Creating outdoor spaces where everyone can have fun

By District Staff on Wednesday, Nov 29, 2023

When the new Belle Isle Park opens in the fall of 2024, it will be accessible for everyone to enjoy.

The expanded outdoor space in the Lions Gate Village community includes the District’s first fully designed urban dog park, a grass recreation area for sports and picnicking, and a large playground for kids with a fitness complex for adults.

The park's design features picnic tables and seating areas for people with mobility challenges, fully accessible rubber play surface and turf area, inclusive playground equipment and a communication board for children with speech and language disabilities.

“We want everyone to be able to play and have fun at our parks. We’re always looking for ways to make accessibility improvements so everyone in our community can access and enjoy these amenities ,” says Adam Vasilevich, Section Manager, Parks Planning and Development.

The District’s first completely accessible playground opened at Bridgman Park in 2022. The design follows principles of universal and inclusive design so children with autism spectrum disorders, sensory processing disorders, visual impairment, and physical disabilities can enjoy what the playground offers.

A concept design drawing of the accessible playground at Belle Isle Park

A concept drawing of the new playground area of Belle Isle Park, which includes swings, climbing structures and other structured play features and an adult fitness area.

Improving accessibility at parks and attractions

Belle Isle Park is one of several Parks projects that helps our parks and outdoor spaces to be more inclusive and accessible for all residents and visitors.

Here’s what else is new:

Maplewood Farm

We recently installed a new sidewalk at the entrance to the Farm to offer better access for people with physical disabilities and to provide a safe, designated pathway for all pedestrians.

We also expanded our accessible parking capacity at the Farm.

A young boy and his sister stand among ducks and a red-crowned rooster on a patch of grass.

Bridgman Park washrooms 

After conducting an assessment of the Bridgman Park washrooms this year, we renovated the facility to increase the accessibility of the building and washroom stalls, including improved lighting and heightened contrast of the interior space for people with visual impairments. We also widened the existing accessible parking stalls  and improved access to the pathways  to the facility.

Parkgate Park washrooms

We widened the access ramp and installed safety features to increase access  to the washrooms at Parkgate Park. We also reconfigured the space to add accessibility features and increased space for wheelchair access and other mobility devices, added colour contrast for people with low vision and installed better lighting to improve visibility.

Delbrook Park field house

Coming soon! The new Delbrook Park field house will feature four individual, accessible washrooms on two levels to ensure everyone, including people with physical disabilities, have easy access from the upper and lower level of the park. Each individual washroom will have an automatic door opener, ample space for mobility devices and accessible fixtures.

Kids of different ages play at a colourful playground with slides and swings and other features. The playground is surrounded by tall trees.

DNV Accessibility Plan

Improving the physical accessibility of public infrastructure and spaces like parks within our community is one of the six core goals in the District’s 2023-2026 Accessibility Plan, endorsed by Council in October, 2023.

There are many layers to accessibility, including physical accessibility, accessible information and technology, social and cultural inclusion, safe and inclusive environments, and more.

This plan outlines our accessibility goals for the coming years and our approach to achieving them. It reflects our commitment to creating an inclusive and welcoming environment where everyone can fully participate.

Download the Accessibility Plan, 2023-2026 

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