Wellesley Park Splash Pad – July Update

Issues Local Interest Schools and Children

Wellesley Park Splash Pad – July Update

The Wellesley Park Splash Pad renewal is continuing apace, and we wanted to let you know where things stand since our last update in May. It’s unfortunate that the splash pad isn’t open for use right now during the nice weather we’ve been having (if you like that heat and sun type of thing…), but the City assures us that it will be opening this summer and the issue of shade canopy colour (more on that later) is not holding anything up. The contractors have advised us that the concrete requires time to set, and the wet weather we had earlier in the summer put them behind by a few weeks.

Some residents circulated a petition asking the City to change the colour of the shade canopy, but it’s unclear whether the City will be doing so – and what the implications would be related to taxpayer costs. If we are asked by the City to help solicit your input, we’ll let you know via our website, social media and email newsletter. The good news is that the City has confirmed to us that this issue will not delay the opening of the park. Since parks are not designated as heritage conservation properties in the same way that Cabbagetown houses are, it seems that there was no consultation done prior to the park’s design on this particular topic.

8 replies on “Wellesley Park Splash Pad – July Update”

The issue of the colour of the canopy is embarrassing and insupportable. The blue is a cheery beacon and a recognizable invitation for some fun, frolic and respite from the heat, employed across the GTA to welcome all and sundry for a short period each year. None of my Cabbagetown friends and neighbours support this expression of petty entitlement, and if the small group who are complaining about the colour are so insular in their views then perhaps they should cash in and move to a gated community elsewhere. If they prevail, they should personally pay for the change.

(Further, protecting the tender feet of toddlers should rise to the top of the list of priorities given the recent experience in Georgetown.)

While the colour of the canopy is a classic first world problem, it doesn’t change the fact that anyone with a rudimentary appreciation for atheistics would have chosen a colour that is more complimentary to the natural surroundings of the park, let alone our neighbourhood. We live in a gated community already, where the bylaw gates protect the character of the neighbourhood. These are gates that I proudly participate in guarding.

Setting aside assumptions (unsubstantiated by data) about the number of members on each side of this issue, I propose that we focus on the root cause of this debate – a fact we should all find to be common ground – the lack of accountability in the civil service to the needs of the citizens.

Taxpayer money spent on this should serve as a lesson to be learned by the civil servant who sanctioned this design. Consultation is key – the goal not being pleasing everyone which is unattainable, nearly providing the means to make the most informed decision possible by engendering community involvement. I fear however that the said individual will experience no consequences for their ill-informed actions when bonuses are passed around city hall. That is the root cause of this problem – not holding those we employ to account for their actions.

As to the wellbeing of feet of toddlers, it is a shared responsibility between service providers and parents to protect children. The city needs to ensure that the designs of their facilities eliminate hazards – the canopy does this – that is not in question. Parents Need to think about water shoes, and applying common sense. The question at hand Is not one of canopy or no canopy – it’s a question of taste, for sadly, there is no accounting for.

Thank you CabbageTowner for providing this forum for engaging in healthy and respectful discourse.


Neil Davis
Sackville & Wellesley

I agree with you. Funny how people will point fingers to parents saying you should be accountable for your kids…. but the fact is in regards to the Georgetown case the child walked onto the hot space while mom was attending to another child…. this happens what shouldn’t happen is a hot spot in close proximity to a spash pad or pool…

as for the canopy…… the fact that it is up is a great test to the fact that the city is changing and understanding that we need to put more money into our childrens space…. the fact that some individuals are arguing because it is blue not green is a sad statement on the fact that people have too much time on their hands to disagree on colour pallets. yeah green will be a nice colour but the blue is just as nice… who cares what colour it is… good on the city for building such an amazing pad…in a space that clearly needed revitalizing.

What bothers me is they build a dog run and everyone goes yeah.. they build a park and everyone starts to complain…

Pause at Wellesley and Parliament. Hot child in tow. 30 degrees. And then you spot the beacon of cool – the blue canopy – the signal of relief in sight. Thankfully the civil servants are accountable to the needs of all our citizens not just a select few,

During a recent walk in our neighbourhood, I took note of the blue canopy at the splash pad. I also took note of a Jeep parked near the east end of Wellesley St., which Jeep was THE SAME blue colour as the canopy. I worried that some neighbours would start up a complaint about the colour of the Jeep not being appropriate to the character of the area.

LOL too funny…. yes so sad that the colour of a canopy can spark such a cry of outrage….. Goodness did you notice in the fall the leaves change colour to red… I wonder if they will petition the city to cut down the trees????

THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE – Upon hearing the complaints of many of my neighbours about the blue awning at Wellesley Park, I started a petition that gathered 32 names within hours, no trouble at all – people were asking to sign days later, after I had sent it in to Parks.

I got a reply from Senior Special Project Coordinator Susan Anderson on May25 stating firmly and unequivocally that the awning would be changed to green, as per our request. If there was a choice of greens, we would be consulted.

End of story, thanks to a cooperative attitude from the City who showed sensitivity to a local request.

But then someone called the media, a Globe Reporter showed up at my door, and later, a photographer. The story was also picked up by Global and The Star. then Stephen O’Bright from Special Projects called a meeting and showed up with multi-coloured swatches. It turned out he was totally ignorant of the preceding agreement and his ignorance caused confusion and hard feelings.

This is an issue that only affects those who can see the awning, i.e. those living at the end of Wellesley St., not all Cabbagetowners. I attribute the negative remarks to people who do nothing for their community but complain about those who do.

The awning will be changed to green.

What a sad day when one person would stop a park from being open due to the colour of a canopy…. I am guessing the person that started the petition has no children, grandchildren or friends with kids, as are the people who signed it. I can’t imagine the type of person who would do this to kids in a city such as ours… we have been waiting all summer for this park to open… hoping that it is finally open for the kids to play in before the snow comes.

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