The south east community of Kenilworth joined the City of Edmonton in 1961 and formed its Community League in 1964, when it was incorporated as a society under the Societies Act. At first only a skating rink was built to accommodate hockey practices.
In 1966, $29,000 was spent to build a community hall in a unique hexagonal shape, later coined “The Web”.
The year 1966 also saw a petition to amend the Kenilworth-Ottewell boundary from 90th Avenue to 92A Avenue, between 75 Street and Ottewell Rd. This was opposed on various grounds, but was eventually approved in 1969. In 1970, the residents in the amended boundary petitioned to join Kenilworth but was strongly opposed by Ottewell Community League and the matter was dropped. These boundaries have remained the same since and was reconfirmed by both leagues in 1994.
In the late 1970’s a $45,000 renovation plan was implemented, culminating in a flag-raising ceremony in 1978. Improvements included repairs to the roof, painting of the hall, a new kitchen, a full size hockey rink, a paved parking lot and landscaped grounds.
On November 4, 1989, Kenilworth celebrated it’s 25th anniversary as a Community League.
The years 1990-1991 saw major renovations to the hall. Of the projected $250,000, approximately half was funded by government grants and the other half raised by Kenilworth through Bingos and Casinos. The hall was expanded on several sides in order to enlarge each area within the hall. More windows were installed to brighten the interior and the hall was given a more modern look.
Bike racks were added to the grounds in 1991, as well as sidewalks around the major exterior of the hall.
More redevelopment of the skate change room/concession area occured in 1994.
In 1996, KCL financed the upgrade and realignment of the soccer and baseball fields to eliminate overlap, in return for an agreement with the City of Edmonton that KCL have sole booking of the fields until July of each year. Benches were installed near the parking lot to overlook the soccer field and picnic tables were installed in the playground and between Waverley Elementary and the Kenilworth fields.
On July 4, 1998, disastrous vandalism strikes! The Kenilworth Hall suffered irreparable damage caused by senseless vandalism to the natural gas valve for the BBQ. The roof lifted, the west wall of windows fell out, the interior block walls blew outward and the west section of the roof collapsed due to lack of support. Extensive fire, smoke and water damage was incurred. As a result, the hall was a write-off and was completely demolished later that summer. The “Web” was history.
Community spirit prevailed and plans for a new hall began. Preparations for the Annual Family Picnic continued and the Summer Playground program ran in the Green Shack. Fall programs and hall rentals relocated and meetings were held in schools, churches and other community leagues.
Insurance money, KCL funds, grants, fundraising and donations combined to finance the new hall. Construction started in April of 1999. The “Donate a Brick” fundraiser was a great success, resulting in over $18,000 in purchased “bricks”, from $10 Baby Bricks to $5,000 Platinum bricks. The generosity of people, businesses, churches and communities was heartening.
From the beginning the goal of Kenilworth Community League has to promote the spirit of community, to promote sportsmanship among all participants, to encourage participation by all in sports activities and to encourage the creative talents of it’s residents, to promote opportunities for social contact and to promote among all citizens a sense of belonging to the community. It has been the philosophy of the KCL that, regardless of financial ability, all members have the opportunity to participate. In order to achieve this goal, Kenilworth has offered it’s members a variety of programs and events over the years (babysitting courses, badminton, BBQ’s, basketball, bicycle safety, bowling nights, community swim, crafts, crib, dance, feng-shui, Girls Zone, golf, Halloween parties, picnics, pilates, playschool, potlucks, self-defense, skating, sleigh rides, soccer, softball, summer playground programs, talent shows, volunteer appreciation dinners, and voyageur canoeing).
* Kenilworth Community League By-Laws, 1979