Playground community already planning to rebuild

Thanks to citizens and corporations, the burned down Jamie Bell Adventure Playground will rise again. (ANDRE_PARKPIC)

Jennifer Hamilton has been keeping it secret from her son for a week.

“I haven’t told my son yet because I know he’d be upset,” she said. “I think (the damage) is a huge waste.”

The castle at Jamie Bell Adventure Playground burned down early St. Patrick’s Day (March 17) morning. Hamilton’s five-year-old son Leith is fond of the playground.

“He heard me talking about High Park to his teacher today and we were actually talking about what happened,” she said. “He said, ‘So, can we go to High Park?’ and I said, ‘Uhh…no, not right now.’”

Along with co-operation from the city and people in the High Park community to restore the playground, Canadian Tire has donated $50,000 toward its reconstruction. Sarah Van Lange, who works in corporate communications with Canadian Tire, felt good about pitching in to fix the facility.

“My phone was bombarded with my colleagues from all different floors saying that they wanted to take part and be involved,” she said. “We actually had to create a separate email address internally, so we could email all the volunteers, so we could keep track and manage all the people that want to help and get involved.”

Hamilton has heard about the plans to rebuild, but she wants justice to be done too.

“The person who burned it down should be paying for it,” Hamilton said.

Sarah Van Lange says she will personally be a part of the playground rebuild.

“I look forward to getting my hands dirty and helping to rebuild the physical park,” Lange said.

Hamilton said she’s lived in Toronto her entire life and things like the fire at Jamie Bell Adventure Park don’t surprise her anymore.

“You sort of have to take the bad of the city with the good,” Hamilton said. “Honestly, that could have happened anywhere. It’s not a bad neighbourhood.”