Playground upgrade in works for Eglinton Park

A new and vastly improved playground in Eglinton Park will be ready by Labour Day next year.

This announcement was made Nov. 5 by Ward 16 councillor Karen Stintz at a community consultation meeting at the North Toronto Community Centre, where the plans for the new playground were unveiled.

The new playground will be about twice the size as the current one, with the expansion heading directly west across the park. The project is expected to cost between $500,000 and $600,000 and is being funded entirely through money from the nearby Neon condominium development at Orchard View Boulevard and Duplex Avenue.

Using funds from the development was always part of the plan, according to Lydia Levin, of the working group charged with planning the playground.

“We knew that there were funds and we wanted to put it into the park, because Eglinton Park is so central to our neighbourhood,” she said.

In addition to the standard swings and slide, the new playground will have various climbers, a plank bridge and even separated
areas — one intended for kids under 5, and another for 5–12-year-olds.

“It needed this update for a long time,” said Gael Porteu, a resident of Edith Drive, which borders the park. “I wish I could have played at a park like this.”

Todhunter Associates, primary consultant for the playground design, gave a presentation on all aspects of the current design. The firm also handled the July 2012 revamping of Lytton Park.

“We want this to be a park you’re proud of,” said Maaja Eichfuss-Clarke, a landscape architect with Todhunter Associates. “We
want this to be the main park for the community and that it has elements in the park that are unique to the neighbourhood.”

Some of those unique aspects are the vulcanized rubber bicycle track that entirely surrounds the main play area, and the stone seating lining much of the planned playground.

The expansion of the park means that two or three trees will have to be cut down. However, they are all Norway Maples, and pending the go-ahead from a report, they are expected to be cut down without issue, as the city arborist department does not want them.

“Imagine how much it’s going to enliven Eglinton Park to have a beautiful playground,” she said. “It will be really thrilling for people to come there and enjoy it.”

About this article:

By: Shawn Star
Posted: Nov 28 2013 9:12 am
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto