In the Spring of 2007, Parks and Recreation informed Friends of Trinity Bellwoods of their plans to install Phase I of a new playground design for Trinity Bellwoods Park in the Fall of 2007. In response, Friends of Trinity Bellwoods, together with City staff and Councillor Pantalone's Office, hosted a community meeting on June 12th to solicit feedback regarding priorities for the new design. We also conducted on-site interviews at the playground. A big thanks to all who participated!
Below is I) a three-point summary of the community’s priorities for the Phase I design, II) a description of the Parks and Rec. Phase I design in response to the community's feedback, III) images of the Phase I plan (COMING SOON) and (IV) images of equipment options for the Middle Playground.
I) Community had identified three priorities that the Design for the Playground needed to address:
- SAFETY- Many parents are concerned that the playground areas are bisected by an increasingly busy bike and pedestrian path. There is a perceived need to create a separation between children at play and cyclists whizzing by on the diagonal path. As well, parents expressed concern regarding the sand surfacing and last year, two kids were injured falling off the monkey bars due to the compacted sand. Safe fall surfaces are very important.
- AGE-APPROPIATE EQUIPMENT FOR PRESCHOOL AND SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN - The playground is used by two age groups, namely, preschool aged (0-5 years) and school-aged children (5-12 years). Existing equipment is primarily designed to be challenging for younger children and there is less equipment for school-aged children.
- SHADE- The playground needs more shade. The wading pool, middle playground and southern playgrounds are all baked by the sun.
II) In response to the community's feedback, Parks and Recreation has proposed the following plans for Phase I (see below).
- SAFETY -In response to safety concerns, Parks and Recreation has proposed to remove the playground south of the bike path and adjacent to the Rec. Centre. The entire playground will be relocated to the north of the diagonal path. Existing wrought iron fencing will be reinstalled along the length of the diagonal path in order to discourage children from crossing it. To compensate for the loss of play space south of the diagonal path, some additional play space will be captured north of the diagonal path. New sod will be placed over the existing southern playground. All recycled and new equipment will be installed upon safe fall surfaces.
Equipment to be removed
- Two sets of monkey bars in the Southern Playground
- Blue and yellow platform/slide “Tree house” in Middle Playground
- Bouncy chairs in Middle Playground
- Red and Blue boat enclosure in Middle Playground
Equipment to be reused
- Junior swings in Northern playground will be converted to baby swings using seats from Middle Playground.
- Senior Swings in Southern Playground will be relocated to the north of the diagonal path
- Possibly cork screw slide in Southern Playground will be relocated to Northern Playground, space permitting
- Possibly Tree house in Middle Playground will be relocated to Northern Playground, space permitting
- Wrought iron fencing along west boundary of Northern Playground will be reinstalled along diagonal path
New Equipment to be located in Middle Playground, adjacent to wading pool. Existing equipment is designed to challenge children aged 12 months-5 years. As such the proposed conceptual designs were developed with the needs of school-aged children in mind.
- Option One: a wood structure reminiscent of the wood play structures at Dufferin Grove and High Park. There is an emphasis on shade as seen in the covered, tree-house like spaces. This option provides areas for gathering and imaginative play but may not physically challenge children beyond existing equipment. Selection of the wooden play equipment option would be subject to approval of Parks, Forestry and Recreation Operations staff.
- Option Two focuses on movement, strength and balance skills in children. It includes an elliptical swing for counterbalancing, a bouncy chair and the spinning disk that allows kids to gather and spin in a circle. (No shade provided)
- Option Three: is a visually intriguing piece that allows children to move freely throughout the structure without prescribed routes or entry and exit points. Children are challenged cognitively as well as physically as they use planning and prediction to balance and move through the structure. (No shade provided)
- SHADE-In an effort to increase the shade in the playground, Parks and Recreation intends to capture some additional space to the west of the northern-most playground. This area is currently covered by shady trees but is not used as play space because of the wrought iron fence on along the west boundary of the northern portion of the playground. In addition, Option One of the new equipment proposals contains some shade. Unfortunately, the current budget does not allow for shade structures for Option Two or Option Three. In order to accommodate the need for more shade, Friends of Trinity Bellwoods hopes to initiate a Phase Two community proposal for additional improvements to the playground, including shade structures.
III) Images of Parks and Rec.'s Phase I Plan. Construction will begin in mid-October of 2007.
Not Available - Awaiting images from Parks and Rec
IV) Images of Preliminary Conceptual Equipment Designs: Options One, Two and Three for Middle Playground.
There are eight images displayed below. The image sizes have been reduced from the original size for the website. Please visit the bulliten board at the rec center (opposite the main desk) for larger images. Scroll down to look at the images or click on the following links:
- Preliminary Conceptual Design Mockup: Option 1
- Proposed Equipment Layout: Option 1
- Preliminary Conceptual Design Mockup: Option 2
- Proposed Equipment Layout: Option 2
- Preliminary Conceptual Design Mockup: Option 3a
- Proposed Equipment Layout: Option 3a
- Preliminary Conceptual Design Mockup: Option 3b
Proposed Equipment Layout: