The simple recipe for a happy street
In 2016-2017, EDC worked with the City of Toronto Transportation Services and the Public Works Committee to develop the Toronto Street Play Pilot Project (TSPPP). We created a permit and process that allowed residents to close their neighbourhood streets on a weekly/biweekly basis for outdoor play. With a one-year grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, and through collaborative efforts with the City, EDC temporarily closed seven street sections in one of Toronto’s inner urban neighbourhoods to support children’s outdoor play.
The TSPPP demonstrated that there is a large appetite for outdoor play right outside our front doors. Researchers from Ryerson University conducted an evaluation of the pilot project to assess impact.
Bring StreetPLAY to Your Community
Currently, only a few wards within the City of Toronto have participated in the StreetPLAY initiative. We would love to see more residents and streets engaged in StreetPLAY.
To get started on bringing StreetPLAY into your community, contact Linda Naccarato at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-599-1991 x 203
The Evolution of StreetPLAY
StreetPLAY is an accessible program to support outdoor play in residential communities. Following the success of a pilot project in Toronto in 2017, Earth Day Canada is working toward replicating the StreetPLAY model in cities across the country, allowing every child the freedom to regularly play actively and independently near their own front door. Here’s what that might look like:
Stage 1: Permit
Establishing an easily accessible permit system for regular street closures for play.
Stage 2: Play Hours
Establishing a program whereby residential streets are closed on a regular schedule for StreetPLAY (i.e. Mon-Fri 4-8pm and a few hours on the weekends), with cities providing infrastructure support in the form of StreetPLAY wardens and barricades.
Stage 3: Play Infrastructure
Cities in Canada adopt a child-friendly city approach where children’s rights are recognized in city planning. Public space is designated for children’s play, just as public space is designated for parking, etc., including storage containers for play materials.