City of Mississauga Parks and Forestry - Plans & Projects

The Playground Program

The Playground Program in Community Services maintains standards and practices for the City's public playgrounds.

We are committed to ongoing monitoring of existing playgrounds and continual research of the playground industry to establish best practices for accessibility. Minor accessibility improvements to existing playgrounds can be made on request.

In the Playground Redevelopment Program accessibility improvements are made when the playground comes up for replacement.

We hope these play features will let more children have fun and memorable playground experiences in our public parks.

The Playground Program
The Playground Program
The Playground Program

To date the City, universal swing seats have been installed in close to 50 out of 255 playgrounds.

Currently we have 3 barrier-free playgrounds with rubber surfacing:

  • Zonta Meadows Park (2001) - City Centre
  • Port Credit Memorial Park (2006) - Waterfront
  • O'Connor Park (2011) - Churchill Meadows

Three more barrier-free playgrounds are in the capital budget forecast for future development:

  • Jaycee Park (forecast date: 2015) - East End (Applewood)
  • River Grove CC (forecast date: 2016) - North End (East Credit)
  • Elmcreek Park (Malton CC) (forecast date: 2019) - Malton

To improve accessibility in community playgrounds in line with the Provincial Integrated Accessibility Standards [Ontario Regulation 191/11], some of the changes we are making include:

  • A universal swing seat
  • Engineered wood fibre (playground mulch) which replaces sand for wheelchair accessibility
  • Transfer platform (to improve access to the elevated deck for ages 5-12)
  • A spring toy with a backrest
  • A turning bar (ages 2-5 will use in various ways)
  • Ground level play components such as:
    • Crawl tube with handholds
    • counter
    • Tactile / sensory elements
    • The above variety depends on the play equipment company
  • Paved access route
  • Sand pit (for play value)
  • New park benches with armrests

Frequently Asked Questions

Rubber Surfacing
Rubber surfacing is only found in destination playgrounds due to cost and short life cycle.

Playground mulch is doable within existing budgets for neighbourhood playgrounds.

Other municipalities use playground mulch for neighbourhood parks.

Wheelchair Ramps
Wheelchair ramps are not used in neighbourhood parks due to cost, space requirements, and low play value for the dollar. Instead we use a transfer platform and a variety of other ground-level play experiences.

Pre-qualified product lines (up to 2020) for play value, variety, durability based on field inspections.

  • One (1) play structure with deck designed for ages 18 months to 5 years (including slide, stairs, panel toys, and other play elements)
  • One (1) play structure designed for ages 5 years to 12 years (including slide, climbers, monkey bars, transfer deck for children with disabilities, and other play elements)
  • Two (2) belt swings
  • Two (2) tot swings
  • One (1) accessible swing
  • Two (2) spring toys
  • Other accessible ground-level play elements

For life cycle replacement, we rank and prioritize playgrounds by structural condition and other factors, with a life span of typically 20-25 years before a playground is replaced.

Changes are based on field testing other municipalities' large accessible playgrounds [such as Oriole Park in Toronto, Pine Glen Park in Oakville, and Crosby Park in Richmond Hill] and adopting the best features where possible to small community playgrounds within existing budgets.

The City's approach to large fully accessible, barrier-free playgrounds with rubber surfacing is to provide one in each of the 6 Service Areas, ideally at a city-wide destination park (with parking, shade, pathway lighting, and ideally a washroom).These fully accessible playgrounds are not part of the Playground Program, which focusses on the 240 plus neighbourhood playgrounds, but do use these standards as a starting point in their design.

The Playground Design Standard is reviewed every 4-5 years to align with:

  • Current CSA Standards, including Annex H of CSA Z614 (Children's playspaces and equipment that are accessible to persons with disabilities).
  • Parks Operations maintenance standards.
  • Industry trends.
  • Informal feedback from Councillors and the public.

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