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Jumpstart Inclusive Playground at Shipyards Park
Whitehorse – Work is beginning at Shipyards Park to create space for a future universally accessible playground, thanks to the generosity of local Canadian Tire dealers Mike Varley and Dan Charlebois, as well as Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities.
The 9,500-square foot state of the art playground, offered as a gift to City Council in March 2020, sets a new standard for inclusive play featuring sensory-rich environments and universally accessible design features that promote physical, social and emotional development. Some of those features include double-wide ramps that allow space for mobility devices and/or strollers to roll side-by-side, roller slides that eliminate static electricity, and a quiet zone designed for children with sensory processing disorders.
“This is a significant investment into Shipyards Park and a wonderful addition to Whitehorse’s growing number of playgrounds,” said Mayor Dan Curtis. “We’re grateful to Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities for providing a brand new, universally accessible playground the entire community can enjoy for many generations to come.”
In 2019, Shipyards Park was chosen as the location for the new playground based on essential requirements, which included accessible parking, asphalt surfacing, washroom facilities, and a water fountain. Shipyards Park is the only location in Whitehorse that meets these requirements.
The decision to locate the playground south of the fire pit comes from the desire to keep the area north of the fire pit available for larger events such as Rendezvous, the Yukon Quest, Canada Day, and other events that may attract large crowds.
City staff also consulted with the Fireweed Community Market in 2020 prior to finalizing the details of the playground. The Market will continue to operate throughout the construction period, with an altered site plan.
Site preparation work began this morning and the City’s contractor will be on site as of Monday morning. The area will be fenced off and while the park will remain open, visitors are asked to stay away from the construction area.
The Waterfront Trail will be re-routed by the Yukon Workers’ Memorial to allow for access to the site by the contractor.
Play structures will be installed starting July 12th, with the project expected to be completed by the end of August.
The Jumpstart Inclusive Playground is part of the Charity’s Inclusive Play Project, a five-year fundraising commitment from Canadian Tire Corporation focused on inclusive infrastructure and programming to help give Canadian kids of all abilities access to sport and play. Since 2018, Jumpstart has completed playgrounds in Charlottetown, P.E.I., Winnipeg, Man., Calgary, Alta., Toronto, Ont., Prince Albert, Sask., Surrey, B.C., Saint John, N.B., Trois-Rivieres, Que., Edmonton, Alta., and Winkler, Man.
Manager, Strategic Communications
City of Whitehorse