TORONTO, July 21, 2012 /CNW/ - Dignitaries and community members
gathered in Toronto's Oriole Park today for the ceremonial opening of a
fully inclusive playground for children of all ages.
The Honourable David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario;
Councillor Norm Kelly (Ward 40 Scarborough Agincourt), Chair of the
Parks and Environment Committee; and Councillor Josh Matlow (Ward 22
St. Paul's) joined project donors and other community members to
celebrate the opening of the Neshama Playground.
"I'm thrilled to join in the opening of the Neshama Playground - which
helps to define accessibility as that which enables people to achieve
their full potential," said Lieutenant Governor Onley. "Play is an
important aspect of every child's life, and this playground will ensure
that children with disabilities are able to enjoy the fun offered by
its many charms."
"It's important for all children to have a good place to play - whether
it's for organized sports or for joining playmates and having fun at a
neighbourhood park like this one," said Councillor Kelly.
The Neshama Playground features a water play area, sensory musical
features, Braille panels, an enclosed climbing merry-go-round and
bounce pad, accessible swings and play structures, and colourful,
The playground was built with the generous support of donors across the
city. The project was initially the brainchild of Thomas Caldwell
(Caldwell Financial) and Toronto lawyer Steven Skurka, who enlisted
Theo and Brendan Caldwell and recruited friends and associates who
became known as "A Bunch of Guys." A Bunch of Guys raised over $700,000
to create a state-of-the-art, inclusive playground experience for all
"We are deeply grateful for all the volunteers, donors, and staff at the
City of Toronto who shared our vision of creating Canada's first
playground where children of all abilities can play together," said
Brendan Caldwell, spokesman for A Bunch of Guys. "We look forward to
our city and other cities using Neshama Playground as a model for how
to make playgrounds fun for every child."
Neshama Playground in Oriole Park is the first of its kind in Toronto
and is consistent with the City's policy direction for universal
"So many residents have shared with me how excited they are to have this
wonderful new playground in their neighbourhood," said Ulli Rath,
Acting President of the Friends of Oriole Park. "We're all very proud
to have been able to play an important role in its creation."
Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home
to a diverse population of about 2.7 million people. Toronto's
government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence,
creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size
and cost of government and building a transportation city. For
information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto
residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days
SOURCE: City of Toronto
For further information:
Media contact: Parks, Forestry and Recreation media line, 416-560-8726, firstname.lastname@example.org