Reimagine Park Life and Play Time

October 23, 2018 by University District

U/D’s new commonground: Northwest Commons Park


Remember the days of playing outdoors, feeling free and on top of the world? The wind through your hair as you rush down a slide or soar on the swings, dizzying cartwheels and somersaults on the grass?


Perhaps the pace is slower and the risks taken are fewer, but the joys of play need not be distant memories.


Here at University District, we believe in the importance of play for all ages and abilities and the excitement and magic that comes along with it. Beyond fun staying active at any age is important for overall health — body and mind.


Our Northwest Commons Park — which opened October 20, 2018 — is ready to welcome and inspire a new concept of outdoor play. The diverse space includes features to attract and delight fun-seekers of all ages and abilities. It’s also a Playcore National Demonstration Site, which gives recognition to our park for being an inclusive, fair, smart, independent, safe, active and comfortable play space that brings children and families together through play.


Our partners and friends at IBI Group, Park n’ Play Design, Wilco Contractors and Level Playing Field have made it possible to bring this unique play space to life, capturing our commitment to play and recreation while telling our U/D story around the benefits of play.


From play areas for different age groups to sensory areas and special features like a community ping pong table, there are playful opportunities for everyone! Hear what our partners have to say about the features that give this new park that special Northwest of Normal–U/D touch.


Playing outdoors can and should be for all ages. Come visit our Northwest Commons park or check out our guide to Northwest Calgary playgrounds for all ages


Urban Green Spaces Aplenty


More than just any ordinary park, the new urban play space is a destination sure to make any park goer feel more connected to community with plenty of creative and engaging play structures and flexible areas to use your imagination. Find a central lawn — the perfect size for a small soccer game, fitness boot camps or tossing a football with friends — to lush plantings, open spaces, trees and elevated seating. You can cheer your friends from the sidelines with a coffee and pastry in hand as they play a good ol’ game of flag football. Site lighting creates a comfortable atmosphere and even includes multi-tiered lit bench walls.


Wouldn’t it be great to meet people in your community and get a chance to go for a bike ride or leisurely stroll? Learn how PlayCity makes it possible! 


Photo credit: LeighAnne Hazard Photography


Everyone’s a Player


It’s hard to find another playground like this in the city! The playground is wheelchair-accessible and includes a range of structures like monkey bars, slides and climbing apparatus specifically designed with wide-ramp access.  Universal play matters to University District, so our inclusive outdoor activity space encourages all types of play for all types of people.


From ample connections and resting spots to poured-in-place rubber surfaces, made from recycled car tires, and a series of ramps and transfer points on the playground, our outdoor play space gives kids, youths, adults and the young-at-heart access to the most fun or intriguing parts of the playground.  That’s not all! Our playground will include a number of forward thinking features, such as:


  • A giant custom net with transfer platforms for people who rely on mobility devices
  • Widened community pathways for ease and comfort
  • Expression swings that will give people of all abilities the opportunity to swing together
  • A roller slide offers a different sensory stimulation combined with the classic thrill-of-the-slide
  • Sensory wave climbers with sensory gadgets for people with visual and hearing impairments
  • A Rock N Raft that allows children of all abilities to experience a swinging motion along with all their friends
  • Overhead monkey bars made easy to reach for children with mobility devices


Building connections at University District is key, and dogs truly do it best. Grab your four-legged sidekick and check out our north ponds and urban dog park



Making Community Play Fun Again


Whether you feel like upping your table tennis skills or testing your mental aptitude with a round of mega-sized chess, U/D offers a range of whimsical activities that will unite the residents and neighbouring communities, and bring together children, youths, parents and grandparents through play. This is what University District is about: creating memories that will last a lifetime, building new and current relationships through imaginative experiences, and staying active in a variety of different ways.


Get outside and come play at our new NW Commons urban themed park, opened October 20th! Do you have any suggestions, tips or recommendations to make our park even better? Share your suggestions with us and the community on.FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

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