A rainfall warning from Environment Canada has prompted fears that the Humber will flood again today, especially around the Lions Park footbridge where an ice jam is damming the river. Check back to this article for updates and images throughout the day.
8am: the river is rising steadily but below levels reached last week when the Weston access to the bridge was submerged. The ice jam is still in place.
10:30am: a steady rise in the water but no sign of ice movement.
1:00pm: water still rising; ice jam holding.
3:30pm: starting to break up
5:30 Not much to report. Ice is holding in spite of a few false starts.
The ice moved about 100m past the bridge overnight without incident and water levels are subsiding. It’s amazing (and annoying) how rarely the ice moves during daylight hours. The ice jam now occupies the river at the curve in Raymore Park and continues to flood the land there.
Thanks to two million dollars’ worth of Federal Government infrastructure funds, Weston can now boast of a FIFA standard soccer field in Lions Park. It’s almost complete – there just remains some upgraded lighting and proper fencing to keep stray soccer and baseballs away from each other. Oh and yes, goal posts will be coming too.
The pitch is pool-table level. Bulldozers worked for weeks scraping, compressing and flattening the ground. As for the playing surface, gone are the days of hard bristly artificial turf when players would risk abrasions and burns whenever they slid along the ground. This new material is very soft with a layer of shredded rubber between the fibres.
Lastly, you have to get down onto the surface to appreciate how soft and dry it is. The drainage is phenomenal. I was able to kneel without getting wet.
Players are looking forward to the opening of this world-class facility in spring.
FIFA head Sepp Blatter has stated that artificial turf may play a large part in the future of soccer. It will certainly play a large part in Weston’s soccer future.
As previously noted in WestonWeb, the soccer field in Lions Park has been under construction since June and is about 40% complete. The two-million-dollar project will see the field covered with Domo Turf, a FIFA approved brand of synthetic turf. The playing surface will be painted with regulation white markings and will be used exclusively for soccer.
Improvements to the site have already been made to provide drainage as the old field was notoriously muddy. Water drained from the pitch will flow directly into the Humber. Players’ benches and goal posts will be added, as well as fencing to separate the softball fields from the soccer field (to stop stray balls). There are no plans as yet to cover the field with a dome in winter.
The turf holds the promise of an extended season for soccer players. There is a similar installation in Cherry Beach that operates right through November although end of season dates are determined by local Parks Staff.