Sydney's Playground

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I promise this will be the last time I post about Sydney's Playground. I just wanted to put up some pictures. I think it's a pretty neat playground. I wrote a blog post about the process of building the playground, if you're interested in that.

Here's the original plan for the playground. A few things changed between the plan and the final playground:

The City of Toronto requires Tree Protection Zones around certain trees when construction is happening in the vicinity. This yew tree is not one of the protected species and Toronto was happy for us to rip it out, but we looked after it because it's gorgeous and the children love to climb it.

All the Tree Protection Zones. This picture was taken right at the start of the construction process, when it seemed like most of the lower part of the playground was a tree protection zone.

Here's the spot for the slide and sandbox. I guess this tree didn't make it.

And this is why we kept all those trees — one of the reasons, anyway — all that lovely dappled shade.

The slide ends in a giant sandbox, enclosed by the wall you saw above.

From the other side. In the foreground you can see some of the shrubbery we planted — we put in serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis) (which is related to Saskatoon berry), pagoda dogwood (Cornus alternifolia) and eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis).

This is the uppermost level of the playground, and was part of the original playground which the school board built. The kindergarten teachers actually didn't allow the children to play on this level after it was built, because they thought the rocks were a safety hazard. (I'm not sure whether they changed this policy since; I don't have a lot to do with kindergarten teachers these days.) It turns out that the TDSB policy on playground rocks is that they should be either >2 meters apart, or specially cut so they can be jammed together with nary enough space to catch your foot between them. Clearly whoever installed these rocks had no clue about this policy because the rocks are inconveniently just over a meter apart, just far enough for an ambitious kindergartener to try and leap across, and fail.

And from the other side.

Here's our froggy.

More shrubbery (and bonus Charlie).

Here's the climber before they put down the safety surfacing. It was like this most of the summer.

With the surfacing.

Here is some fibar, which is one of the safety ground covers they are supposed to use in playgrounds. It's chunks of wood, and it doesn't decay quickly.

Here's what the TDSB originally put down in the playground. It's just regular garden mulch, and as you can see, it decays quickly. It's basically proto-mud. It doesn't have any particular safety properties, but that's okay because the original playground didn't have any play structures in it.

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