From Perras Place to Perras Park


Morinville residents may soon see a garden bloom from what was once the site of Perras Place.

Crews demolished the historic home known as Perras Place last Oct. 4. Located next to St. Germain Place, the 114-year-old house was the birthplace of the late Raymonde “Rip” Riopel, town historian, and was most recently home to the Morinville & District Chamber of Commerce’s tourist information centre (which has since moved to the front lobby of St. Germain Place).

Last Tuesday, council got its first look at the park that could be built in the home’s place.

The proposed park would feature a community garden, the path and beds for which would resemble the ground floor of Perras Place, said community and protective services manager David Schaefer. The park would incorporate the home’s old wooden sculpture and garden bed, and could also have picnic tables, signs that described historic town events and residents, and edible plants provided through the Incredible Edibles program. There were also two tree stumps on site that could become additional sculptures.

The park has been priced at $77,319, but Schaefer said administration thinks it can do it for a little less by building it over two years, which would also give the grass time to grow. He suggested naming this location “Perras Park” in recognition of the Perras family’s history on this site.

Council unanimously supported motions by Coun. Stephen Dafoe to consider a two-year build-out of this park as part of its 2018 budget and to name the park “Perras Park.”

This proposal respects both the Perras family and the home that once stood on this site, Dafoe said.

“Raymonde Riopel would probably be quite proud of this would she be here.”

Council will debate approving this park and many other capital projects early next year as part of its 2018 budget talks.


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Kevin Ma

Kevin Ma joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2006. He writes about Sturgeon County, education, the environment, agriculture, science and aboriginal affairs. He also contributes features, photographs and video.