Pan Am Games closes Corktown Common splash pad: The Fixer
Hosting the Pan Am Games comes with sacrifices, as the kids who love the splash pad at a new downtown park are about to learn.
As of Monday, the fun is over at Corktown Common Park, which will be closed through Aug. 31 for no reason other than it is just a hop, skip and jump away from the athletes’ village.
The little ones will have to suck it up and be grateful they can play a role in the, uh, greatest show this city has ever seen, by getting out if its way.
The 18-acre park was built at the foot of Lower River St. by Waterfront Toronto as part of the port lands re-do, and has quickly become a destination for residents of the condo towers that have sprung up in the area.
A focal point is the stuff for kids, including a terrific water park, slides and a sand pit at the bottom of them, climbers and other stuff to keep them busy.
That’s why local residents are steamed about losing the park for the summer; just when the weather is heating up and kids would really enjoy the splash pad, the entire park will be barricaded.
Helen Bennet emailed to say “the beautiful new park” is a great place for not just for kids; the benches, paths and ponds are a soothing respite for the entire community.
“Sadly, it is also next to the Pam Am Games village, which has been surrounded by fences forever,” she said, noting that signs were recently posted saying it will be closed from June 1 until Aug. 31.
“Why? Are the athletes going to play in it? Where are the little children going to cool off for the hot summer?
“Three months without a park for the residents of the neighbourhood? People today are all upset. Enough is enough.”
We went there and spoke to several parents who agreed that closing the park for three months seems excessive, especially since the games don’t start until July 10 and wrap up on Aug. 15.
To put it in perspective, we have yet to meet one person who is all jumped up about the games, or admits to having bought a ticket to anything. Have you?
STATUS: Pan Am Games spokesperson Teddy Katz sent us the following explanation: “While the Games have spurred unprecedented development to the West Don Lands, we also understand some residents have questions and concerns about how the Games will impact them. Together with the City of Toronto, Toronto Police Service, MTO, Ontario Provincial Police and the ISU, we have worked to mitigate disruptions for local residents, businesses and traffic near Games venues, including the Athletes’ Village. On June 1, public access to Corktown Common will close as part of security and overlay preparations for the nearby Athletes’ Village. This is similar to what has happened at previous multi-sport games. Corktown Common will form part of the athletes’ village, which is why it is located within the secure perimeter fence line. We will do everything we can to have Corktown Common open as soon as possible after the completion of the Games in late August.”
In other words, the show must go on, even if nobody cares, and you kids can come back next summer.
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