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Earl Haig PS

Surfaces: sand (senior playground), artificial turf (junior playground 1), wood chips (junior playground 2)

It’s hard not to compare this one to its close neighbour and fellow Earl-named school, Earl Beatty, which can be found just 500 metres north, and which we also visited recently. In most respects, Earl Beatty beats out Earl Haig. The only exception is the equipment, which is just slightly better here at Haig.

Earl Haig features three separate playgrounds. The first has a nice old wooden Henderson climber, showing its age but still standing proudly with a few replacement wood planks evident. Some other low-climbing wooden equipment can be found at the school yard’s western edge; some V-shaped trunks, monkey bars, and a short wall with climbing holds attached.

Then, at the school’s eastern end, can be found two separate toddler playgrounds. The first has more Henderson equipment, slightly newer and made of plastic and metal, and the second has the newest equipment, by Landscape Structures, and probably the only climber on the property younger than I am. Both the toddler climbers are fenced in, and the second one includes two absolutely enormous tires that little kids will likely love exploring.

So the equipment is varied and provides some good options. The rest of the school yard, unfortunately, is in pretty rough shape. There is what used to be a soccer field, but is now mostly dirt, and goal posts with no crossbar or netting. Compared with Earl Beatty’s artificial turf field with good drainage and real nets, Earl Haig’s looks pretty sad. Circling the “field” is a track – or at least, evidence of a track – so bumpy and cracked that for little bikers it would be more of an obstacle course than a track.

One thing that was endearing about this one was the friendly graffiti found on some of the climbers. On the senior structure some music lover had written, “I love the Smiths.” To which another person had politely rebutted, “The Cure is better.” Another climber featured the message, “Processed meat is bad for you.” Point taken, ethical graffiti artist, point taken.

Anyway – if you’re looking for a good place to play, Earl Beatty is probably a better bet than Earl Haig. But if you’re a fan of old wooden climbers (or if you want to contribute to a polite back and forth about classic bands or the downsides of processed food) Earl Haig might be for you.

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