The City of Toronto’s Playground Enhancement Program (PEP) is committed to improving playgrounds and play spaces across the city so everyone can experience the joys and benefits of play. Each year, around 22 existing playgrounds are improved with new designs and modern equipment.

The City collaborates with the local community to develop priorities for the playground improvements and guide the final design. The final playground design must meet the needs of the community while balancing site conditions and construction budgets.

Playground improvements often include:

  • new state-of-the-art play features like slides, climbing structures, swings, and more
  • play structures for both junior (two to five) and senior (five to 12) ages
  • seating, rest areas and shade areas

Playground improvements always include:

  • accessibility features as regulated by:
  • replacement of sand with modern surfaces that incorporate proper drainage and meet current safety and accessibility standards

Project Timelines

The typical playground improvement project is completed within a two year timeline:

  • Year one: Public engagement and design
  • Year two: Hire a contractor and complete construction

Playgrounds are evaluated and considered for improvement based on the following factors:

  1. Playground’s physical condition, which considers things like age of the playground, play value, and accessibility
  2. Equity, which considers whether or not the playground is in a Neighbourhood Improvement Area as well as the Child and Family Inequity Score from Raising the Village
  3. Park deficiency, which considers whether or not the playground is in a park-deficient neighbourhood

A priority list of playgrounds in need of improvements is created and incorporated into a dedicated budget for the PEP, which then informs the City’s 10-Year Capital Plan.

At the start of a playground enhancement project, signs are posted at the playground to notify the community of the upcoming improvements and provide the address for the project-specific webpage. The project webpage provides information on the project timeline, important project updates, a link to the public engagement survey when it is available, and a link to sign up to receive updates from the project team.

The community is able to provide input into the design of the playground through a family-friendly online survey. The survey provides multiple playground designs with different equipment options. The feedback collected through the survey is used to identify the community’s preferences and priorities for the final playground design.

Invest in the wellbeing of children and their families by sponsoring, donating or partnering with the City’s playground revitalization initiative. Contact Strategic Partnerships to learn how you can help us improve Toronto’s play spaces, and enable kids to be kids.

Before and After Playground Improvement Projects