Earthscape is proud to have been a part of the design team lead by O2 Planning + Design that received a 2017 Mayor’s Urban Design Award from the City of Ottawa for Museum Park. The master plan for the park at the Canada Science and Technology Museum, devised by O2 Planning + Design, was awarded the highest honour in the “Visions, Master Plans and/or Design Guidelines” category. The plan seeks to bring the innovation and brilliance found inside the museum to the exterior in order to activate the green space directly adjacent to the museum. The park will become an extension of the learning opportunities and experiences from interior to exterior, creating an immersive and interactive environment of scientific education.
Image courtesy of O2 Planning + Design.
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.
In celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday celebration, nine Canadian playground writers created a list of Canada’s 150 coolest playgrounds from coast to coast. Earthscape is proud to have designed and built 10 of the playgrounds that are listed in four provinces! The chosen playgrounds represent a wide variety of play opportunities for kids of all ages and abilities including themed play spaces, accessible playgrounds and natural playgrounds. Earthscape is happy to contribute to the diverse and imaginative playscapes that can be found across Canada.
25 playgrounds were highlighted as ‘featured playgrounds’ including:
Carcross Commons – Carcross, YK
Exhibition Park – Guelph, ON
AGO/Grange Park – Toronto, ON
The full list of Canada’s 150 Coolest Playgrounds included these play spaces by Earthscape:
Confederation Park – Calgary, AB
Blue Heron Park – King City, ON
Huron Natural Area – Kitchener, ON
Jaycee Park – Mississauga, ON
Tasca Park – Nobleton, ON
Batawa Lions Natural Community Park – Quinte West, ON
Dingle Playground, Halifax, NS
On September 28th during their recent visit to Canada, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Princess Catherine, spent part of an afternoon in Carcross, Yukon. Their visit allowed them to meet members of the Carcross/Tagish First Nation and to learn about recent economic development projects aimed at attracting tourists to the scenic area. They were entertained by the children of Carcross who performed a “Raven Dance” in the centre of Carcross Commons with the playground recently completed by Earthscape as the backdrop to the event. After the performance, Will and Kate engaged with the children who had performed for them. The children were thrilled to show the Prince and Princess their new playscape as they scrambled up the log steppers into the playground tower.
Photo Credit: Twitter @byEmilyAndrews
The playspace at Carcross Commons brings together the vision of the Tagish First Nation community, the vast histories of the land, and research on children’s play experiences. It is an additional feature and attraction for children in this distinct and stunning landscape. Inspiration for the playground was drawn from local history, major landmarks and First Nations creation stories.
It is always a pleasure to revisit a playground after a period of time has passed since installation – the trees have grown, the shrubs have filled in and some of the bark, originally left on a few pieces of the wood, has been peeled off as children explore the natural materials we’ve used. That’s ok! That’s a sign that the playground is loved and enjoyed (bark will eventually fall off anyway and clients know that!) Our playground carpenter, Dennis, was driving through Batawa and stopped to grab some photos.
On Saturday, the City of Kitchener celebrated Earth Day and the grand opening of the Natural Play Space at Huron Natural Area. Mayor Barry Vrbanovic and Councillor Kelly Galloway-Sealock were on hand for the official ribbon cutting ceremony along with hundreds of families, enjoying the Earth Day celebrations. The play space, adjacent to a natural area and trails is used by the public as well as student and classes from local schools who will now have a new place to play! The playground incorporates both large and small log jam climbers as well as a hill slide, sand pit with water pump and plenty of seating.
Earthscape is looking forward to attending the following upcoming events. Be sure to stop by and see us!
Date: October 20-23, 2017
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Date: November 3, 2017
Location: BMO Institute for Learning
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