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Banbury Park

The Rec Centre in the background of the above photo has a bathroom that you can access from outside. This on its own makes this playground worth visiting.

Why, oh why don't more Toronto playgrounds have bathrooms? I can't count the number of times I've been at a bathroom-less park playing hide-and-seek with my kids, when I look around at the spot where I'm hiding and realize that most good hiding spots are also likely spots that kids might be sent to pee in an emergency.

Any time we have friends over from other parts of the world, they are mystified by how few parks have public washrooms. It's ridiculous.

But anyway: Banbury Park.

Banbury Park is one of those interesting situations where there a newer playground was built but the older one wasn’t taken down. Shaded by lovely big trees and connected to the wide open (and little-known) green space that is Windfields Park, Banbury has one set of climbing equipment built in 2002, and another, more toddler-friendly set built in 2019.

The newer section features a fun toddler-centred piece they call simply “cube,” and despite clearly not being toddlers, my own kids were quite taken by it. It’s the kind of structure that has lots of stuff to discover – movable pieces, magnetic bits, a bell – and after exploring all these things, my two decided that it was a car, and invited me on a road trip.

When we returned from Ottawa and Vancouver, we explored the rest of the new playground: swings, monkey bars, climber. We spent a bit of time at the older playground too (the slide was fun because it gave daddy an electric snap when I tried to catch them) which was fun enough, and did a bit of digging in the sandbox.

With not a whole lot of equipment, this spot is best for smaller kids, or as a starting point for a longer adventure in Windfields. But the ample shade makes it a lovely (if modest from a playground perspective) place to have a quick play.

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