City seeks public input on Riverside Park play space design

Public can provide comment until June 5

Guelph, Ont., May 9, 2016 – The City is seeking public input to finalize the design for Riverside Park’s new play space.

Residents can provide comment until June 5, online or in person, on the design developed from the public feedback received during the vision and concept phases.

The design features a large tree house structure with multiple slides, climbers and spinners, a large wood water strider structure and log climber, a water table, a variety of swings in two areas, large group spinner, distinct junior area with slides, rubber hills and mounds, and a series of new trails.

The final design can be viewed online at guelph.ca/riversidepark or in person at City Hall, 1 Carden Street, or at the Evergreen Seniors Community Centre, located at 683 Woolwich Street. Comments are also accepted by phone at 519-837-5618 or by emailing rory.templeton@guelph.ca.

Last summer, residents voted on a preferred design concept from a variety of themes ranging from ships and castles to tree houses and nature inspired settings. Out of six concepts, the highest ranked designs—chosen by the public—were created by playground manufacturers ABC and Earthscape.

“This well-received engagement process involves residents deciding how they want the destination park to be equipped—ensuring the playground is not only used but loved,” says Rory Barr Templeton, the City’s landscape planner.

He goes on to explain, “Our original plan was to award the entire project to a single manufacturer, but during the concept phase it became apparent that to fulfill the community’s desires and vision for the park we needed to award the project to more than one manufacturer.”

With consultant MHBC driving the final draft design, ABC and Earthscape were approached to develop a new plan that combines the themes, elements and ideas residents and staff wanted the most and that could work within the approved budget.

“The collaborative result is a new design that stretches out into the park and beyond the existing play area. The design also takes advantage of the interesting slopes and spaces between the trees and provides a balance between natural and manufactured elements. Overall, the design is more integrated and responds to the site in a holistic and inclusive methodology,” says Templeton.

When choosing new playground equipment staff considers equipment that maximizes play value, diversity in play equipment, low-maintenance options, vandalism records, and available budget.

The design phase is one more opportunity for residents to suggest improvements and identify elements or ideas that are missing from the design before construction starts this summer. In June, staff will review all comments received from the design phase and they will be incorporated into the tender drawings.

The City is responsible for maintaining 87 park playgrounds and the existing aging playground equipment in Riverside Park is being replaced to ensure all play structures meet current Canadian Standards Association’s standards for children’s playspaces and equipment.

For more information

Rory Barr Templeton
Landscape Planner, Development Planning
519-822-1260 extension 2436
rory.templeton@guelph.ca