Kids in the Davisville Village area will be able to go out to play along a spider’s web one day...soon.
St. Paul’s councillor Josh Matlow unveiled plans for the Sharon, Lois and Bram Playground inside June Rowlands Park on Wednesday, Mar. 25, with a variety of areas and activities named after songs by the famed children’s entertainers.
Features will include the Splish Splash splash pad and the Itsy Bitsy Spider Music Garden complete with musical instruments, climbable elephant sculptures and more.
“It got unanimous positive feedback from the community,” Matlow said. “It really animates the park in a family-friendly way.”
Part of the play structure will be replaced by a newer structure of similar size, and the sandbox will be improved. New wayfinding signs will also add colour and flair to the park.
Matlow is particularly enthusiastic about the park’s ties to the famed trio, with Bram in particular living close to the park. Sharon, Lois and Bram will be honoured in a fitting way – through music.
“There will be a small theatre-of-the-round where kids can go up and sing and perform and there will be musical instruments built into the playground,” he said. “Sharon, Lois and Bram will select the instruments themselves, and they’ll be tuned so they can play Sharon, Lois and Bram songs.”
The upgrades to the playground are part of an ongoing series of upgrades to local parks and playgrounds in St. Paul’s, with revitalizations going on in Forest Hill Road Park, Charlotte Maher Parkette and park grounds on Belsize and Glebe Manor.
“What I’ve heard from residents is that their public spaces, and especially their parks and playgrounds, are priorities for them,” Matlow said.
While the Sharon, Lois and Bram Playground is expected to be up and running in full by next spring, there is more in store for June Rowlands Park.
“We’re coming up with a master plan for the park and we’ll have further consultations with the community about that,” Matlow said. “We’ll be looking at creating a space in the park that’s senior-friendly, making improvements to the farmers’ market area and looking at the prospect of starting up a community garden.”
He cited parks such as Dufferin Grove, which boasts plenty of community activities, as a possible blueprint to be followed, though he wants local residents to steer the planning process.
“Rather than City Hall deciding this is what the park should look like, I want the local community to design it,” he said.
As for the playground upgrade, Matlow hinted that its grand opening next year could be special – and not just because it will mark the opening of a fun new play area.
“It’s possible there just might be a concert to open it,” he said, alluding to the playground’s famous namesakes.