EarlBales Jumpstart Universally Accessible Playground


Monday, January 7, 2019 1:34:00 PM

- One of only a few universally accessible playgrounds in the GTA and Ontario
- A new design concept
- Opened for public Now
- Grand opening is expected in spring 2019

in November 2018, a new Jumpstart Playground was opened in Earl Bales Park Toronto. It has built in partnership with the City of Toronto, Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities under Jumpstart’s Inclusive Playground Project initiative. 15,000 square feet (127 acres) universally accessible playground is one of several to be built across Canada with the help of Jumpstart funding. To date, only two such playgrounds are open in Canada - in Victoria Park (Charlottetown, P.E.I.) and Grant Park (Winnipeg, Manitoba).

The playground is “set a new standard for inclusive play through its imaginative and accessible spaces where children of all abilities can enjoy sport and play together,” according to a news release.

On Monday, August 13, 2018, officials broke ground Earl Bales Park the Bathurst Street and Sheppard Avenue park for the roughly $1.2 million playground. On November 2018 it was opened to the public.

“Jumpstart’s generous gift of the universally accessible playground will enable all members of our community to come together in the joy of play.”
- James Pasternak, York Centre Councilor, whose Ward 10 includes Earl Bales Park

Every playground Jumpstart’s has been created with universal design principals, providing a sensory-rich environment that promotes physical, social and emotional development. Jumpstart’s goal (mission) is to ensure that these playgrounds become the standard for inclusive by creating imaginative and accessible spaces where children of all abilities can share in the magic of play.

The playgrounds accommodate a variety of disabilities including physical, cognitive and sensory. Some of the playground’s inclusive features include:
• Double Wide Ramps – Provide the chance for those using wheelchairs to roll side-by-side and enough room to change directions while on the ramps.
• Roller Slide – Provides a tactile and auditory experience while children slide. The rollers eliminate static electric build-up which allows children with cochlear implants to use the slide without fear of static electricity discharging into their hearing device.
• Bucket Seat with Harness Swing – Provides additional supports for children who might require trunk support while they swing.

"The goal of the Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities is to create large-scale, accessible playgrounds in every province and territory across the country."
- Scott Fraser, president Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities

This is the only such playground built by Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities in Ontario. Similar playgrounds under Jumpstart’s Inclusive Playground Project initiative also will be opened in spring 2019 in Shouldice Park (Calgary, Alberta) and Alfred Jenkins Field House (Prince Albert, Saskatchewan).

According to jamespasternak.ca, grand opening ceremony of the Jumpstart Playground in Earl Bales Park Toronto is expected in spring 2019.

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Jumpstart Playground is a new addition to The Sarah and Morris Feldman Sensory Garden and Accessible Water Playground at Earl Bales Park, officially opened with ribbon-cutting ceremony in 2011. This facility was also designed for children and adults of all physical and cognitive skills and abilities. The facility was generously donated by Ms. Goldie Feldman in honor of her late parents, Sarah and Morris Feldman.

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