McGirr Elementary School

Nanaimo, British Columbia

Project Description

With a Canada150 Access4All grant, McGirr Elementary is planning improvements to the primary playground with the addition of modern playground equipment and surfacing that will make the playground wheelchair accessible.

This new wheelchair accessible and inclusive play space will support and engage ALL students in more dynamic social interaction, providing a space where all students can interact without physical barriers and can feel included. The new playground will help encourage an understanding of inclusion and diversity, and provide a more complete school experience for any child with mobility challenges.

Project Team Q&A

  1. Why did you decide to break down barriers in your community?

    Our school playground is very inaccessible in its current state. Two of our students have reduced mobility due to illness and one of these students uses a wheelchair full-time. She cannot access the playground at all and is completely cut off from most recess activities with her peers.

    Also, she’s not the first, nor will likely to be the last, student in a wheelchair to be a part of our school community. It is upsetting to know that these students are missing out on time with their friends strictly due to physical barriers.

  2. How is this project going to make a difference in your community?

    This project will allow all primary students to interact together on the playground, regardless of mobility status, and provide the same for other children or parents who access the playground during non-school hours. It will also serve as an example for a more accessible outdoor play space within the city of Nanaimo and Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District.

  3. What’s the best thing about being a Barrier Buster?

    Providing a better experience to the students with mobility limitations and their friends, as well as serving as a positive example of an ideal outdoor space meant for play and gathering both for the school and the community.

Awareness Event


October 12, 2017

McGirr Elementary Inclusive Playground Initiative

Location: 6199 McGirr Road, Nanaimo, BC V9V 1C7

Time: 2:30pm - 4:30pm

Description: The October 12 public event is a family-friendly afternoon with food, music, and children’s entertainment, as well as speakers and a ribbon cutting.

For more information, please contact:
Twyla Spoke at