POSTED: FEBRUARY 1, 2023
BY: SARAH CHAPIN
In This Blog:
- A new child care centre is opening soon in East Bayfront, with one infant room, two toddler rooms and two preschool rooms.
- WoodGreen, the third-party operator selected by the City of Toronto, will offer high quality child care and enriched learning opportunities for up to sixty-two children.
- The facility features thoughtfully designed play spaces and structures purpose-built to meet children's developmental needs at each age, and includes several murals inspired by the birds of the lakeshore.
- This child care centre will support a growing number of young families living on the waterfront.
A new childcare centre will soon be opening in East Bayfront. Since BDA began construction on the facility located at 75 Edgewater Drive in October 2021, surrounding residents and employees with young children have been eagerly awaiting its opening.
WoodGreen, the third-party operator selected by the City of Toronto, will be offering high quality child care and enriched learning opportunities for up to sixty-two children at this new location. To ensure the space provides support for all families, both families eligible for a child care fee subsidy and full-fee paying families are welcome to enroll for child care. Enrollment details will soon be available on the WoodGreen website.
About the Facility
Designed by CS&P Architects, the child care centre consists of one infant room, two toddler rooms, and two preschool rooms, facilitating care for up to 10 infants, 20 toddlers and 32 preschool-aged children. The infant and toddler playrooms are located on the ground level, with the preschool rooms and playground located on the second floor and terrace. There are also staff rooms, offices, washrooms, storage rooms, and a kitchen.
Photos by Michael van Leur Photography.
Since the centre is located within a residential building, the design of these spaces was planned with special attention to reducing sound transfer between the child care centre and nearby residential units by using sound absorptive insulation and acoustic insulators. It also aligns with the LEED Platinum Standards that Aquabella is striving to achieve.
Waterfront Toronto conducted the fit-out of the facility with input from the City of Toronto’s Children’s Services. As a part of our fit-out work, the centre features a playground area with unique play-structures for each age group and beautiful murals that were commissioned to decorate the walls of the play space.
Unique Play for All Ages
On the second-floor terrace, designed by PMA Landscape Architects, preschoolers, toddlers and infants enrolled at the facility will experience thoughtfully designed play spaces and structures purpose-built to meet their developmental needs at each age. For infants, there is a sandbox, an interactive cheese wall with holes that can be climbed into, as well as a larger-than-life wind chime the children can interact with to create fun sounds.
Photo by Michael van Leur Photography.
In addition to sandboxes, the toddler and preschool areas of the terrace have bird-themed structures for the children to play and interact with. For the toddlers, there is a custom birdhouse play structure they can climb up a ramp to get into, while the preschoolers will be able to climb a ladder into an elevated bird’s nest where they can look out at their playmates from a higher vantage point.
Photo by Michael van Leur Photography.
Caitlin Taguibao, a freelance illustrator and mural painter based in Toronto, was commissioned to create several murals for the child care centre. The murals are inspired by wildlife in the area, particularly the birds of the lakeshore. The playground structures located in front of each mural were also considered to help inform the imagery of the murals.
“Mural 3” pictured above in play area at the childcare centre at Aquabella. Photo by Michael van Leur Photography.
"Mural 1" features the infamous double-crested cormorants of the Leslie Spit, that nest in large colonies atop the lakeshore trees. This mural serves as a backdrop to the bird nest structure in the playground area for preschoolers. In the corralling area of the terrace are "Mural 2-1" and "Mural 2-2", which feature flying seagulls, a common bird found all around the lake, and piping plovers on a sandy beach with leafy red osier dogwood branches. Located by the sandbox for preschoolers, "Mural 3" features an active sandpiper on a driftwood beach with Toronto Island in the distant background. Finally, featuring flying swallows, "Mural 4" can be found behind the large birdhouse play structure. In this larger open space, the artist wanted to portray the feelings of freedom and playfulness.
“Mural 2-2”, pictured above, features piping plovers on a sandy beach with leafy red osier dogwood branches. Photo by Michael van Leur Photography.
Realizing Complete Communities
Bringing this new child care centre to East Bayfront helps to create a complete community on the waterfront where people can live, work, play and raise a family. Nearby childcare is an integral part of complete communities and this much needed amenity will support the growing number of young families moving to and residing along the waterfront.
People looking for neighbourhoods in the downtown core in which to raise a family will be thrilled to know that the Aquabella child care centre is one of two childcare centres planned for East Bayfront. A second child care centre is planned inside George Brown College’s Limberlost Place. Not only will this facility create more spots for childcare on the waterfront, but it will also serve as an opportunity for the college’s Early Childhood Education students to gain experience before graduating and entering the workforce full-time.