Waterloo’s first accessible surface playground is fun for all thanks to OTF grant

Posted On Tuesday May 23, 2023

On Tuesday, local MPP Catherine Fife joined Mayor Dorothy McCabe and other City of Waterloo officials to open the new Eby Farm Playground in Waterloo Park. The playground is the first in the city to have an accessible rubberized surface, made possible by a $380,000 Community Building Fund – Capital stream grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF). The play area is one of many areas redeveloped in Waterloo Park to make it more welcoming for all users.

"Inclusion matters. It is encouraging that this Community Building Fund – Capital stream grant was able to assist with renovating the existing play area in Waterloo Park into an accessible playground that everyone in our community can use. Congratulations on the success of this accessibility project!" said Catherine Fife, MPP for Waterloo.

The accessible rubberized surface surrounds a new multilevel play structure, rubber and artificial turf hills, a play house, an accessible spinner, shade structures, and benches. The existing beloved pig sculptures were relocated to a new sand pit within the playground. And thanks to the $380,000 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, people of all abilities will be able to enjoy this new play area for years to come.

“I’m so excited to have this new playground as one of the welcoming spaces in Waterloo Park,” said Waterloo Mayor Dorothy McCabe. “Accessible options in playgrounds include everyone in the fun. The new play surface is more accessible for anyone with a mobility device or stroller, and it helps make the play area safe and inclusive for everyone.”

 City staff and the consultant created the design for the playground with feedback from the Grand River Accessibility Advisory Committee (GRAAC). In 2022, the City began an accessibility and inclusion review with GRAAC in preparation for the development of the new multi-year accessibility plan. The City is committed to becoming a municipal leader in accessibility and inclusion practices by exceeding minimum Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) standards.

The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations celebrates 40 years of grant-making in Ontario and making a lasting impact in communities. Last year, OTF invested over $110M into 1,022 community projects and partnerships. Visit otf.ca to learn more.



Media Contact

Cari Van Niekerk
Acting Director, Corporate Communications
City of Waterloo