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Callander’s pirate ship sails Monday, enjoy the final ride

It’s the last weekend for the beloved pirate ship playground at Centennial Park
Callander Centennial Park~pirate ship~David Briggs
Callander residents can bid a bon voyage to the 'pirate ship' playground at Centennial Park this weekend / Photo by David Briggs

For many, the highlight of the playground at Callander’s Centennial Park is the massive wooden pirate ship, and come Monday, June 6th, that ship is set to sail. But fear not, landlubbers, the town has big plans for a new attraction, a structure designed to put a smile on even the hardest-to-please playground connoisseur.

And guess what? It will also be shaped like a ship.

A lot of changes are coming to Centennial Park, thanks in part to some funding from both the provincial and federal governments. The money is going to the municipality’s Waterfront and Downtown Revitalization plan, and much will be done this summer.

See: Federal money washes into Callander’s waterfront

See: Provincial cash comes to Callander’s downtown

You may have noticed some wooden stakes near the lakeshore. Those are marking where the new boardwalk will be. Mayor Robb Noon mentioned that work will begin soon after FunFest this summer. The town didn’t want to start it now because it didn’t want to have a half-finished boardwalk during the Canada Day event.

There’s a large square area also staked out near the boardwalk and that is where a new pavilion will go. Work will begin on that after FunFest as well.

But the playground is coming soon. On Monday, the town is putting up a fence around the ship and tearing it down. Mayor Noon expects the new equipment to arrive on June 13th and putting it all together will probably take a few days. Playground Planners, Inc., is supplying and installing the equipment, and the overall cost is $213,755.

See: New playground coming to Callander’s Centennial Park

Then a new era of play begins. The new playground will be a great addition to the community. It is designed to be more accessible and will also cost less to maintain. That was the main reason the town decided to remove the current one. Wooden playgrounds are not so popular with insurance companies or inspectors, so although the ship could probably have lasted a while longer, council decided it was better to remove it now.

There’s a lot of wood to remove from that ship, and “we’re trying to save as much as we can” Mayor Noon said. So don’t be surprised if you start seeing parts of the pirate ship showing up as planters around the municipality. The mayor is not sure what projects they will use for those old beams, but the goal is to reuse as much as possible.

As for the slides and the other fun equipment, council will have to decide what happens to those, as currently no plans are made except to place them in storage for the time being. “We’ll see what we can do,” the mayor said.

For many, the pirate ship has become a favourite place to play, and the structure has carved out a spot in many residents’ hearts. “We’re sad to see it go,” Mayor Noon agreed, “but we’re excited to see the new one to come.”

David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

David Briggs

About the Author: David Briggs

David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter covering civic and diversity issues for BayToday. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada
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