July 1st marked the grand opening of the Grange Park/AGO playground, adjacent to the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Ontario College of Art & Design in downtown Toronto. The new playground was a part of a larger park revitalization project – PFS Studio was the Prime Consultant and Lead Designer and Earthscape joined the team as a design-build partner for the playground structures.
In homage to its neighbours, the playground represents elements of an artist’s studio. The north playground features climbing structures that represent a tipped-over paint can and crumpled paper. Nestled among mature trees, the south playground includes an elevated colourful artist’s pallet connected via rope-bridge to upright condé charcoal pencils that form a tower with a large slide. A squished paint tube oozing blue paint sits nearby. The art-themed playground was designed to offer the highest play value and inspire creativity in play.
The playground has attracted a lot of attention and has quickly become a destination for Toronto families and kids. A recent blog post by Kids in T.O. began with “Well this exceeded all my expectations.”
Playgroundology blogger, Alex Smith (aka Mr. Playgroundology) wrote about “A Canvas for Play,” describing the playground features from his perspective as a proponent of great spaces for kids and the reconceptualization of public play spaces.
Just after the grand opening, DadCity, a Toronto blogger who writes about raising kids in TO, said it was already one of his favourite Toronto playgrounds.
The Grange Park/AGO playground was also a ‘featured playground’ in the list of Canada’s coolest 150 playgrounds, created by nine playground writers from across Canada, led by Dana at Calgary Playground Review.