Transfer playground being replaced

Concerns over structural safety force decision to dismantle ‘iconic’ landmark

  • Jul. 16, 2015 1:00 p.m.

It’s been the setting for countless happy adventures, but the playground at Transfer Beach is no more. A crew dismantled the structure last week over concerns that it was becoming unsafe due to structural weathering and deterioration.

But it won’t be long before a new playground is erected, and a whole new generation of adventures and dreams are in the making.

Work installing the new playground begins July 16, said Ladysmith Councilor and Kinsman Duck Paterson. Most of the work will be completed in four days, but the official opening will take place Sunday, Aug. 2 at 11 a.m. during Ladysmith Days.

A lot of people will cherish fond memories of the playground that was removed. It was installed in 1996, and has been a focal point for families at Transfer Beach ever since. “It was the only one of its kind,” Paterson said.

The Transfer Beach Playground earned the Ladysmith Kinsmen the National Service Award in 1997, a Canada-wide award for best project serving a community. Accessible fun is a phrase that partly describes the playground.

Paterson remembers a conversation at the playground one day, when a man said it was the only playground his wife and child could play on together, “and I looked at him and his wife was in a wheelchair.”

Mayor Aaron Stone (see related story) said “It’s important to remember the great things that happened there.”

What’s in store will generate some pretty spectacular memories, too, Paterson predicts.

The centerpiece of the new playground, which will cost about $180,000, will be a nine metre climbing dome. There will also be bucket swings, slides and a network of bridges and platforms for kids to set loose their fantasies.

Funding for the new playground has been raised since last September. “It’s community driven,” Paterson said. “We’ve approached all sorts of community organizations for donations and help. It’s being built by the whole community.”