Kinsmen Soper Park is a large, beautiful inner city park that has Mill Creek running through it and is divided into two sections by Dundas St. N. In the southern section there is the Galt Arena Gardens, large field that has a couple Baseball diamonds and gardens. In the northern section there is the Cambridge Tennis Club, a splash pad, a play structure, the outdoor Kinsmen Soper Pool, picnic pavilions, public washrooms and the beginning of the Soper Park Disk Golf Course which runs throughout the whole park. The park is connected with multiple pathways and two tunnels that run underneath Dundas St. N. Keep reading to find out more about the park and to see some wonderful photos I have taken at the park.
Kinsmen Soper Park
Soper Park, which is 16.5-hectare of green space, is located at 120 Shade St, Cambridge, ON , as shown in the map below.
Throughout its history, Soper Park has undergone many different phases of development and redevelopment. The land where Soper Park sit used to be called “Jackson’s Field” and it was used as a site when travelling circuses would regularly pitch their tents and use the creek to water their animals, when in the area. The land was purchased by the Town of Galt in 1905, for use as a public park. The original plans called for the creek to be kept “as natural as possible,” but admitted that other “natural” areas, like the swampy land in the north end of the park, was “neither pleasing to look at nor is it pleasing to walk through.”
Due to the lack of funds and WW1, work on the park was slow. In the 1920s a local citizen whose house overlooked the park, Dr. Augustus Soper, personally took on further improvements to the park. While Soper built on the original plans, he made many extensive changes to the parks “natural” areas. The creek was completely enclosed with stone embankments, and three dams were built to create outdoor swimming pools. A frog pond was filled to create the largest lawn bowling green in western Ontario, and the cedar swamp in the north end of the park was drained. Field-stone gates were made at the entrances to the park, which were dedicated as memorials to those from the community that died during WW1. Lane-ways were constructed throughout the park to make it accessible by car. Other additions to the park included an impressive Peony Garden, Galt Arena Gardens (the oldest continuously used enclosed ice-rink in Canada), a miniature golf course, tennis club, and an outdoor public pool.
Today the mini golf course and the lawn bowling are no more. There are still many things that make this an attractive park. Soper Park is a great example of balancing public recreational uses and the restoration and protection of natural heritage in a public park setting. Below I go into a little more detail about some of the highlights of Soper Park.
Galt Arena Gardens
With hockey first played in the Galt Arena Gardens in 1922, Galt Arean Gardens is not just one of the oldest continuously used enclosed ice-rink in Canada, but of the entire world. Most rinks of this age are not longer being used for hockey. The building was designed by architect F.C. Bodley to accommodate about 4,000 people – approximately one-third of the population of Galt – such was the growing popularity of hockey at the time. The Galt Terriers played in the arena, along with future National Hockey League legends Gordie Howe, Terry Sawchuk and Kenny Wharram. The Galt Figure Skating Club (now Cambridge Figuring Skating Club) began operating out of the arena in 1951. Famous figure skaters Toller Cranston and Ron Shaver trained here during their early careers. The annual youth skating races that began 1931 still continue today, with almost every local child in the city having skated in the arena. Galt Arena Gardens was designated under the Ontario Heritage Act in 1997 following extensive renovations.
More info about the Galt Arena Gardens can be found by clicking the below links:
Soper Park Disk Golf Course
Soper Park Disk Golf Course, Built in 2019, is the City of Cambridge's first public disc golf course.The ODSA (www.ontariodiscsports.ca) installed 9 shiny, yellow Prodigy T2 baskets throughout Soper Park to go-along with 18 tees, a long and short on each hole, for an overall 18-hole Disk Golf experience. The ODSA also provs rubber teepads. It's best to park near 4 Marion Way for those interested in checking it out, the driveway just past Soper pool, where you'll find the course map, practice basket, and hole 1. For information about this, please go to www.ontariodiscsports.ca/courses/soper-park-dgc or also www.pdga.com/course-directory/course/soper-park-disc-golf-course
Cambridge Tennis Club
The Cambridge Tennis Club was founded in 1928 and has been serving Galt, Hespeler, and Preston as a not-for-profit club ever since. With four lit clay courts and as well as a clubhouse, the club has a long and storied past. Nestled in the picturesque Soper Park beside a winding brook amid a stand of mature maple trees, the atmosphere at the club can be spell-binding—on bright days, it can be electrifying. The courts are reconditioned every year and have a superior playing surface. Whether you play casually or competitively, you can play when you feel like it, or play more often. You can find out more about the Cambridge Tennis Club at there website www.cambridgetennisclub.org.
Kinsmen Soper Park Outdoor Pool and Slash Pad
For more info, please check out the website www.cambridge.ca
Wedding, Engagement, and Family Photos at Soper Park.
Soper Park has some very nice floral displays, green space, a small creek that runs throughout the park, large and mature trees, and under road tunnels that make for beautiful and unique photos with those that you love, whether you are looking for engagement photos, family photos, maternity photos, wedding photos. Take a look below at some pictures that I have had the privilege of taking at Soper Park.
Are you interested in having photos of you and your loved ones taken ? Contact me today!