Cook Street Playground and Outdoor Fitness Circuit

Approximately one hectare in size, the Cook Street Playground is located between Cook Street and Nursery Road, across from the Victoria Lawn Bowling Club. The playground provides play and picnic opportunities for nearby residents and draws visitors from around the region. In 2012, the City of Victoria upgraded the aging play equipment to meet national safety standards, to better meet the needs of the community, and to celebrate Victoria's 150th anniversary.

The New and Improved Cook Street Playground!

A special thank you to the children and parents who provided input into the design of the new playground! Community feedback earlier this year identified climbing, spinning and cable rides as the most requested activities for the Cook Street Playground. Based on this input, the new play equipment includes:
  • two play structures (with slides): one for children ages 18 months to five years, and one for children ages five to 12 years
  • swings for younger and older children, with two accessible swings
  • a 25-metre long cable ride
  • a spinning activity
  • two net climbers
  • natural play features created from local logs

Another popular request was for sand play. Additions to the existing sand area in the park incorporate imaginative and exploratory play elements for younger children.

Some of the new amenities include seating areas with benches and picnic tables, a drinking fountain and bike racks. A new paved pathway connects the playground area to the park's new Outdoor Fitness Circuit.

Special thanks to Ronald McDonald House Charities and KidSport Greater Victoria for their contributions to the new play equipment at Cook Street Playground.

A community celebration was held on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 to officially open the Cook Street Playground and the new Outdoor Fitness Centre at Beacon Hill Park.

Outdoor Fitness Circuit at Beacon Hill Park

There is a growing demand in urban communities to develop active and healthy outdoor fitness areas. The City of Victoria has installed a new Outdoor Fitness Circuit, designed for people 15 years and over, next to the Cook Street Playground at Beacon Hill Park.

Situated along a new path, the fitness circuit provides users with nine pieces of fitness equipment for cardio and strength training. The circuit consists of three exercise stations (or pods) and can accommodate up to 15 people at a time. It is the first outdoor fitness equipment to be installed at a City of Victoria park. Additional outdoor fitness circuits are planned in the New Year.

Manufactured by Kompan-X-ercise, the new outdoor fitness equipment is an excellent way to augment an outdoor running and exercise routine, and enables parents to work out while their children play in the park. The equipment includes a low impact free runner, sit-up bench, abdominal body flexer, leg-lift station, upper body training, dual flex surface, a recumbent bike/sit-up bench, chin and pull-up bar and cardio cross-trainer.

The Outdoor Fitness Circuit at Beacon Hill Park is made possible by the BC Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development's Community Recreation Grant program, which invests in local government capital projects that make communities, healthier, more active places in which to live.

Playground Consultation - Background

Two phases of community consultation were held to develop the concept plan to improve Cook Street Playground.

Phase 1 Consultation
During the first phase of consultation, the community was invited to drop by an open house on February 1, 2012 at the Victoria Lawn Bowling Club to learn more and let us know the type of play equipment they would like to see included in the park. The event was rescheduled to this date due to the "snow day" on January 18 (the original date of the first open house). The February 1 open house was well-attended by children and parents who took the opportunity to view display panels and place stickers next to their favourite play equipment, draw their vision for the park, meet Parks planners, and complete a short survey.

Those who weren't able to attend had the opportunity to view displays and complete a survey in person at the Parks office, or online by February 13. Parks planners also spoke with children tobaggoning at Beacon Hill on the "snow day."

Phase II Consultation
During the second phase of community consultation, the public was invited to drop by an open house on March 7 at the Victoria Lawn Bowling Club to view the draft concept, meet with Parks planners, ask questions and provide feedback. A fact sheet/invitation was mailed to the neighbourhood in February. The community also had the opportunity to view display panels and complete a short online survey until Monday, May 26. The panels and survey were also made available at the Parks office at the Beacon Hill Park Maintenance Office within this same timeframe.

View the playground's illustrated concept here [PDF - 180 KB].

Community Input

A summary of the community input we received from the first open house is available here. A summary of the input we received from the second open house is available here.