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Albert Campbell Square

Equipment by Miracle, Dynamo.

Surface: rubber.

Scarborough Town Centre is an interesting place.

There’s something about the combination of the white angles of the Civic Centre, the raised Scarborough RT line, and the glistening condos that make it feel like an alternate-reality, low-budget Disney World.

The large open space outside the former Scarborough City Hall is known as Albert Campbell Square, and like some of the city’s other civic squares – Nathan Phillips, Mel Lastman – it tries to serve as a multi-function outdoor space that can accommodate everything from New Year’s celebrations to craft shows to protests. And while I haven’t spent enough time in Albert Campbell Square to say how well it serves those purpose, I can say that it has the best playground of any of Toronto’s civic squares.

Like several new playgrounds in Scarborough (this one and this one) the equipment is by Miracle, and there’s a lot to like: some low-level play panels that provide good tactile engagement, challenging climbing options, and even some hopscotch built into the rubber ground tiles.

There’s also a slide that I don’t quite understand; wide enough for three kids at the bottom, but with only enough room for one at a time to enter at the top…it’s hard to explain, but take a look in the attached photos and let me know if you can figure it out.

The splash pad isn’t exactly connected to the playground (which, by the way, is fenced) but must be quite a relief since the paved square probably gets pretty hot in the middle of the day, despite a bit of shade from the surrounding highrises.

Our play session was unfortunately cut short by heavy rain, but this is a nice little playground, and probably a life-saver for any families living in the condo towers of Scarborough Town Centre.

If you’re a 20th-Century architecture and infrastructure nerd, you can point out to your kids that the cool-looking Civic Centre building was designed by Raymond Moriyama, whose portfolio also includes the Ontario Science Centre, the Metro Reference Library, and the North York Central Library among many, many others. You can also take them for a ride on the Scarborough RT, which is probably not going to be possible much longer.

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