Once spring rolls around there’s no better place for kids in the city than Toronto’s multitude of playgrounds. But the best playgrounds on offer provide more than just a few swings — they provide variety in terms of play structures, activities, and ways in which kids can engage in creative play outdoors. With that in mind, here are eight of the best playgrounds in Toronto.
Dufferin Grove Park
The playground at this west end Toronto park has lots to offer kids of all ages and sizes and has a few different components, all of which combine into a fun space for little ones to expend some serious energy. The enclosed part of the playground features a large, whimsical wooden play structure perfect for climbing. Other aspects of the park include a wading pool, sandpit and Cobs Courtyard which turns into a mini snack bar in the summer months. Parents should also take note that on Thursdays, Dufferin Grove Park is home to a year-round farmers' market featuring local, seasonal produce and artisan prepared foods. The market spills outdoors during the warmer months, but in winter you can shop indoors.
Jamie Bell Adventure Playground
Jamie Bell Adventure Playground can be found in High Park and is one of the most popular spots for outdoor play in Toronto. Partially rebuilt after a fire several years ago, this comprehensive playground is home to all the bells and whistles you would expect from an outdoor play space, but it also goes above and beyond the basics. Kids can climb through, into and up a large wooden castle structure that acts as the center of the action, as well as swing from ropes and whiz down slides. High Park is also home to a public swimming pool.
One of the unique things about Corktown Common is the fact the two playgrounds here are designed in such a way as to blend in with the surrounding nature. There is a ton to do here for kids of varying ages and sizes including a large splash pad with fun fountains, slides, sandy areas, swings, climbing structures and more.
What used to be a barren stretch of concrete beneath a highway is now a thriving playground and skate park used by kids of all ages. It also happens to be the most extensive park ever built under an overpass in Canada and the first of its kind in Toronto. Underpass Park is located under and around the Eastern Avenue, Richmond and Adelaide overpasses and has lots of seating for parents or anyone in the area needing a rest (or shelter from the rain), a large playground in the middle of the park with unique climbing structures, the aforementioned skate park and two basketball half-court. You'll also find a large swath of vibrant street art at Underpass Park. The park also hosts a variety of events year-round.
In Toronto’s east end is where you’ll find popular Withrow Park, which is home to a few fun things for kids to do. There are two playgrounds here to choose from as well as outdoor fitness equipment (for adults and older kids), tennis court, table tennis and a wading pool. In addition, the park boasts picnic sites, fire pit, bike trail and a sports field.
Regent Park Central Park
The vibrant playground here has been a huge hit with kids since it opened a few years ago. Adjacent to the fantastic Regent Park Aquatics Center, the playground here has a series of modern, colorful climbing structures, slides, swings and more to keep kids busy and having a great time.
Marie Curtis Park
The first draw of this playground is that it’s located on the lake so the park itself puts you close to the beach, which is always a bonus. Marie Curtis Park can be found in the farthest southwest corner of Toronto and includes a large play area for kids with slides, swings and climbing structures, as well as a splash pad and wading pool. The beach here is swimmable so when the kids are done sliding and swinging you can always take them over to the sand.
Located in Toronto’s Oriole Park, Neshama Playground is a paradise for kids in the mood to play outdoors. This playground is also a totally inclusive one meaning that it offers braille panels, a wheelchair-friendly surface, sign language diagrams and sensory music features as part of the overall playground. There are areas for both preschoolers and bigger kids and the park also includes a splash pad for summer fun, a wading pool, and a sandpit.