An artist’s rendering of the proposed new playground that will be built outside the Canada Games Centre. (Supplied by City of Whitehorse)

Whitehorse city council awards contract for new playground

Project will be built outside Canada Games Centre entrance

Youngsters visiting the Canada Games Centre will have a new option for outdoor play in 2021.

That’s when a new outdoor playground will be built just outside the Canada Games Centre’s main entrance.

Whitehorse city council voted to award the $199,500 contract for the design, installation and supply of the playground to Play Systems North at its Sept. 28 meeting.

Play Systems North, a local firm, had the highest-scoring proposal of three that were submitted. Others came from Blue Imp and Playspace Adventures Ltd. with the evaluation considering factors like experience, industry and installation certifications, quality, appearance, accessibility, space optimization, play value, the variety of features, structures and dynamic/complimenting features before the price was looked at.

While the CGC already has an indoor playground (currently closed due to COVID-19), Karen Zaiden, the city’s acting manager of recreation and facility services, explained in a previous interview that when opened, the 25-person indoor playground is often at capacity. She also noted the outdoor playground will help promote more outdoor play and will be designed to be more accessible and inclusive than the indoor play space. A number of CGC users have asked about more options for active play that a playground provides.

This playground will be accessible and include areas to be more active as well as more passive spaces. There will also be musical instruments, an accessible ramp and signs “which combine to create an inclusive playground,” it was stated in a report to council.

In addition, the playground will feature slides, areas for climbing and a number of other features.

Before joining the rest of council in voting in favour of the contract award, Coun. Laura Cabott thanked administration for its work on “pulling this one together.”

“It is under budget, and as we heard last week from a staff member … this is really addressing some of the realities here in the City of Whitehorse where our population is increasing and in fact the demographic of the young children in the city is growing, and we are committed to providing more services and opportunities that are inclusive and accessible.”

Coun. Samson Hartland also commented on the prospect of a new outdoor playground at the CGC, stating he has three kids at home “that are excited to have the opportunity to play outside and inside the Canada Games Centre.”

The playground had originally been scheduled to be installed this year, but it was among a number of city projects put on hold due to COVID-19.

With the contract now awarded, a revised timeline will see the playground equipment sourced over the winter and then installed in the spring of 2021.

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

Whitehorse city council

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