VICTORIA -- A new skateboard park and a bike park are set to open in Victoria's Topaz Park as part of a nearly $8-million upgrade project.

The City of Victoria says that the $7.47-million upgrade project will encourage exercise and community gathering in the city's third largest park.

"We know that spaces for physical activity keep people healthy and also connected with their communities," said Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps in a news release Friday.

The new skate park is set to be approximately the same size as the Victoria West Youth Park, at 3,000 square metres. The layout of the park will be finalized following a development period with local skateboarders and park users, with an eye towards creating a suitable space for all skill levels. 

Meanwhile, a roughly 6,000-square-metre bike park will be coming to Topaz Park. The cycling space is designed to offer fun but challenging rides for all skill levels and ages. The city says that the bike route will work around existing trees at the park.

"The skate and bike skills parks are long-awaited by youth and families," said Helps.

Besides the new skate and bike parks, the nearly $8-million upgrades include a total replacement of the artificial turf at Topaz Park, and additions to the field. 

The updated artificial sports field will be able to accommodate full-sized soccer games, softball games and multi-purpose field use, and will add dugouts, player shelters, a backstop and spectator seating. 

The upcoming skate park is set to replace the space where the current softball field at Topaz Park is located, with the new softball area being moved to the upgraded artificial turf field once it is complete.

"The artificial turf field is an amenity that will be enjoyed and used by people of all ages," said Helps. "We thank the community for their input in helping to shape the plans for Topaz Park."

As designs for some aspects of the park are still being finalized, the city predicts that construction of the upgraded Topaz Park will be completed in summer 2021.