Category Archives: Playgrounds Toronto

Underpasses Overlooked

An underutilized urban wasteland, a drive by blight for sore eyes has been transformed into parkland with a playground in downtown Toronto. This component of WATERFRONToronto’s West Don Lands project is the largest repurposing of underpasses in Canada and the first of its kind in Ontario’s capital. The total cost for the 1.05 hectares (2.7 acres) park is budgeted at $4.7 million.

Underpass Park Playground. Source: WATERFRONToronto

Underpass Park’s Phase I which includes a children’s play area is now open. The entire project is scheduled for completion in the spring of 2013. Here’s a video of construction at the site last fall that shows some of the already installed playground equipment.

Those who live in the new residential spaces being created as part of the overall redevelopment of the area will appreciate an opportunity to enjoy this small oasis. I wonder though about the noise and pollution levels caused by the steady stream of cars overhead. Toronto Star urban issues and architecture journalist, Christopher Hume, sees some greater significance in the creation of this park as it relates to Toronto’s overall development.

“As much as anything, Underpass Park offers hope that the city might manage to keep up with the future after all.”

Underpass Park Playground. Source: WATERFRONToronto

There is much of the same sentiment in an opinion piece published earlier this week in the Toronto Star.

Kudos to WATERFRONToronto for the innovative spirit in the remodeling of yucky urban blah.

Underpass Park Playground. Source: WATERFRONToronto

In Halifax we have spaces in the urban core that could benefit from this kind of deep makeover. Do you have any examples of similar projects in your city – recreating beauty and useable space from post industrial neglect?

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In Toronto, A Kids’ Eye View

Triumphal arches of play bridge the toddlers’ and big kids’ play areas at the Jamie Bell Adventure Playground in Toronto’s High Park. Vertical columns and cross beams are alive with kid’s eye view watercolours.

Click for slideshow of playground watercolours and imagine yourself nestled in the small dell encircled by woods. This is the best open air permanent exhibit I’ve seen in sometime. Enjoy.

Stay tuned for more on the Jamie Bell Adventure Playground in upcoming PlayGroundology posts.

Road Trippin’

It’s just coming up to four weeks on the road for us through the Maritimes, Québec and Ontario. As it turns out, blogging and web surfing aren’t all that compatible with this edition of family road tripping.

We’re frequently unplugged from the net and there’s no opportunity to set aside blocks of time to write and prepare material for posting. Go figure, I don’t know what I was thinking… With three energetic kids under five years of age we’re kept hopping even more than at home. We’re having plenty of fun with family and friends and discovering a few new playgrounds along the way too.


Parc Saint-Pierre Claver, Montréal, Québec

Regular posts at PlayGroundology will resume the week of July 18. Upcoming stories include the Mont-Royal playground in Montréal, PlayGrounds in the News, the Sorel Playground Marathon and Global Playground Bloggers II. Click here for a slideshow of some of the playscapes we’ve visited in the last few weeks. It’s interesting to see how public play spaces display their own distinctiveness from place to place.

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