The Town of Labrador City says it is working with Newfoundland and Labrador Housing to remove an old playground that residents have described as decrepit and dangerous.
Labrador City Mayor Fabian Benoit said there is no timeline on the removal of the playground, but the town wants it done “as quickly as we can.”
“We are collaborating with NL Housing to have it removed in consideration of safety,” said Benoit. “There are a few factors and options to be determined and collectively agreed upon prior to implementation of removal. Although this playground is owned by NL Housing, we are committed to assist in getting the issue resolved.
In May, Ashley Penny, who lives on Cavendish Crescent, helped generate public discussion online about the condition of the playground. She went to the playground with her two children and took pictures showing its deteriorating state.
“Oh, it’s absolutely decrepit; I wouldn’t let anybody play on that playground,” said Penny. “As you can see by the pictures, there’s no swings, the slide is lopsided, the platforms are tilting and they appear to be falling; dry rot and glass, the fences are falling down.
“I moved here eight years ago, and it’s been like that for eight years. But I’ve been told by other people, including my fiancé, that it’s been like that since he could recall.”
The playground also got little sympathy from Labrador West residents on Facebook. Most seem to agree with Penny’s descriptions.
“I have my granddaughters down a lot and they always want to go there but I refuse to take them; sad, a playground at the end of the street and kids can not use it, the fence around Cavendish looks like something that encircles a dump. And the playground is 100-per-cent unsafe,” said one man.
Some commenters have fond memories of that playground and were saddened to see its current state.
“I pretty much grew up at that playground and around that area. It’s not fit now. The playground is falling down and the area is also not very well kept anymore. It’s sad, a lot of kids in that area,” wrote one woman.
Penny would like to see the playground replaced or fixed, but if that can’t be done, she believes it needed to be torn down, so no kids get hurt trying to play on it.
“At the very least it needs to be taken away. I can understand if there’s no money to fix it up or replace it. But the way it stands now, it’s just an accident waiting to happen.
“There were two children there at the time, when I went there with my son and daughter. They were on the playground and I advised them ‘guys, if I were your parents, I wouldn’t allow you guys on this playground.’”
Newfoundland and Labrador Housing didn’t respond to request for comment in time for deadline.