravel and a bit of a mess,” saying he hoped to transform it into a comfortable, friendly space.
However, the park’s second summer never really took off and, by 2020, gravel and litter were once again dominant features.
A young visitor to the pop-up park as it opened in August 2018.
Residents complained that the park, which showed little sign of regular maintenance, had over time become an eyesore instead of an improvement.
The appearance of municipal workers comes just days after a Yellowknife resident published a widely shared Facebook video showing a violent confrontation at the park.
The City of Yellowknife has been approached for comment.
In an emailed statement, an Ecology North spokesperson did not confirm the park was being dismantled but did say the organization no longer carried any responsibility for it.
“I’d suggest you talk to the City regarding any future plans for the pop-up park,” read an emailed response from Ecology North’s Marie Auger. “Ecology North will no longer be overseeing activities related to the park.
“We did have really high hopes for the park in 2018, and had plans to really upgrade the park in 2019. Unfortunately, liability issues got in the way and we were not allowed to move forward with our plans to build on the park.”
The nature of those liability issues was not immediately clear.
The three lots that comprise the park remain available for sale on the City’s website, at a combined list price of $825,000.
Andrew Goodwin and Sarah Pruys contributed reporting.