The City of Oshawa officially celebrated the grand-opening of Sandy Hawley Park on Friday at a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Mr. Hawley, members of his family, and Woodbine Entertainment CEO, Jim Lawson, in attendance.
“When I accepted my first job at Windfields Farm as a jockey, I never thought in a million years that I would have a park named after me on the very same grounds decades later; it is a tremendous honour,” said Sandy Hawley, an Oshawa native and member of Canada’s Horse Racing Hall of Fame and the Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame.
Sandy Hawley Park is located on Kentucky Derby Way, north of Britannia Avenue West in the Tribute Communities Dantonbury subdivision. The park features a playground as well as the City’s newest splash pad that will open for the season on Wednesday, May 25.
Incorporating community engagement feedback, Sandy Hawley Park pays tribute to the neighbourhood’s rich history and offers a variety of opportunities for active and individual play. The park features a farm-themed playground structure and a garden-inspired splash pad. The surrounding park area contains a 7 versus 7 soccer field, a half basketball court, park benches and an accessible multi-use path that connects to E.P. Taylor woodlot and Charles P.B. Taylor Parkette. Additionally, tree plantings and naturalized areas connect the natural environment throughout the park.
“I am proud to see this amazing space named in honour of such a legendary Canadian athlete and Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame inductee,” said Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter. “Sandy Hawley Park will honour the Windfields Farm legacy in Oshawa for years to come.”
Original to the famed Windfields Farm site, the large boulder was moved beside the play area and surrounded by wood fibre safety surfacing to integrate it with the play features. Other features of heritage significance featured in the park include a stone pillar inspired by the former front gates of Windfields Farm and an original concrete fence post from the Harriet Cock farm (the post was formerly located at what is now the corner of Windfields Farm Drive West and Simcoe Street North).
Mr. Hawley, member of Order of Canada, was named Canada’s top athlete twice and was also inducted into the United States National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.
(With files from City of Oshawa)