Rapid population growth without the infrastructure to match has caused massive growing pains in Fort McMurray. One of the community’s largest problems has been the lack of recreational space outside of bars, making it difficult for those trying to raise a family. Tim Reid, the COO of the MacDonald Island Park, is out to change that. When Reid joined the organization in 2009, the redevelopment of the park was months behind schedule and millions over budget. Now, the park is the largest recreational facility of its kind in Canada and some residents describe it as the heart of their community. The space is home to an art gallery, concert and event venue, water park and golf course. A new $127-million expansion, sponsored by Shell, is underway, with support from more than 80 per cent of those living in Fort McMurray. The expansion, which began construction in 2012 and is expected to be completed in 2015, will expand the fitness centre, add an outdoor performance stadium, shared space for local non-profit organizations, interpretive trails and several other features. This time, construction is on schedule and the contractor has guaranteed the budget. Fort McMurray is still a developing community, but Reid has played a vital role in giving residents a place they can be proud to call home.
Tim Reid: Alberta's 50 Most Influential People 2013
Takeaway: Tim Reid, the COO of the MacDonald Island Park in Fort McMurray, is working to add more park space to the city.