Getting outside, encouraging community, building healthy and active lifestyles for both children and the young at heart — all of this and more are possible with beautiful parks and playgrounds.
Upon closer look at the former playground, situated inside lovely Rosethorn Park, local residents felt that it was not serving this ideal nor the current residents of Islington Heights.
A park and a playground are a place to bring a cup of coffee or tea, get together with neighbours, staying vibrant and healthy well into the golden years. It’s a place for children to make lifelong friends and seniors to stay connected. A place to call our own and a central gathering spot for our village.
The playground was freshly rejuvenated and your support added to the legacy of this impactful project. Thank you for making a difference!
Below is a story Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation published on May 16, 2017 about this initiative:
The Friends of Rosethorn Park is partnering with Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation to revitalize their neighbourhood local park and playground: Rosethorn Park in the Islington Heights community. We spoke recently with Nesrine Rajji and Joy Robson from the Friends to share their story:
One day, neighbourhood families got together to chat on the street and a conversation sparked up regarding the Rosethorn Park and playground. One of the mothers remarked how she had played on that same playground structure as a child 30 years earlier. They all felt it would be great to have their children playing on a revitalized playground and to get out and find the right people to help make that happen. Together, like-minded community members organized a group, the ‘Friends of Rosethorn Park’, to push for a full-scale revitalization of the park.
Their project idea, backed by Councillor John Campbell, involves retrofitting the Rosethorn Park playground with a new slide and swing set, and other updates depending on the amount the funds they can raise. The City of Toronto has already committed $150,000 toward the project. For the remainder, the community group has partnered with the Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation which will enable them to leverage support from the community itself, and from surrounding local businesses, to make the project a reality.
Together with the Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation, the Friends are aiming to raise an additional $100,000 by August of 2017, to match the funds that the City has already committed to the project. The Friends have plans to host silent auctions, go door knocking and partner with the local school and business community.
So far, the project has seen overwhelming support from the community, and garnered the enthusiasm of the City. While the playground remains outdated, the park is used frequently and is very well-loved. Local soccer and baseball teams have become involved in the project, and the process has helped to build connections within the community by bringing people together who might have otherwise remained strangers.
If the project’s fundraising goal is met, a public consultation will be hosted in September to gather input on what changes the neighbourhood would like to see. If successful, the group would like to see the project completed by June 2018. The group is working on a plan to recognize large donations to the project through plaques within the park design.