Sackville Playground set to finally reopen

Sackville Playground set to finally reopen

A King St. playground has been off-limits to kids since July, but the disappointment may soon be over.

Inner-city children, especially those living in apartments and condos, depend on local parks for open space to romp and play. Their nearest park is a much bigger deal to them than suburban kids with much more green space.

Workers were busy applying the finishing touches to the playground this week.
Workers were busy applying the finishing touches to the playground this week.  (Jack Lakey for the Toronto Star)

So when a fence goes up around their local park at the start of spring, and is still in place at the start of November, parents start to wonder why the work has ground to a halt.

Erik Miller sent us a note about the Sackville Playground, on King, west of River St., saying it “closed for a much-needed redesign on March 26 and was scheduled to be completed and reopened the week of July 9.

“Not too surprising,” he observed. “Then Aug. 9 came and went — somewhat surprising. Then Sept. 9 came and went — this is ridiculous. Then Oct. 9 came and went — what the hell, Toronto parks department?

“This week marks 15 weeks after the original construction timeline of 15 weeks.

Based on a concept drawing sent to him by the local city councillor, a fence to surround the playground area is still missing, but otherwise it appears to be finished, he said.

“I go by the park pretty much every day, usually multiple times a day, and I haven’t seen any workers or signs of activity for most of October.”

The concept drawing says improvements include “replacing the wading pool with a new splash pad, adding more seating and picnic tables, constructing concrete walkways, installing low fences around the playground area, new park lighting, planting beds and turf improvements.”

We went there Tuesday and watched as contractor employees unloaded sections of new fencing and applied finishing touches. One of the workers said he’s pretty sure the job will wrap up in this week, weather permitting.

STATUS: Parks department spokesperson Matthew Cutler sent us a note confirming that the job is almost done. “The contractor encountered some unforeseen issues with buried foundations and underground pipes that needed repair once the project began,” he explained. “Those delays compounded when subcontractor schedules didn’t align with the new project schedule.” Barring further issues, it should be done by Friday, said Cutler.

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