Summer is finally in full swing. Ontario Place is currently in a limbo state as the city of Toronto decides on permanent plans for this prime piece of waterfront real estate. The space isn't regularly occupied during the year, but in the summer it's used for festivals, concerts, and water activities. Back in the 70s, Eric McMillan created the Children's Village which was a successful outdoor playground that made use of the vast waterfront space that is Ontario Place. McMillan argued that the original design of Ontario Place didn't have enough appeal to young people, so the Children’s Village was opened in 1972 and became a popular destination within the park. It covered 2 acres of land and cost $700,000 to build. It was comprised of large nets to climb on, tube slides, a "foam swamp" of foam pieces below a plastic sheet, a "pogo-bird bounce", "punch-bag forest", and a 40,000 square feet bright orange vinyl canopy. It also contained 15 imaginative water games and a huge air-drying machine for sopping children. McMillan had even planned to create similar play areas for teenagers and perhaps even adults, but I have yet to look into his projects post Ontario Place (this project seemed to be his most notable one!). His work influenced play parks around the world (including Sesame Place and Parc de la Villette) and he became known as the father of "soft play". The Children’s Village was retired in 2002, leaving a solid 30 years of memories for Torontonians who grew up in the city during this time.
Links to Super8 videos of the Children’s Village below: