Improvised Park Play

My local park has been under renovation for a year and a half. It has been painful to watch the slow pace. The new playground area opened last fall, and this spring the remainder of the park looked complete, however, the construction fence remained. Signs finally appeared asking for patience while the new grass took root. Yesterday, the fence came down, and today, a lovely, warm Saturday, neighbourhood families were out in full force.

The park is divided into three zones, a playground, a field and an area shaded by trees. With the redesign, the three sides of the field adjacent to the street are now bounded by a long short wall, a taller sloped wall and a few steps up to a building. The long wall is low enough to sit on, yet high enough to prevent kids from easily running out onto the road. Now able to move with more freedom, boys and girls are doing what they do best, inventing play.

The kids, depending on their size, step or climb onto one of the low ends of the sloped wall. They walk up the curve, and when they arrive at a height where they feel comfortable, they stop, look around, and then jump onto the soft, newly laid sod below. It is encouraging to see all elements of a park accessible for play, not just those designed specifically for the purpose.

Station Plays Games

As with many of my posts, this one starts with a mundane activity—riding the escalator to street level at Dupont Station. I walked up the moving steps behind a woman carrying a shopping bag. Before either of us could make it outside, the air pressure in the oblong dome began to play its game with the door. As a regular at this station, I know the game well. Here is where the everyday became transfixing.

This time, the wind added a new element to the fun; it swooped into the woman’s bag and

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Labyrinth, A Meditation on Age and Behaviour

When I arrived at my spot in the shade, two kids were waiting in the centre of the labyrinth in Trinity Square Park, each speaking words of encouragement to their father to continue following the intricate path towards them. He staid the course and met his children at the end, the middle of the labyrinth.

As they left, all three crossed the pattern they had traced with their steps on the way in. Something caused the kids, who were really

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Reprieve from Grocery Store Obstacle Course

It is Saturday afternoon, about two o’clock. As I am turning north onto Christie Street, it begins to pour rain. A few blocks up, I pull into the Fiesta Farms parking lot, managing to snag a spot at the front. My father’s old adage, “People leave at the front too” proves true on a good day. I grab my umbrella and grocery bin, and run for the door.

A spot at the front is appreciated at Fiesta Farms regardless of the weather, because getting your groceries to the car takes a little extra work. There are two options. You can

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