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New south-end park to be named for den Bok family

The den Bok family originally came to Collingwood in 1949 from the Netherlands and ran a farm off of Poplar Sideroad, where the Summit View subdivision exists now
An artist's rendering of the design for a new park in the Summit View subdivision in Collingwood's south-west end, called den Bok Family Park

A new park in the Summit View subdivision will be named den Bok Family Park.

During their regular meeting on Nov. 20, council voted unanimously in favour of the new name for the park to be installed at 31 Plewes Drive, following community consultation in April. Two names were submitted as possibilities, with den Bok Family Park coming out victorious.

The playground construction project is being tendered this month, with a goal of having construction completed by the end of 2024.

The suggested name was put forward by resident Cathy de Ruiter, who attended council to speak about her reasoning this week. De Ruiter noted that her parents-in-law, when they moved to Collingwood in the 1950s, were welcomed by the den Boks.

“That was why, when I heard that (the town) was looking for suggestions for a name for the Summit View park, I knew I had to submit den Bok Family Park,” said de Ruiter. “In my view, it’s very appropriate that an immigrant family who took a brave step in coming to Collingwood in 1949, be recognized in this way.”

The den Boks originally came to Collingwood in 1949 along with their seven sons and two daughters. They came specifically in response to an ad from Smarts Brothers, offering employment on their farms. Eventually, the den Bok family purchased land on Poplar Sideroad to start their own farm and build a home, where the Summit View development exists now.

“I can’t say I know every member of the den Bok family as the family has grown from the original 11 to about 175 people who still live in Collingwood, Stayner, Clearview and Wasaga Beach,” said de Ruiter.

Under the current design for the new park presented to the public in April, the park will include a playground, a community gathering space, a large lawn area that could be converted into a temporary natural skating rink, an internal walkway/trail system, a multi-use sports pad, bike racks and seating.

Council voted unanimously in favour of naming the new park den Bok Family Park. Coun. Kathy Jeffery and Coun. Deb Doherty were absent.

For more information on the park’s progress, click here.

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Jessica Owen

About the Author: Jessica Owen

Jessica Owen brings 14 years of experience to her role as reporter for Village Media, primarily covering Collingwood and education.
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