Now Or Never

Can you spare $700,000 for a playground that isn't boring?

Toronto brother-sister duo seeks signatures (and lots of cash) for a better playground in their Jane and Finch neighbourhood.

That's how much Abigail and Josh's dream costs - but it isn't deterring them

Brother-sister duo push for better playground

6 years ago
Duration 0:24
In a neighbourhood hurting for kid-friendly spaces, Abigail and Joshua Dunbar are fighting for a better playground.

Do you know how much a new playground costs?

Nine-year-old Josh Dunbar sure doesn't know. He told Now or Never he figures it's about a hundred bucks.

Not surprisingly, he's way off. The real estimate is more like $700,000. But that hasn't stopped him and his ten-year-old sister, Abigail, from launching a campaign to replace a slide and swing set — which they deride as "boring" — in their Jane and Finch neighbourhood with something state of the art.

Abigail Dunbar and her brother, Josh, have collected a thousand signatures on their petition. (Kaj Hasselriis, CBC)

The brother-sister duo has already scored a thousand signatures on a petition and started a letter-writing campaign that earned a visit to their economically challenged neighbourhood from Toronto mayor John Tory.

Now, they've partnered with the Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation to raise the considerable amount of coin they need to make their dream come true.

And what exactly does that dream look like? Abigail is pretty specific. "I would like to see more slides," she said, "plus monkey bars, accessible swings and a wheelchair ramp. A soft-padded floor instead of gravel, floating bridges and maybe even a splash pad."

Carla Grant, executive director of the foundation that's handling donations to Abigail and Josh's playground, says she's confident the pair can turn their dream into reality.

Josh Dunbar and his sister, Abigail, with Now or Never correspondent Ziyaad Mia. (Kaj Hasselriis, CBC)

"I definitely see their determination," said Grant. "I think that these two young people are showing so much spirit and so much passion for their cause that nothing is going to stop Abigail and Josh from seeing this through."

Not even a tiny barrier like three-quarters of a million dollars? "We know that there's a lot of steps to doing this," said Josh. "But it's always going to be worth it if you try your best and your hardest."