My daughter has watched playgrounds all over Ontario be built thanks to the Sinking Ship Entertainment show Giver, a program that regularly airs on TVO Kids. The show involves children ages 6 to 12 in the design and building of local neighbourhood playgrounds.
This spring TVO will start airing episodes about building one of the largest playgrounds in Canada located at Mooney’s Bay in Ottawa – and if you look at it from a bird’s eye view, it’s even shaped like Canada.
My eight year old daughter and her friends recently visited the new Canada-themed playground at Mooney’s Bay and had the time of their lives! When asked what they enjoyed the most about the playground they said it was searching for different facts on Canada (this after discovering a fact on the bottom of a saucer swing), as well as climbing the monkey bars that symbolized an igloo in Canada’s north.
Among many other things, Canada’s playground at Mooney's Bay features a lighthouse slide, orca shaped monkey bars, a ship that rocks back and forth as you move, a log cabin, a canoe-shaped teeter totter as well as a multitude of play structures, each symbolizing something that kids can identify with for each area of Canada. There are also swings for younger children and older children, as well as an accessible swing seat, and a raised sandbox.
Local parent Carmela wrote in to share that it was important to the builders of this park to make it accessible to all ages and all abilities:
There are metal slides for deaf/hard of hearing children because plastic slides may cause the processor of a cochlear implant (CI) to malfunction, which then needs to be reset at CHEO with an Audiologist. If kids with CI’s take off their implants you have to have them remember to take it off and not leave it/forget it or risk it getting broken, etc. Also, means the child is in total silence and not able to hear their friends calling them, laughing or any sounds, etc. So, with metal slides there is no static, so no risk to the processor. This request came from a mom in Ottawa who has a young child with Usher’s Syndrome.
Also, the boats are wheelchair accessible and the mulch is accessible for wheel chairs and strollers etc. Grateful for a playground for all abilities and ages!
The Giver Canada-themed playground will not disappoint. Not only is it right next to Mooney’s Bay Beach with a big hill perfect for rolling down, but it is also a short walk away from Hog’s Back Falls. It is a great one-stop spot to spend a nice day outside with the family to swim, play and picnic!
There was some controversy surrounding the building of this park because nearby residents were not consulted prior to construction. But given how busy it was on the early spring day we visited, I think the finished project is being well received by residents. It's a beautiful park with lots to see and do for children of all ages.
Although the landscaping immediately surrounding the playground is not complete, and the area is lacking benches, there are still plenty of raised areas where parents can sit or they can bring a picnic blanket and find some shade under one of the big trees nearby.
If our schedules had allowed, my daughter and her friends would have loved to help build the Canada-themed playground. But instead they now marvel in its size, its uniqueness and in the fact that is Canada-themed. She and her friends can hardly wait to return to Mooney’s Bay to give the Canada playground merry-go-round another spin and play hide and seek in the “wild, wild west.”
Keep your eyes out on TVO for 13 episodes about the building of Ottawa’s Canada-themed park and watch for the official opening on Canada Day, July 1, 2017!
Have you been to the Giver Canada-themed playground at Mooney’s Bay yet? What did you think? Leave a comment and let us know!