We’re at the hospital often enough that when I saw there was a playground right outside the P.K. Subban Atrium I was all “Woohoo!”.
(At the Hospital’s old location on Tupper, we’d often visited the Hector Toe Blake Park right across the street.)
Being able to promise the kiddo some outdoor playtime after our appointments was going to make for much smoother visits.
So after an appointment this fall, we went outside, past the big bear sculpture and found the Rio Tinto Alcan Children’s Healing Garden. Except there was a large lock on the gate.
Try explaining to an eager 3-year old that you can only look at the equipment 🙁
After doing some research when we got home, it turns out that the interior play area of Child Life Services, as well as the exterior garden and rubber-based playground are for IN-patients only.
Which is AMAZING for patients and their families staying at the hospital.
The 1057-square metre garden has benches and picnic tables, a shaded area, small basketball court, an accessible sensory play centre from Landscape Structures, as well as a play structure with slides, ladders, activity panels and easy to climb platforms. It was funded and named in honour of Rio Tinto and their 10 million dollar donation to the hospital.
You can read about it HERE.
So, if you find yourself at the hospital for any extended period of time, know that this is available to you.
What I would love to also see, is an outdoor play area for kids who are in for day surgery or appointments. Because unless you walk over to Westmout Park, there’s just nowhere near the hospital that’s safe to let off some steam, or to just get some fresh air.
Access to proper green space has long been known to contribute to easing distress and improving recovery,” explains Dre Micheline Ste-Marie, Associate Director of Professional Services. “As part of The Children’s holistic approach to treating the child, having an outdoor space dedicated for in-patients and their families in the new hospital was high up on our wish list during the planning stage.