The Canatara Park – Rotary Clubs of Sarnia Accessible Playground and Community Hub project coordinated by the Parks and Recreation Department with the support of the 3 Rotary Clubs of Sarnia is now complete and open to community use.

The project was envisioned as a vibrant focal point within Canatara Park that would serve diverse age groups and abilities through a variety of park and playground features with a focus on improving inclusiveness.

“The intent was to remove a structure that was past its lifecycle and not compliant with the current AODA standards while providing a wide variety of play equipment to be enjoyed by all ages and abilities in a community space that is flexible in nature” said Ryan Chamney, Manager of Recreation and Planning, “this project includes space for inclusive gathering and socializing while connecting seamlessly with the existing picnic shelter, washroom facilities and pathways”

Design of the playground and park elements were based on the scope and conceptual design elements developed by Parks and Recreation Staff.  Park N Play Design Company Ltd. was contracted to design and construct the project.  The design was vetted and endorsed by the 3 Rotary Clubs of Sarnia and the Sarnia Accessibility Advisory Committee.

The playground design is the first of its kind in Sarnia-Lambton.  The design has qualified for two of Playcore’s National Demonstration Site programs that ultimately enrich the quality of play for all who utilize the space including the Me2: 7 Principles of Inclusive Playground Design and PlayON! Promoting Physical Activity.

“The vision of Parks and Recreation staff followed by the overall design and play elements included within this project has exceeded our expectations said Mike Elliott- Rotary Club of Sarnia Public Image Director, “collectively, the 3 Rotary Clubs of Sarnia are pleased to have been part of a community project that clearly provides an inclusive and accessible space to be enjoyed by all while renewing an asset initially installed by the Bluewaterland Rotary club many years ago.  The community support of our Rotary trip of the month lottery from 2016 to 2019 made this donation possible”

Total cost of the project was approximately $335,000 and funded through the financial commitment of the 3 Sarnia Rotary Clubs: Rotary Club of Sarnia; Rotary Sarnia-Lambton After-Hours Club; & Rotary Sarnia Bluewaterland and the City of Sarnia, Parks and Recreation Department 2019 Sport & Recreation: Capital funding allotment.  The project was on budget.

“It was a pleasure to work alongside the 3 Rotary Clubs of Sarnia who continue to do tremendous work throughout the entire Sarnia community, their financial commitment and enthusiasm towards this project helped to increase the scope of this Park and Recreation project” said Chamney.

It is anticipated that light landscaping and grass seeding will be completed in the spring of 2020.

A formal “Grand Opening Event” is scheduled for the early spring of 2020 which will include formal acknowledgements, dignitaries and speeches as well as a commemorative plaque unveiling.