Best Playgrounds in Toronto

Best Playgrounds in Toronto - SavvyMom

Whether it’s summer in the city or an extended autumn, it’s important to keep track of all the awesome playgrounds in Toronto. The city oversees over 1,500 parks, which are home to over a hundred municipally maintained playgrounds.

When we first put together this list back in 2019, we had a healthy appreciation for Toronto’s playgrounds. Afterall, there isn’t really a cheaper and simpler way to keep the kids busy for a few hours. But after living through an airborne pandemic during which public playgrounds were off-limits for roughly four months, we have now have a deep devotion to Toronto’s extensivenetworks of playgrounds.

These spaces let kids have fun outdoors while nurturing everything from their imaginations to their gross motor skills. Plus, they’re free to explore! Below we round up our favourite City of Toronto playgrounds. Do you have a favourite? Share in the comments below!

The Best Playgrounds in Toronto

Alexandra Park – 275 Bathurst St |

Be sure to pack a swimsuit if you plan on visiting this downtown greenspace. It’s home to a shiny new splash pad that features a fun boat-inspired design. Then there’s the outdoor pool, which any older kids will want to take a dip in. Also available is a playground, a skateboard area and in the winter, ice space that includes an outdoor curling rink. Adjacent to the park is a library, which is a great spot to visit if you need some A/C.

Corktown Common – 155 Bayview Ave |

While it’s been nearly 10 years since this popular park made its debut, Corktown Common is still bringing joy to local families. Its innovative playground features nature-inspired slides, swings and balance apparatuses and there’s a good-sized splash pad to cool off at. There’s also a surprising amount of nature in this downtown park, which is also home to a marsh where you can find all kinds of wildlife, including turtles. And while construction has temporarily shrunken it down a bit, we suspect that more than a few kids out there will get a kick out of seeing the big machines do their work.

Dufferin Grove – 875 Dufferin St |

This remains one of Toronto’s most family-friendly parks and for multiple good reasons: It’s home to a wading pool, a large sand area and an outdoor ice rink that in the summer becomes a skateboard park. There is also a large playground that can (usually) handle the big crowds that this park can draw. On Thursdays, there’s a farmers’ market that sells lots of yummy items and it’s one of the few parks in the city with campfires (which need to be pre-booked).

And perhaps best of all, is Dufferin Grove’s location. It’s found right across from Dufferin Mall, which is great if you need to run some errands or need a caffeinated treat.

Earl Bales Park – 4169 Bathurst St., |

Here you’ll find one of Toronto’s most accessible playgrounds, thanks to a thoughtful design that takes into consideration a variety of abilities. This massive playground is just one of three that you’ll find in this park, which is packed with other amenities, including a splash pad, multiple walking/biking trails, and even a pond that’s often home to some local waterfowl.

Earlscourt Park – 1200 Lansdowne Ave |

Greatly beloved by west-end residents, Earlscourt is packed with awesome ways to entertain your kids. It houses all kinds of sporting facilities including a multipurpose field, a basketball court and even a “beach” volleyball field. The park itself offers a splash pad and wading pool while the neighbouring Giovanni Caboto pool is aimed at all ages and features an outdoor waterslide. But the park’s crown jewel is its large, recently renovated playground, with multiple slides and lots of climbing structures.

East Lynn Park- 1949 Danforth Ave |

This park might be small, but it packs a lot of fun. In the summer, it’s home to not only a farmers’ market and wading pool but also a weekly live music series that features local food, vendors and family-friendly acts. In the winter, there’s a skating rink and tobogganing opportunities while year-round there’s a fantastic playground that includes equipment for a range of ages. Important note: Unlike most of the other parks on this list, this one doesn’t have on-site washrooms so plan ahead.

High Park – 185 Spring Rd |

Of course we had to include High Park on this list. Besides being one of Toronto’s biggest parks, it’s also where you’ll find one of the city’s coolest playgrounds. Rebuilt in 2012 following a fire, the Jamie Bell Adventure Playground boasts a giant, castle-style play structure that is sure to capture your children’s imaginations. But it’s not the park’s only playground. There’s also one located south of Bloor Street (the “north playground”), which got a makeover in 2020 and has an on-site wading pool and splash page. Once the kids have had their fill of playgrounds, check out the free High Park Zoo, where you can meet llamas, wallabies, and the infamous Toronto capybaras.

June Rowlands Park – 220 Davisville Ave |

In 2014, the legendary trio of Sharon, Lois and Bram received one of the highest honours that children’s entertainers can receive: They had a playground named after them. And what a playground this is! With a musical theme, this spot has a distinct look and is home to some special equipment, including percussion instruments (plus the usual equipment is also here, including slides and various climbers). And of course, this park features Elephant, in the form of a cute statue. Other amenities include a sandbox, a splash page, various sports fields, and lots of picnic space.

Kew Gardens – 2075 Queen St E |

Okay, so the castle found at this playground isn’t quite as elaborate as the one at High Park, but we suspect your kids will still think it’s pretty cool. If they don’t wear themselves out on the playground first, check out Kew Gardens’ many scenic walking trails and then head down to the nearby beach that’s usually swimmable during warm weather. The park also has its own wading pool in case that’s preferred over Lake Ontario. In the winter, your family can check out the ice rink and the enclosed seasonal winter fire pit.

Marie Curtis Park – 2 Forty-Second St. |

The playground at this park isn’t the biggest or the prettiest but it has all the essentials: Various climbers, slides, and swings, with multiple areas for both little and big kids. So why are we including it in this list? Because this playground is packed with extras. There’s a wading pool and one of Toronto’s better splash pads or if your family prefers the real deal, head down to the nearby sandy beach (with lifeguards) and take a dip in Lake Ontario. The Park also connects into the Waterfront Trail, should your family be up for a longer adventure.

Moncur Park – 10 Gainsborough Road |

Here’s another neighbourhood secret, this time located in the Gerrard Bazaar neighbourhood. Moncur Park’s playground features a wide range of equipment that will satisfy everyone from toddlers to elementary-aged kids. It includes swings, slides and lots of climbing opportunities. There’s also a good-size sandbox, a ball hockey pad, and a baseball diamond. In the winter, this park is home to kid-perfect tobogganing hills. Important note: Moncur’s small size means that it doesn’t have on-site washrooms so come prepared.

Oriole Park – 201 Oriole Pkwy |

The sand-free Neshama Playground is packed with colourful equipment that will entertain kids toddler age and up with a jungle gym, slides, a flying saucer, and more. But what will really catch their attention is the adjacent splash pad, There, giant frogs and an even bigger dragonfly will douse your kids with water while you relax under the park’s many trees. Also on site are baseball diamonds, tennis courts and a sand pit.

Sorauren Avenue Park & Charles G. William Park – 289 Sorauren Ave. |

Located on either side of Wabash Avenue, these two parks work together to provide everything your family needs for a fun-filled day out. Over at Charles G. William, enjoy a recently renovated play area that now includes updated equipment, a basketball court, and a large sand/natural play area. There’s also a splash pad. Once your kids have tired themselves out, lounge (maybe while snacking on something you picked up from nearby Roncesvalles Avenue) on the grassy fields of Sorauren Park and watch the dogs run around the fully contained dog off-leash area. Or check out whatever’s happening at the park’s Fieldhouse or town square. Regular events include the very popular farmer’s market, which often features kid-friendly activities.

St. James Park – 120 King St E |

Do your kids love to play with their food? Then this park’s playground, inspired by nearby St. Lawrence Market, is perfect for them. Asparagus, carrots and even a spilled ice cream cone have all been turned into colourful and gigantic play structures. There are also some more traditional playground structures, including a rope bridge and a merry-go-round. The playground is surrounded by some gorgeous gardens that are popular spots for weddings and other formal photography, which just adds to the unique atmosphere of this place.

Thomson Memorial Park – 1005 Brimley Rd. |

Tucked away in Toronto’s south-east end, this sprawling park covers 41.8 hecta res and is filled with opportunities to get in touch with nature. Multiple pathways cross through the park’s wood-filled ravine and provide, if you’re lucky, wildlife-viewing opportunities. But first your kids are likely going to want to check out the recently updated playground that houses a nice variety of climbing equipment for both little and big kids. There’s also a wading pool and loads of space (and picnic tables) for el fresco dining.

Trinity Bellwoods Park – 790 Queen St W | &

This park has something for parents—some of the best people-watching in the city—and a ton for kids including two playgrounds, a wading pool and a giant pile of sand that’s perfect for digging it. The nearby community centre also contains an indoor kiddie pool and (relatively) clean, indoor washrooms. And let’s not forget the famous white squirrels, two of which usually hang out south of the rec centre. Following playtime, grab an ice cream at one of the many delicious ice cream shops
that surround Bellwoods.

Toronto Island Park |

After High Park, this is arguably Toronto’s best-known green space and while its three playgrounds aren’t the stars of the show, they’re sure to keep your kids busy and entertained. Of course, the island is packed with other activities, including the interactive Franklin’s Children Garden, boat rentals, and four distinct beaches. Depending on your perspective, getting over to the island is either part of the fun or it’s a bit of a pain (we highly recommend booking your ferry tickets in advance). But either way, once you’ve reached your destination, it’s like you’ve stepped into another, more relaxing world!

Vermont Square Park- 819 Palmerston Ave |

Looking for a quiet but cute playground that’s also fenced in? Then this leafy park, which is home to the Dennis Lee Playground, is for you. With a play structure that’s in shape of a boat (sort of), a wading pool and a sand pit with a water feature, this park has plenty to offer, despite its smaller size. There’s even a bocce ball court, in case you have older kids who enjoy that family-friendly game. This park doesn’t have on-site washrooms, but it is located near a community centre (which has an indoor pool, in case you need another idea for fun).


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