Just as we head towards another set of school holidays, the city that never sleeps continues to rebuild, re-open and evolve with a number of projects coming to fruition over the last few months.
Victoria Square Re-opens
Just in time to make the most of seasonal autumn colours, the revamp of the city's Victoria Square has just been completed by the Christchurch City Council. This project has been happening for a while and now the public can enjoy the refreshed spaces of this much loved city park.
Work carried out included new areas of paving and planting, designed to make it suitable for markets to be held in the space - which was historically a market square and the culmination of one of the main transport routes into the city along Papanui Road and Victoria Street. It was known originally as Market Square or Market Place - a commercial hub of the city that contained the Post Office and markets as well as the Police Station, Women’s Prison, animal pound, work stores and Immigration Barracks.
The restoration design creates new links with nearby features like the Promenade, and includes new elements that better reflect shared Māori and European heritage and the Treaty relationship. The historic Bowker Fountain, which hasn't worked properly for many years, has been fully restored, and a new punt stop has been added on the Avon River adjacent to the Town Hall.
One Central Place Making - including Kakano Cafe and Good Spot Parking, Manchester Street
Designated as the Eastern Frame, under the post-quake blueprint for the central city, the land beyond Manchester Street was purchased by the NZ government and will be ultimately used for residential housing projects. However for at least the next year or more, Gapfiller have an arrangement to fill these empty areas with some of their unique and creative temporary projects. We have seen Gapfiller initiatives brighten and enliven many different parts of the city, often moving from one home to the next as the owners of the land get ready for new projects.
Right now, this land includes Good Spot Parking - which is a community lead alternative to some of the other parking companies in town. Park here and wander along Manchester Street to explore the other spaces nearby, or even head across to the Dux Dine complex or Brick Farm in High Street. You are even within an easy walk of the famous C1 Espresso and Little High Eatery.
Next to Good Spot Parking is the relocated Kakano Cafe, which has moved from Peterborough Street. This is a great little business complete with their planter boxes to supply fresh produce to the cafe. Check out their Facebook page for more info on what they are up to.
You'll also find a new half basketball court right next to the Good Spot Parking - so bring your ball and your mates and enjoy shooting some hoops in the heart of the city.
Openair Cinema, Manchester Street
Until April 1st 2018, an Open Air Cinema will be running daily in the Eastern Frame open space in Manchester Street. You can check out what's showing and book online through their website - which includes the opportunity to book a blanket if it looks like its going to be a cooler evening. Make the most of the remaining days as we head into school holidays.
City Putt and Cruise, 240 Armagh Street, opposite Margaret Mahy Playground
City Putt is a family fun mini golf course located in central Christchurch. All of the holes are based on celebrating aspects of Christchurch’s past - so you not only have fun going around the course, you can also learn a little about the city.
As you putt off, take a look at the information and remanise about Christchurch PE (Pre Earthquake). It’s a fun way to spend some time for everyone in the family - and it's conveniently close to the Margaret Mahy Playground plus a bunch of other cool Gapfiller projects along Manchester Street as mentioned above.
Rauora Park, Manchester Street
Rauora is the park that has been created using Eastern Frame land that runs for five blocks along Manchester Street and is adjacent (or home to) to most of the initiatives above. This is a grassy, tree planted space that is open for anyone who want to relax and enjoy it - from yoga classes to picnics, events and more.
“The Anchor Projects are all about creating places for people and with 9000m2 of grass, 14,000 plants and over 300 trees Rauora Park will certainly be an enjoyable place to take a break from the busy central city,” says Ōtākaro Limited Chief Executive Albert Brantley.
Rauora Park is bookended by the Innovation Precinct and Margaret Mahy Family Playground.
“The basketball court and table tennis tables at the northern end of Raoura Park create a connection to the playground, and will ensure the area appeals to a wide range of people,” says Mr Brantley.
“With Fletcher Living’s new youth space on the corner of Manchester and Lichfield Streets open and a mini golf course also on the way, it’s worth taking a look around.