An old fixture of Southern Ontario cycling might be facing its final days. At a recent discussion of Norfolk County’s 2014 capital budget, general manager of community services Kevin Lichach floated the idea that the open-air velodrome at Win-Del Park might have to be removed.
“It’s getting to the point where we’re going to have to decide whether we want to take it out,” Lichach said. “It’s becoming a liability. Unfortunately, I envision it being decommissioned and being removed.”
Norfolk County has long been a fixture in Southern Ontario cycling, not only on the track, but on the road. The region’s Belgian population imported their native country’s love of two-wheels sports. The velodrome was built in 1972 and riders such as Jocelyn Lovell have ridden its banked turns.
The Simcoe Reformer reports that one Delhi councillor, Mike Columbus, mused that the new velodrome being built in Milton, Ont., for the 2015 Pan Am Games could render the Delhi track obsolete. Windham Coun. Jim Oliver thinks the new velodrome and the Pan Am Games could actually revive interest in track cycling. The spinoff could be renewed interest in the Win-Del track.
“Until staff come forward with a budget to demolish it, I will remain hopeful for its future,” Oliver said.
The track is quite weathered, but still ridable. Because it has sunk into the ground, it occasionally does duty as an amphitheatre for touring theatre companies in the summer.