Waterloo council greenlights funding for second phase of Eby Farm Playground expansion

Waterloo city council awarded a construction tender for the second phase of the Eby Farm Playground expansion on Monday.

The tender of $793,810.15 will go towards demolishing the existing playground and making it more accessible. Some of the improvements to the playground include the following:

  • Ramp with embankment slide
  • Sensory panels
  • Sensory tunnel
  • Horse spring rider
  • Communication board
  • Elevated sand table with built-in shade
  • Sand pit with transfer stations 
  • Path of travel to nearby parking lot
  • Picnic tables
  • Umbrella tables

“All in all, the playground expansion will create a vibrant, inclusive and accessible space that brings members of the community together while providing a place for people of all ages to enjoy their time in Waterloo Park,” said Hala Al Amine, a landscape technologist with the City of Waterloo.

The city opened the first phase of the new park last year in May 2023 and was the first accessible surface playground in the municipality. The Grand River Accessibility Advisory Committee (GRAAC) were engaged in the feedback on multiple phases of the design process.

Paula Saunders, the chair of the Built Environment Subcommittee of GRAAC, said after the accessible surface was put in during Phase 1 of the expansion last year, they realized there were still some accessibility issues. She said she is pleased with what will come with Phase 2.

“In saying that we can’t make it totally accessible doesn’t mean we should stop trying,” said Saunders. “We need to keep looking at what’s out there, what the new products are, what we can bring forward and put into these great things we are doing.”

City staff note in a report to councillors they are looking into future opportunities for improved washroom facilities, such as accessible washrooms in the parks.

Construction is set to begin this summer and is expected to be completed by the end of November.

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