Space for Kids (and Cars)

In daycare centres across Quebec, infants must have access to at least 2 mof play space. What’s 2 m2? An area bigger than my bedroom door (1.5 m2) but smaller than my old double bed (2.5 m2).

Those same infants get an additional and separate 2 m2 of sleeping space (just enough space for a crib). Once those infants turn 18 months, the minimum play space creeps up to a mere 2.75 m2, and away goes the separate sleep area as the children move from cribs to mats on the floor. Finally, it is recommended, not legislated, that children get at least 4 m2 of outdoor play space, a smidgen bigger than my 3.8 m2 king-size bed. (Indeed, daycare centres in Quebec are not required to offer any outdoor play space, as long as a public park is within 500 m.)

In Ontario, each child gets at least 2.8 m2 of indoor space and, if the centre is open for more than six hours a day, at least 5.6 m2 of outdoor play space, or two double beds’ worth of space.

In British Columbia, children get at a minimum 3.7 m2, or a king-size bed, of indoor “usable” space (that is, not hallways or bathrooms) and another 7 m2 of outdoor play space.

But whether your child goes to daycare in Montreal, Toronto or Vancouver, she will never be afforded as much space as your car is.

Boy and cars

“Stop,” by Brian Evans.

In Montreal, parking spaces are on average 15.1 to 15.8 m2.*

In Toronto, off-street parking spaces must be at least 14.6 m2.**

In Vancouver, off-street parking spaces must be at least 13.75 m2. Even a small car gets more space—10.6 m2—than a child in daycare does.***

*http://www.revelezvotrenature.com/sites/default/files/actu/presentation_stationnement_norme.pdf

**http://www.toronto.ca/zoning/bylaw_amendments/ZBL_NewProvision_Chapter200.htm

***http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/BYLAWS/parking/Sec04.pdf

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