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 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

Some 5,000 residents on the Saanich Peninsula have signed up for alert system

Sidney hosts Peninsula Emergency Preparedness Exhibition Friday

Central Saanich Police issue recommendations to homeowners after break-in

Incident happened over weekend in Tanner Ridge area

B.C. population on pace to fall behind Alberta

Provincial population could reach almost seven million in 2043, but Alberta is growing faster

Greater Victoria could see a months worth of rain within a week this fall

Weather Network predicts wet, warm fall season for B.C.

Saanich brings Uptown-Douglas Corridor draft plan to the public

Feedback from residents will help finalize the plan

‘It’s almost surreal’: B.C. fire chief, sidekick Sammy recap rescue mission in Bahamas

Chief Larry Watkinson and Sam the disaster dog spent 8 days assisting a search and rescue team

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of September 17

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

‘Time to take action:’ Children advocates call for national youth suicide strategy

Council wants Ottawa to make reporting of suicides and attempted suicides mandatory for data collection

Canadian inflation decelerates to 1.9% as gas prices weaken

August was the sixth straight month that price growth was 1.9 per cent or higher

Man who crushed Nanaimo RCMP cars with stolen truck gets more jail time

Majore Jackson, 34, sentenced to two more years in jail in provincial court in Nanaimo

B.C. dog breeder banned again after 46 dogs seized

The SPCA seized the animals from Terry Baker, 66, in February 2018

Surrey mom allegedly paid $400,000 for son in U.S. college bribery scam

Xiaoning Sui, 48, was arrested in Spain on Monday night

Three dogs found shot dead in Prince George ditch

The three adult dogs appeared to be well cared for before being found with gunshot wounds, BC SPCA says

B.C. party bus company to be monitored after 40 intoxicated teens found onboard

Police received tip teens and young adults were drinking on party buses and limousines in Surrey

Most Read