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Cold Lake opts to fund $2.7-million expansion at Kinosoo Beach

Beach promenade, shade structures, Wave Plaza and stage area are part of the third phase of a beach improvement project.
Kinosoo Beach is shown during the popular Aqua Days event, this past summer.

COLD LAKE - More work on Kinosoo Beach will go ahead over the next two years at a cost of $2.7 million.

Work at Kinosoo Beach has been going on periodically since 2014, when the city council of the day adopted the Kinosoo Beach MasterPlan. Earlier this year, councillors voted to allocate $1 million toward the third phase while the city applied for federal grants to cover more of the cost. Their grant application was not successful.

On Sept. 28, Cold Lake councillors agreed to fully fund the third phase of the project.

Councillors heard the third phase includes several improvements, including the beach promenade, shade structures, the Wave Plaza and the stage area.

Kevin Nagoya, the chief administrative officer for the City of Cold Lake, said the municipality received three bids and is ready to proceed with awarding contracts.

He noted that usage at the beach has climbed significantly since the master plan was approved in 2013.

“It’s come a long way. The usage this summer was staggering,” he said.

According to a background report from administration, the third phase will render nearly all of the park east of the band stand/concession area inaccessible.

The city aims to have the park ready by next year for Canada Day. The report calls that timeline an “aggressive target but achievable.”

The beach was named one of Alberta’s top 10 beaches in 2021 by provincial tourism agency Travel Alberta. Back in 2008, it was also listed by the Canadian Geographic Magazine as one of the top 25 beaches to visit in Canada.

In a media release, Cold Lake Mayor Craig Copeland said the beach is something for the whole community to be proud of.

“To think that this was voted one of Canada’s top 25 beaches in 2008, before we were able to invest in the amenities there, is amazing,” he stated.

“I would love to see where it stacks up now that our council’s vision for the beach is nearing its completion. It’s a tremendous asset for our residents and a very large draw for visitors.”

The beach’s design is a tribute to nature and to Indigenous communities, and has special entrances designed with the names of animals, said Nagoya. The city also plans to install descriptive wayfinding signs so people can understand the meaning behind those design choices.

The first two phases saw the construction of a splash park and a multi-purpose court among other things.