July 1st 2017 marked the grand opening of the Grange Park playground. The playground neighbours the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Ontario College of Art & Design in downtown Toronto. The new playground is 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.
In homage to its neighbours, the playground represents elements of an artist’s studio after a frenzy of work. The north playground features climbing structures themed as a spilled paint can and crumpled paper. Similarly, the south playground includes an elevated colourful artist’s palette nestled among mature trees. This is connected via rope bridge to a conté crayon tower with a 10′ slide. Moreover, a squished paint tube sits nearby. The art-themed playground offers an incredible amount of play value while inspiring creativity in play.
Because of the distinct design, the playground has been attracting a lot of attention from playground enthusiasts. A recent blog post by Kids in T.O. describes the “stunning new natural art-themed playground” as a “thumbs up.” Playgroundology blogger, Alex Smith (aka Mr. Playgroundology) discussed the playground in “A Canvas for Play,”. His blog post describes the playground features from his perspective as a proponent of great play spaces for kids. Just after the grand opening, DadCity, a Toronto blogger who writes about raising kids in the City, said it was already one of his favourite Toronto playgrounds. In other words, the playground has been a huge hit!
The Grange Park/AGO playground was also a ‘featured playground’ in the list of Canada’s coolest 150 playgrounds. The list was compiled by nine playground writers from across Canada, led by Dana at the Calgary Playground Review.