Three Pop-Up Events Get Toronto EarthPLAY-ing for Earth Day!

Earth Day Canada's 2017 campaign is about getting children & youth outside, playing in their local schools, streets and parks — connecting to their environment on Earth Day and every day.

TORONTO, April 18, 2017 /CNW/ - 

APRIL 20th / StreetPLAY for Earth Day with Canadian hockey legend Ken Dryden, Chief of Police Mark Saunders and BodyBreak's Hal Johnson & Joanne McLeod!

Surrounded by local families, hockey legend Ken Dryden faces off against Toronto Chief of Police Mark Saunders in a friendly game of street hockey after the ceremonial recovering of a decades-old "Ball and Hockey Playing Prohibited" sign with a new sign reading, "StreetPLAY Pilot Project In Effect."

WHO: Canadian hockey legend Ken Dryden, Toronto Chief of Police Mark Saunders, Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod of TV's BodyBreak, Councillor Mike Layton, Earth Day Canada President Deb Doncaster, families and kids from the local community.

WHAT: Take part in a "Slow Bike Race" organized by Raleigh Canada, play road hockey, basketball and other sports with equipment provided by Canadian Tire, ride scooters and skateboards on a network of ramps from Evolve, help create a giant chalk mural, play hopscotch, and enjoy complimentary food and coffee to launch Earth Day Canada's StreetPLAY pilot project. This initiative will bring play back to residential streets in support of the City of Toronto lifting the ban on street play and moving to research and test new permit options. 

WHEN: Thursday April 20; 4 - 7 pm RAIN OR SHINE (Media + face-off 4:45 to 5:45 pm)

WHERE: Pendrith Street, between Christie to Shaw, Toronto, ON

WHY: Because opening up local streets for free, accessible and safe play for children and youth transforms our neighbourhoods into vibrant community play spaces.

"The healthy choices we make today have a positive outcome on our long-term health and wellness," said Mary Desjardins, AVP, Philanthropy & Sponsorship at Manulife, lead sponsor of this event. "Manulife promotes the health and wellbeing of Canadians through sponsorships like StreetPLAY — a wonderful initiative to inspire the young and young-at-heart to rediscover the fun and benefits of outdoor play."

APRIL 20th / SchoolPLAY for Earth Day with Staff and Students at Chester Elementary

Earth Day Canada is running a pilot project implementing Outdoor Play and Learning (OPAL) in six diverse school communities in the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) — thanks to a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, this will now be expanded to 40 schools. An Earth Day campaign for schools across Canada asks them to "reclaim recess" and get kids out of the classroom.

WHO: Students in JK - Grade 5, teachers, and principal of Chester Elementary, Earth Day Canada President Deb Doncaster and EarthPLAY / OPAL experts.

WHAT: Visit an OPAL pilot school and watch SchoolPLAY in action — the kids will be enjoying a full day of Adventure Play with upcycled loose parts to celebrate Earth Week, and staff from the school and our EarthPLAY team will be available to answer questions.

WHEN: Thursday April 20; 9 am to 12 pm

WHERE: Chester Elementary School, 115 Gowan Ave.

WHY: Developing new play policies for recess, lunch, before and after-school means ensuring we allocate enough time and resources for enriched, inclusive play outdoors, regardless of the weather.

April 22 / ParkPLAY for Earth Day: Wild About Canada POP-UP Adventure Playground

A photogenic demonstration of what Earth Day Canada's EarthPLAY program is all about — giving kids the opportunity to build, create, make-believe, get messy, invent, collaborate and take calculated risks. This supports the "Pledge4PLAY" crowdfunding campaign to raise $25,000 for adventure playgrounds in Canada and is the launch of the "Wild About Canada" POP-UP Adventure Playground series, supported by the Ontario150 Community Grant Program and the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

WHO: MPP Han Dong, TVO's Water Brothers, Eco Expert Candice Batista, Earth Day Canada President Deb Doncaster, local families, park/neighbourhood groups and more.

WHAT: Earth Day Canada's "Wild About Canada" POP-UP Adventure Playground offers a wide variety of natural materials, upcycled loose parts, and various tools, supported by staff trained in playwork, and provides opportunities for children to explore their inner nature and natural environment. Special guest Charlie Freewheels brings a fun "Bike Explosion" zone with disassembled moving parts.

WHEN: April 22; 11 am to 3 pm RAIN OR SHINE (Media from 12 pm to 1 pm

WHERE: Trinity Bellwoods Park, between Queen St. W. and Dundas St. W., north of the community centre, west of the "dog bowl".

WHY: Our main Earth Day event! A chance to see up-close what an adventure playground looks like, and to better understand why Earth Day Canada is fundraising to bring permanent adventure playgrounds to parks and public green spaces across the country.

About Earth Day Canada

Founded in 1990, Earth Day Canada (EDC) is a national charity that inspires and supports people across the country to connect with nature and interact with their environment, fostering an intrinsically motivated, enduring commitment to stewardship and conservation.

During Earth Month, 2017, EDC is raising funds to bring adventure playgrounds to Canada via the #Pledge4PLAY crowdfunding campaign, supported by a social media initiative asking people across the country to share their favourite outdoor #PLAYmemory — celebrities participating in this include four-time Olympian Silken Laumann, Survivorman Les Stroud, children's singer-songwriter Raffi, renowned environmentalist David Suzuki, Leader of the Green Party Elizabeth May and many others. Learn more about our campaign and award-winning annual programming at

SOURCE Earth Day Canada

For further information: Media inquiries & accreditation: Vanessa Farquharson, Director of Communications and Campaigns, Earth Day Canada, 416-599-1991 ext. 207 (o) / 416-209-3451 (c),


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