The Hamilton woman who first championed the idea of creating Confederation Park will be remembered through the renaming of the former Confederation camp ground the Jennie Florence Parker Sports Complex. The property is currently undergoing redevelopment as a multi-use sports complex, broken into three phases, with phase one completed in 2020. Phase one included a regulation cricket field, multiuse soccer field, 12 pickle ball courts with lighting, the east parking lot and improvements to the North Service Road access. Phases two and three include a new fieldhouse with entry plaza, a naturalized playground, two cricket batting cages, a park maintenance building, a large parking area and internal pathways. Construction for phases two and three started in spring 2021 and it is anticipated that it will be completed and ready for the 2023 playing season.
Until the 1950’s What is now Confederation Park was home to a number of residences. Because of lake storms and shore erosion City Council of the day deemed the area unsafe and commenced expropriation and demolition of the homes. Jennie Florence Parker, President of the Hamilton Women’s Civic Club, proposed the idea that this area along the shoreline should be turned into a public park for residents from all over the City to enjoy. In 1958, Jennie Parker presented this idea to civic leaders including City of Hamilton (City) Council and Alderman John Munro.
The leaders liked the idea and began to work with Mayor Lloyd Jackson on the plan. In 1959, 87 acres of land along the shoreline was expropriated for the park, and with support from the provincial and federal government, Confederation Park opened in 1964.
The renaming was supported by Ward Councillor Chad Collins prior to his election to the House of Commons. He recommended the change at a meeting of the Facilities Naming subcommittee in May and the subcommittee approved it Monday following a staff recommendation.