PotashCorp Playland at Kinsmen Park has opened to the public.
“My favourite is the zipline because it goes really fast and you can be sitting and just relaxing while it goes fast,” Evie Tuckerslake said running from the slide to some swings.
“I have been on the slide and the swings and whatever that is.”
Evie and her mom, Samatha Tucker, were some of the first people out at the park to test out the rides for the first time.
“I even tried the zipline it was pretty fun, I couldn’t resist,” Samantha said with a laugh. “It’s really lots of fun here. There’s lots of places for mom to hang out if you want to picnic, it looks really good.”
The original carousel, which hadn’t seen any improvement or repairs in more than 20 years, has been refurbished. The carousel features 36 unique animals and has always been regarded as a historic monument of Kinsmen Park.
The park also includes the bright lights of a new ferris wheel and a miniature Canpotex train. The replica modern-day freight train includes a locomotive, caboose and seating and follows the original racetrack route around the park.
“This project has been a long time coming. People have been very patient, we had two seasons of construction,” City of Saskatoon Recreation and Sport Director, Cary Humphrey, said.
“I think most public have been driving along Spadina Drive and they’ve been seeing the Ferris wheel, the carousel, and the train but what you see behind me is an adventure playground that’s for all ages.”
Kinsmen Park is Saskatoon’s oldest park development. It’s held a horse race track and in the sixties they brought in a few rides.
The iconic Kinsmen Park train which was in service for 28 years was delivered to Prince Albert after it was acquired for $7,000. Its new home is the Country Fun Farm, just east of Prince Albert.
“A number of years ago when we only had the two rides we were hitting 160,000 people … we are pretty optimistic that we will do over 200,000 visits in the park just for the rides alone. That’s not including the playground,” Humphrey said.
“We want to make this park … a bit of a jewel for Saskatoon … As we further develop the park over the years ahead it’s going to be really fantastic for Saskatoon.”
The master plan, expected to take up to 25 years, would include a festival site and winter activities including more skiing trails. For the around 100 people lining up as the park opened, they are just excited to use all the brand new features they’ve seen being built over the past two years.
“I love it, it’s very beautiful,” Kyla Thiese said while pushing her son Owen in a stroller.
“He’s quite excited, he’s been talking about it non stop for two weeks so it’s nice to be here. Everyday we drive by on the way to daycare and he wants to go on the ferris wheel really badly.”
Parking is available at the playland parking lot, the Mendel site and north of the YWCA off Kinsmen Avenue.
The park officially opened on Wednesday after closing in 2012 for the major renovations. The total cost to develop the Playland was $9.5 million with PotashCorp providing $7.5 milion.
Rides are two dollars for a single ticket and $20 for 12 tickets. Hours for the rides are Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. On Sunday and holidays it is 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
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