Corvus Design Blog

August 13, 2014

A Playground of Our Youth: Yellowknife

I grew up in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories in Canada. Not quite at the Arctic Circle, but pretty close. When I was there, it was a fairly remote city of around 9000 people… tucked in the grandeur of the Boreal Forest and Canadian Shield on the edge of Great Slave Lake. Starting probably at the age of 4, my memories are of living next to what felt like rocky Canadian wilderness. We played in the woods, and if we chose the right path we could easily have wandered off never to be seen again… unless we were hungry for our snack and came back.

The most important memories of my school playground were not necessarily from play equipment, but how we interacted with the landscape: the local landscape of the school’s particular site, and the landscape elements that it shared with the entire region.

While these photos show a playscape somewhat different than when I was a kid, they share much of the same character… and access to all that is special and natural to the area.

I like the fact my school had a crest – J.H. Sissons Elementary School
Equipment nestled into existing greenspace.
Schoolground… boreal forest and Canadian Shield.
I remember when this timber equipment went in.
Before the stairs, this was a sledding hill (I slid right into a stump).
My old tetherball stomping grounds. Tetherball now gone.
Ahhh… a walk down memory lane. (not at my old school… a city park)

The Site’s Landscape:
A Landscape of the North: