Jamie Bell Adventure Park consists of a large wooden castle and play area that was originally built by volunteers in 1998 in the city’s High Park neighborhood. It was engulfed in flames early Saturday morning after vandals deliberately set it on fire, according to police.
When the senior leadership team at Canadian Tire heard about the fire, they spent most of the weekend in the office and on conference calls to discuss
“how we could help,” said Sarah Van Lange, a spokesperson for the retailer.
“Canadian Tire has been part of Canadian communities for over 90 years and enabling children to be active and play outdoors is one of the core reasons that we exist as a company,” said Lange.
“We understand and take pride in the special role we play in neighbourhoods across Canada, and that’s why we’re working with city councillor Sarah Doucette, the High Park community and the team at the City of Toronto to get the playground rebuilt as quickly as possible,” she said.
Canadian Tire announced its plans to fund the restoration project in a press release Sunday afternoon. In less than 24 hours, over a dozen local and national news outlets have picked up the story, which has elicited a generous response on Twitter and Facebook.
The Jamie Bell restoration project is not only a sound PR move but also one that aligns nicely with the retailer’s other charitable efforts. In 1999, Canadian Tire launched Jumpstart, a community-based charitable program that helps kids in financial need participate in organized sports and recreation such as hockey, dance, soccer and swimming.