Health, Kids, News

Gloomy Underpass Transformed Into Awesome Kids’ Park

Underpass ParkAn “underpass” is a road or a tunnel that goes beneath another road. Toronto has some dark and gloomy underpasses.

Dark and gloomy, that is, until this summer. That’s when an organization called Waterfront Toronto built something incredible.

Where there used to be garbage and weeds, there is now a fun playground with a safe, rubbery floor, a skateboard and scooter park and a basketball court. There are also swings, climbers, a teeter-totter and benches for people to relax on.

Underpass Park covers 2.5 acres underneath three on- and off-ramps that lead to the DVP in East Toronto.

Before the park was built, Toronto’s Mayor Rob Ford said he wasn’t sure the space could be transformed. But when he came to open the park on Aug. 2, he loved it.

He even climbed the new rope jungle gym while the kids around him shouted, “Go Mayor! Go Mayor!”Rob Ford at Underpass Park

Eight-year-old Julian loves the park. Standing with his skateboard watching all of the kids doing scooter tricks up and down the ramps he told TKN, “I was afraid my skateboard wouldn’t fit in.

“Then a big guy gave me a high five because I had a skateboard like him.”

Some people are worried that later on the park will go back to being dark and dirty. But Waterfront Toronto says there is a lot of new housing being built near the park. The new homes will bring more people to the area and prevent Underpass Park from going back to the way it was.

Underpass Park is located underneath the overpasses for Eastern Avenue, Richmond and Adelaide Streets.

By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
Waterfront Toronto was able to look at a space that was underused, neglected and uninteresting and transform it into a space that is interesting, fun and enjoyable.

Can you think of a space at home, in your community or at your school that is underused? How could you transform it so it could become more enjoyable and more frequently used?

Reading Prompt: Analysing Texts
The journalist took time to explain what an underpass is, the location of the park and what the park looked like before the change. How did these descriptions help you, as a reader, to understand the story?

Identify specific elements of texts and explain how they contribute to the meaning of the texts (OME, Reading: 1.7)

Analyse texts and explain how various elements in them contribute to meaning (OME, Reading: 1.7)

Analyse a variety of texts, both simple and complex, and explain how the different elements in them contribute to meaning and influence the reader’s reaction (OME, Reading: 1.7)

Grammar Feature: Compound Words
A compound word contains two separate words. An example of a compound word from the article is “basketball” because it includes the words “basket” and “ball.”

This article contains other compound words. Find all of them and identify which two words make up each compound word.