Please note: As of June 30, Ontario has entered Step 2 of its phased reopening plan. While restrictions have been relaxed, if you go out, maintain physical distancing guidelines and wear a mask.
The Bentway just got a whole lot cooler thanks to the addition of a massive outdoor playground.
The new summer addition, called Playing in Public, has added eight different installations, a connective play path, and audio experiences to the area under the Gardiner. Playgrounds, basketball courts, and interactive signage and apps have totally transformed the space.
“COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of public space as a site and source for play, physical activity, and well-being,” said Ilana Altman, co-executive director of The Bentway.
“This is even more pronounced in dense, high-rise urban communities, like the ones near The Bentway, where access to adequate public space is limited. The artists, designers, and creative partners involved in this season are giving us a glimpse of an urban future where play has reshaped our shared spaces for the better.”
One installation, Double Dribble, brings basketball nets of all heights and sizes to the highway overpass. Another, called Walk Walk Dance, has a series of music-making lines that you can jump (on dance) between to see what kinds of sounds you can make.
A larger-than-life set of Jacks have also been installed, where people are supposed to take on the role of the ball and bounce around from one area to the next.
Another installation brings large stairs and wide slides to the new Bentway playground, which is sure to be a hit among the younger crowds.
Toronto-based Retro Rolla will also be onsite offering roller skate rentals to those 18 years of age and older, but pre-registration is required.
The outdoor playground is now open. The City asks those who attend to wear a mask, respect gathering limits, and maintain a 2m distance.