Work crews, with the help of a crane, move the playground octopus in Gyro Park to a new location in 2014. (Black Press file)

Saanich playground slides into the Top 10 of unique playgrounds around the world

Fodor’s Travel ranks playground at Cadboro-Gyro Park 10th

A local playground is drawing international buzz.

Fodor’s Travel, one of the world’s oldest publisher of travel information and advice, lists the playground at Saanich’s Cadboro-Gyro Park among 11 unique playgrounds around the world.

“This waterfront park has a beach, a zipline, and giant concrete sea creature sculptures to play on,” writes July Wick, the author of the piece. “Visitors can slide down an octopus tentacle or climb on the giant green sea serpent named Cadborosaurus, or “Caddy” for short. Caddy draws on a local legend of sightings of a sea serpent in Cadboro Bay in the 1930s.”

“Saanich is thrilled to have Cadboro-Gyro Park included in a list of such creative and well-loved playgrounds, and appreciate the recognition,” said Eva Riccius, Saanich’s senior manager of parks. “Our goal is to continue to provide high-quality experiences in parks to create fun outdoor places for residents and visitors to enjoy.”

RELATED: Sand sculptures promise a whale of a time at Cadboro Bay Festival

RELATED: Summer draws crowds to Saanich’s Cadboro Bay

The park itself received its name from Cadboro Bay and the Gyro Club, which bought the original 4.37 acres of land, according to the District of Saanich. The club donated the land to Saanich for a park in 1954 and Saanich began purchasing additional properties in 1961. It underwent repairs in 2014 at a cost of $430,000.

That included new play equipment purchase and installation, safety surfaces, removal, renovation and re-installation of the concrete creatures, octopus, Cadborosarus and salmon.

Today the park has a size of more than 15 acres (six hectares) in size, and District officials consider it the “jewel” of the local park system because of its ocean-front location, and yes, Cadborosaurus and the octopus.

The legend of Cadborosaurus stems from reports dating to the 1930s that claim to have sighted a sea monster in Cadboro Bay. Witnesses describe it as a 30-foot long serpent with the head of a horse. A newspaper report of the period started to call this would be Leviathan ‘Caddy’ — short for Cadborosaurus. This mythical figure has since inspired books and even an episode in the Canadian television show, Mystery Hunters.

But the park does not need media to generate attention. It draws a steady crowd of children swinging and climbing on the playground equipment under the watchful eyes of their parents and the curious eyes of others strolling along the beach.

RELATED: Youth crowd Saanich’s Cadboro-Gyro Park

Thousands pack the park in early August when the District hosts the Cadboro Bay Festival, which features an annual sand sculpture competition. The park also draws large groups of youth that often give Cadboro Bay Beach had a feel of Daytona Beach during Spring Break.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Nanaimo RCMP reports increase in calls around supportive housing sites

Terminal and Labieux areas see 50-60 per cent increases in activity, reports RCMP superintendent

Wild about nature photos: Royal B.C. Museum set to kick off annual exhibition

Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition winners, finalists’ works on display starting Friday

Cold weather puts pressure on homeless shelters in Campbell River

Salvation Army and Sobering Centre offer a total of 40 beds

Beauty Day spreads ‘brightness’ at Our Place

Volunteer hairdressers, estheticians, even a tarot card reader took part in the Victoria event

Lake Cowichan author finds rare manuscript while researching at Kaatza Station Museum

Dean Unger was amazed to find handwritten book by Victorian era author in simple grey box

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Pavelski’s 31st goal helps Sharks top Canucks 3-2

Vancouver one point out of second NHL wild-card spot

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Most Read