The ultimate building block

Canfor donates building playhouse to Child Development Centre in Cranbrook

Payten checks out the inside of the brand new Building Block playhouse at the Kootenay Child Development Centre on September 14.

Canfor has officially made its presence in the community known in a huge way – literally.

On Friday, Sept. 14, the company dropped off a brand new massive cube playhouse at the Kootenay Child Development Centre and the lucky kids who got to try it out first proved it will be a big hit.

“We’re really excited about being here in the Kootenay region,” said Don Kayne, CEO of Canfor. “We just want to continue to show our commitment to the community and this was one way to do it.”

The Building Block playhouse was one of seven built by Canfor for the communities it operates in. The company challenged its forest products companies to build the seven gigantic, unique playhouses. The one slated for Cranbrook was built for Canfor Pulp, designed by Hughes Condon Marler and built by the Haebler Group.

It was destined for Cranbrook, but before it made the journey, it was displayed and tested out at the Pacific National Exhibition in Vancouver.

Christine Kennedy, vice president of public affairs and corporate communications for Canfor, said it was picked as the favourite among the seven houses that included a pirate ship, treehouse and a teepee. Second place went to the Airplane House, and third was the Beehive House.

“The building block house was really the one that the children chose as their favourite one,” Kayne said.

Each house is to be installed in a public location after being auctioned off for donations to children’s charities across the province. The project will also benefit Habitat for Humanity. All of the houses were built using wood.

The Kootenay Child Development Centre was suggested as a possible recipient by MLA Bill Bennett, now Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, in a previous meeting with Canfor.

The building block house was selected for Cranbrook because the space at the KCDC was perfect.

Gwen Noble, executive director of the Community Connections Society of Southeast BC, said the playhouse has found a great home.

“It offers a really unique structure for the kids to play in,” she said. “Kids love playing in boxes so this is kind of the ultimate building block.”

For more information on the Playhouse Challenge, visit

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