New Harbour play structure coming

FITZROY HARBOUR – Design work is underway for a new play structure at the Fitzroy Harbour Community Centre.

The City of Ottawa approved the cost of designing a new play structure for Fitzroy Harbour for 2020 and work is now underway on that project. The current plan is to design the new structure in 2020 and build the structure in 2021. The play structure is situated in Egbert Reitsma Park located across the parking lot from the community centre.

City of Ottawa Parks and Facilities Planning planner Donna Williams was assigned to the project on July 7.

“We just reached out to the community association to see if there is anything specific they are looking for,” Williams told West Carleton Online yesterday (July 21). “Specific colours, activities, components etc.”

Williams says the designers will create two design options.

The scope of work is to replace the existing junior and senior play structures including swings. The swings will be replaced with a bucket, belt and an accessible swing, accessible bench and accessible path to the new play structure. The current structure would not be considered accessible.

“The community association is always my starting point,” Williams said. “We will come up with some good options. We hire (outside contractors) to do the design and generally, I ask for two options. We’ll present the two options to the community association. We will also post to Engage Ottawa for the rest of the community to provide feedback.”

Engage Ottawa is the city’s “new and innovative online tool to improve how the city engages with you. These online tools give you the opportunity to weigh in on the projects and initiatives that you care about, at your convenience,” the website says. You must register to use the site.

Neither Williams nor Fitzroy Harbour Community Association (FHCA) President Karen Taylor is sure how old the current play structure is, but Williams says it has reached the end of its life cycle.

“I haven’t been to the site in a while,” Williams said. “We’ll replace what’s there. Obviously, what’s there is tired and old. If there is anything salvageable, staff will be sure to re-use it.”

Williams could not answer if Ottawa’s huge $192 million deficit will influence construction plans scheduled for 2021, but all City of Ottawa projects are “always pending budget approval by council.”

Park improvement projects are considered non-essential by the city.

This project required no fundraising on behalf of the community and will be paid for through city funding. While it’s too early to put a cost on the specific structure, in past stories West Carleton Online has covered relating to play structures, costs can be between $30,000 and $70,000.

Taylor, on behalf of the community association, is thrilled to have the new play equipment.

“We are very proud to have the city and our communities work together,” Taylor told West Carleton Online yesterday. “Feel very privileged. Just today I asked for some stone dust and it’s being delivered tomorrow, that’s impressive.”