On July 26, 2018 Swim Drink Fish unveiled the Gord Edgar Downie Pier at Breakwater Park.
This swimming pier is a beacon for everyone who cares about swimmable, drinkable, fishable waters. For decades the city battled water pollution and now the Gord Edgar Downie Pier reclaims Kingston’s waterfront. It is the culmination of over 20 years of work by the Swim Drink Fish movement.
In 2017, The W. Garfield Weston Foundation donated $500,000 to the Gord Edgar Downie Pier and beach improvements at Breakwater Park. The grant was part of the Great Lakes Challenge, a challenge to communities and other funders to do more to restore the lakes. It unlocked further funding from the City of Kingston and the provincial and federal governments for wider park improvements. In June 2017, the project broke ground.
Breakwater Park renovations include a new park promenade, steps and seating along the waterfront, landscaping and tree planting, significant accessibility improvements, and a pedestrian bridge for the pier.
The Gord Edgar Downie Pier proves a swimmable, drinkable, fishable future is possible. And provides an example for cities across the Great Lakes. The Gord Edgar Downie Pier at Breakwater Park is Canada’s first deep-water urban swimming pier.
Learn more about Gord's connection to water and his growth in the Swim Drink Fish movement by watching our video, featuring Gord's words and live performances by friends including Paul Langlois and Sarah Harmer: https://youtu.be/QT4Kig9obAc.