A rendering of the new proposed accessible playground to be built in Shipyards Park. Whitehorse council will vote March 9 on whether to sign off on the agreement for the playground. (Jumpstart)

City of Whitehorse offered new, fully-accessible playground

Officials with the Jumpstart program are offering to build the playground in Shipyards Park

A 9,500-square-foot, fully-accessible playground could open in Shipyards Park in 2021.

Whitehorse city council has been asked to accept the gift of the playground from the Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charity.

In a presentation March 2, Jumpstart ambassador Stephanie Dixon told council members about Jumpstart’s initiative that started in 2017 to build a fully, accessible and inclusive playground in each province and territory in the country.

Since then Jumpstart Playgrounds have been built in Charlottetown; Winnipeg; Calgary; Toronto; Prince Albert, Sask.; Surrey, B.C.; and Saint John, N.B.

Dixon first visited the Jumpstart playground in Surrey last year.

“Everything is double wide,” she said as she recalled the space available for those in wheelchairs to maneuver where they want to go.

For those with hearing devices who can’t normally use a metal slide due to issues with static electricity there’s roller slides that eliminate static.

For those who on the autism spectrum or with sensory processing issues or who may just simply get overwhelmed in larger crowds a dome was in place as a quiet place.

It’s a place where every child can participate and ensuring that happens at an early age is important, Dixon said.

“On the playground is where we develop our sense of self,” she said.

As the city works to make the community more accessible, why not start at the beginning with a playground, Dixon said, adding she hopes council members see the magnitude of what the playground would bring to Whitehorse.

The Whitehorse playground would be located inside the skating loop at Shipyards Park. At 9,500 square feet, it would be close to the same size as the 9,859 square foot playground at Rotary Park.

Jumpstart would design, supply and install the playground, including the rubberized surface, with the city then responsible for the ongoing maintenance. The contract between Jumpstart and the city states the city would be required to keep up maintenance for the park’s 15-year life span.

Shipyards Park was selected as it has accessible parking, an asphalt surface, washroom facilities and a water fountain. As such it is the only spot in Whitehorse that meets all the criteria for a Jumpstart playground.

As Landon Kulych, the city’s parks and community development manager, said there is also staff on hand at Shipyards Park each day, which means there will be more eyes on the playground. He also said the park’s location inside the skating loop means it will not hinder events set to happen at the park.

While council members were clear in their gratitude for the $1 million playground, Coun. Laura Cabott also raised questions about the maintenance costs stating her desire to ensure the city is ready to take it on.

City manager Linda Rapp said the costs would be absorbed into the overall operating budget for parks while Jumpstart associate vice president Marco Di Buono said most of the equipment installed into the playground come with a 15-to-20-year warranty. The equipment is also “not overly engineered,” he said, making it fairly simple to fix when there are issues.

Whitehorse city council will vote March 9 on whether to sign off on the agreement for the playground.

If the agreement is signed, construction of the new playground would begin this year with the finishing touches being put in place in the spring of 2021. It would then be open to the public.

Contact Stephanie Waddell at stephanie.waddell@yukon-news.com

accessibilityYukon

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: The aesthetics and economics of highway strips

One of the many cultural experiences you enjoy while driving from Whitehorse… Continue reading

Submitted
Artwork by Grade 2 student Faith showing her thanks for everyone.
Artwork by Grade 2 student Faith showing her thanks for everyone. (Submitted)
Yukon kids express gratitude for nature, pets and friends in art campaign

More than 50 children submitted artwork featuring things they are grateful for

Team Yukon skip Laura Eby, left, directs her team as Team Northern Ontario skip Krysta Burns looks on at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary on Feb. 22. (Jeff McIntosh/CP)
Team Yukon reports positive experience at Scotties

Team Yukon played their final game at the national championship in Calgary on Thursday afternoon

A sign indicating a drop-off area behind Selkirk Elementary school in Whitehorse on Feb. 25. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Parking lot proposal for Selkirk Elementary criticized

Parents and school council are raising concerns about green space and traffic woes

adsf
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Feb. 26, 2021

Tom Ullyett, pictured, is the first Yukoner to receive the Louis St-Laurent Award of Excellence from the Canadian Bar Association for his work as a community builder and mentor in the territory. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Tom Ullyett wins lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Bar Association

Ullyett has worked in the Yukon’s justice ecosystem for 36 years as a public sector lawyer and mentor

The Blood Ties outreach van will now run seven nights a week, thanks to a boost in government funding. Logan Godin, coordinator, and Jesse Whelen, harm reduction counsellor, are seen here on May 12, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Blood Ties outreach van running seven nights a week with funding boost

The Yukon government is ramping up overdose response, considering safe supply plan

Ranj Pillai speaks to media about business relief programs in Whitehorse on April 1, 2020. The Yukon government announced Feb.25 that it will extend business support programs until September. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Government extends business relief programs to September, launches new loan

“It really gives folks some help with supporting their business with cash flow.”

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

Bylaw amendment Whitehorse city council is moving closer with changes to a… Continue reading

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. As the legislature prepares to return on March 4, the three parties are continuing to finalize candidates in the territory’s 19 ridings. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Nine new candidates confirmed in Yukon ridings

It has been a busy two weeks as the parties try to firm up candidates

David Malcolm, 40, has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm a police officer after an incident in Whitehorse on Feb. 18. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Man resists arrest, assaults officer

A Whitehorse man has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm… Continue reading

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. A site on Robert Service Way near the Alaska Highway has been selected as the future home of Yukon Energy’s energy storage project. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Site selected for Yukon Energy battery project

Planned to be in service by the end of 2022

Most Read