Howley Park is located at the end of Victoria Place, Drummoyne and has been an iconic part of the City of Canada Bay’s history. The site is linked to First Nations Dreaming history, was a major transport hub during Sydney’s early colonial history, and was the site of the original Gladesville bridge.
Howley Park was originally known for its unique landform of five sandstone abutments which was known as Pa-rein-ma by First Nations people. These natural landforms were used as docks and known in Sydney’s early history as the place of “Five Docks” which became the source point for the naming of the settlement of Five Dock.
In early Sydney history, boating was the most efficient method for the moving of stores and people and “Five Docks” became a logical place for boat building and transport. Later the location was used for punts across the river and before construction began a bridge across the river.
Once the new Gladesville bridge was constructed the old bridge at Howley Park was demolished and a park was created for the public.
We are now carrying out preliminary designs to reactivate Howley Park East. We are exploring the possibility of:
- Development of a pedestrian walkway to access the beach
- Renaming of the park to Pa-rein-ma after consultation with the First Nations people who are the custodians of the land
- Reducing the road length to provide a communal space that connects both sides of the headland parks.
The design is inspired by the fluid organic forms of the site and the smooth lines and curvilinear shapes of the beach and sandstone. An accessible meandering path along a raised boardwalk will take visitors from Victoria Place Road Reserve to the beach and marina, offering a sequence of picturesque views along the way. A small clearing for passive recreation will be located between the road and beach. Beach access will allow for small personal watercraft and passive recreation.
The City of Canada Bay has successfully obtained funding from the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment –Crown Lands to bring Howley Park East to life for the community. Council is planning to deliver this project for the community in 2022.
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