City To Spend $7.4-million On Playground Replacements

A massive revamp is on the way for city playgrounds.

Council has unanimously agreed to spend $7.4-million to replace 28 playgrounds which no longer meet current safety standards.

Several of the playgrounds have already been removed, the remainder of the work will be completed over the next two years.

Councillor Fred Francis says this is a great move by the city.

"There might be some out there saying can this money not be better spent on roads, sewers, but I also think that there's a balance to be struck and this is a significant investment in our parks, obviously, for children and play. When you're looking at a city and you're governing a city you have to balance these different investment needs."

Fellow Councillor Irek Kusmierczyk says residents have been asking for this for quite some time.

"This is definitely one of the top five issues or comments that I receive from residents. I've also heard from residents who experienced seeing a playground in their neighbourhood on their street being removed and how much of a negative impact that had in terms of neighbourhood amenities that are really important to residents."

Councillor Joanne Gignac agrees that keeping kids active is a must.

"I'm comfortable that the funding sources are solid, that we're not going to rob Peter to pay Paul. It's certainly going to enhance the neighbourhoods in those areas and encourage children to get out and play because we know from the health unit that this is a critical issue in our community and I think this just promotes that."

More than half of the project is being covered by a $4.3-million reallocation of funds that had been set aside in 2014 for a new multi-storey parking garage.

The new playgrounds have an average lifespan of 15 to 20 years.