Designated in 2007
The Windsor, Essex and Lake Shore Rapid Railway began service from Windsor to Kingsville in 1907. At the time, Kingsville’s population was 1,578. To take advantage of new tourism opportunities, Kingsville Town Council explored the idea of developing a public park on the lake shore. A by-law to “raise by way of loan the sum of $5,000.00 for the purpose of purchasing and improving that land described as Block ‘G’ on the south side of Harrington (sic) Street […] for the purpose of a Public Park” was put to a public vote. The park by-law passed with a vote of 168 to 48, and Lakeside Park was opened to the public in the summer of 1907. The pavilion, designed by Windsor architects Crane and Pennington, was built in 1913 by James Countess at a cost of $2,250.
As the street railway line nears completion, people from Windsor and Detroit are beginning to look this way for residential property. With the acquisition of a beautiful park, the desirability of Kingsville as a place of residence will be still greater.
The Kingsville Reporter, May 16, 1907 p.5
We have, as a town, much to be thankful for. One of the best harbors on the lakes, a first-class steamboat, beautiful churches, a graded school of seven departments none can beat. Several blocks as good as any town has, and live, progressive merchants, grand avenues of maples with best silex walks, good grist and flour mill, large woollen mill (a prize winner), large canning factory, evaporator, three big tobacco factories, grain and produce buyers and foreign shippers, large planing mill and lumber yard, the leading blacksmith shop of the county, pump factory, two banks, two hotels and livery barns, large furniture store, water works (none better), natural gas in abundance, splendid fire department, the finest natural park in Western Ont., good steam railway service, live printing office, three best physicians, several skilled machinists and inventors, hardware and paint stores, groceries and bakeries, millinery and clothing stores, many of them, and a climax to all the many above blessings, one of the latest equipped electrical railways in Canada, the elegant cars, now upon our streets, are the direct evidence, the beautiful power house, machinery and car barns, at the lake only show the master hands and energetic minds and Co. who are in control. Yes, Wiggins can keep his extra moon, the old one is good enough for us. Too much light might spoil us. Yes, let our neighbors have the Wiggins moon, to help them see their way to a park and R.R. franchise.
The Kingsville Reporter, June 13, 1907 p.1
Geo. W. Cady has presented the park committee here with 100 fine European elms. They are worth $1.00 a piece. No doubt the committee will appreciate gifts of trees from any citizen who wishes to show a similar public spirit.
The Kingsville Reporter, June 13, 1907 p.5
Anyone willing to contribute shade or ornamental trees for the town park this spring, will please inform the Secretary, Geo. Pearse.
The Kingsville Reporter, April 2, 1908 p.5
Lakeside Park Improvement
The Park commission have had set out about 250 trees of all kinds, built another bridge in the creek near the beach, and got a potato patch under cultivation on the flats, so far this season. In another year the park will present quite a different appearance. If the fringe of poplars along the beach, east of the creek, were topped, the view of the lake would not be so completely cut off as at present. The unsightly old hedge also ought to be destroyed in some way. We believe it is the intention to thoroaghly (sic) cultivate the flats at the north side this year, then level, seed and roll it, so as to put it in shape for a ball ground.
The Kingsville Reporter, May 21, 1908 p.8
The New Pavilion.
At a special meeting of the council on Monday evening the Mayor [W.A. Smith] submitted plans and specifications of a pavilion for the town park, prepared by Messrs. Crane and Pennington, of Windsor. The council approved of the plans and decided to proceed with the work of construction so far as possible this year. Tenders for the work are asked for and will be considered at a meeting of the council to be held Monday Nov. 25th. The pillars will be of field stone and will be supplied by the council. The council will be glad to have contributions of stone from any farmers who would like to assist in this way in the erection of a building intended as much for the accommodation of the township residents as of the town.
The Kingsville Reporter, November 14, 1912 p.1