High Park’s Jamie Bell Adventure Playground to reopen today
One of Toronto’s most well-known playgrounds – Jamie Bell Adventure Playground – will officially reopen with a ribbon-cutting event at 2 p.m. today.
Councillor Sarah Doucette (Ward 13 Parkdale-High Park) will be joined by Mike Holmes, community supporters and sponsor representatives to officially reopen the playground.
“The inspiration for this playground originally came from the community who designed and built it, and now that inspiration has become so much more,” said Councillor Doucette. “This rebuild is an amazing example of how the public and private sectors can collaborate with the community to create something of value and wonder for everyone in this city.”
Efforts to rebuild this local treasure began immediately after the fire, when the community and corporate sponsors responded with concern and offers of help to Councillor Doucette and City staff. The playground’s redesign and construction was then led by Holmes and landscape architect Janet Rosenberg. Volunteers of all ages mulched, painted and provided artistic elements for the playground during a community build day attended by more than 800 people on July 7. The entire rebuild project was filmed for a fall 2012 episode of “Holmes Makes it Right” on HGTV Canada.
“That this playground has been rebuilt in less than four months, entirely from the work and donations of sponsors and the community, shows how important this space is,” said Councillor Norm Kelly (Ward 40 Scarborough Agincourt), Chair of the City of Toronto’s Parks and Environment Committee. “Now, due to their efforts, this playground is bigger and better than ever – and will continue to inspire people in the future.”
All costs related to the playground’s rebuild were secured from private sector donations from companies like Canadian Tire, Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse, TD Bank Group and the Sprott Foundation, as well as from companies offering services in-kind.
Launched in 1998, the Jamie Bell Adventure Playground (located at 1873 Bloor St. W. in High Park) is a family meeting place that was inspired and built by the imagination and creativity of the local community and its children. A fire at the playground on March 17 destroyed a large portion of the popular structure.
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