Sudbury

Sudbury revitalized playgrounds to be more inclusive

The playground on Louis and St. Joseph Street has been renewed and improved with updated playground equipment, and more play opportunities for children of all ages. It was one of 58 identified by the City of Greater Sudbury to be revitalized by 2021.

Three years ago Greater Sudbury identified 58 municipal playgrounds to be renewed and improved by 2021.

Children from the neighbourhood helped cut the ribbon on the new playground, along with June Davis from the Louis Street Community Association, Ward 12 city councillor Joscelyne Landry-Altmann and Rock Monster, the mascot from the Sudbury Five. (Angela Gemmill/CBC)

Children were climbing, swinging, spinning and sliding Thursday afternoon at the Louis Street Tot Lot in Greater Sudbury.

The space on the corner of Louis and St. Joseph Street has been renewed and improved with updated playground equipment, and more play opportunities for children of all ages.

It's one of 58 municipal playgrounds that the City of Greater Sudbury is working to revitalize over a three year period.

"Starting back in 2016 we started having conversations with council about the need to replace playground equipment that was in poor condition," says Jeff Pafford, director of Leisure Services.

"We identified 58 sites that were due for revitalization in the next zero to five years. Last year we actually started with 12 playgrounds, and we're celebrating with one of those sites here today," he said.

There was playground equipment at the park before, but it amounted to a set of swings, one slide and a small metal climbing structure.

"The span of the playground is much more and it addresses play for all ages," says Cindy Dent, manager of recreation.

There are a number of different play elements in the main portion of the playground with accessible, soft surfacing underfoot. There is also a basketball net at the end for older children.

"It really is quite all inclusive, and a playground for all ages," she added.

Nine-year old David and his younger sister Alyssa test out the new playground equipment at the Louis Street Tot Lot in Greater Sudbury (Angela Gemmill/CBC)

The new improvements seemed to be a hit with all the children in attendance at the official opening Thursday.

Nine-year old David was excited to try all the new additions, while he was at the park with his younger sister Alyssa, and his step-mother.

"I love it, because there is a basketball court, and I like playing sports," he said.

A basketball court has been added at the far end of the playground at the corner of Louis and St Joseph Street, to appeal to older children. (Angela Gemmill/CBC)

Chad Quenneville brought his three step sons to the Louis Street Tot Lot.

"I think it's a good change. There's more for the kids to do," he said.

The City of Greater Sudbury is hosting a series of neighbourhood huddle open houses to hear from residents about the municipal playgrounds still to be revitalized.

Pafford says another 15 playgrounds will be revitalized this year, with the balance of spaces to be completed in a partnership with the United Way over the next two to three years.

About the Author

Angela Gemmill

Journalist

Angela Gemmill is a CBC journalist who has covered news in Sudbury, Ont., for 13 years. Connect with her on Twitter @AngelaGemmill. Send story ideas to angela.gemmill@cbc.ca

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