Bayview Village Park
Equipment by Henderson.
Surfaces: rubber, sand, grass.
North York might have more old-school wooden play structures left than any of Toronto’s boroughs (yes, they still exist) and the playground at Bayview Village is probably one of the best.
Just a block north of Bayview Village Mall, the park of the same name is a nice mid-sized park shaped a bit like a funnel turned sideways. Walking paths that look like they might go somewhere interesting eventually peter out at Bayberry Crescent. But the Bayview side of the park has lots to offer: tennis courts, a baseball diamond, plenty of open space, and of course the playground.
This playground appears on Google maps as the “Bayview Village Junction Playground” – and the splash pad’s central feature, a miniature water tower like you’d see looming over a small town, has those words written on it too. Which is strange, because there’s no junction anywhere nearby, and as far as I can tell there never was a railway junction in this part of the city. But then again, there was never a bay that could be viewed from anywhere on Bayview Avenue, so I guess we can just roll with it.
As vintage playgrounds go, this one is a beauty. The equipment is probably as old as the stuff at Dufferin Grove, but nowhere near as run down. Perhaps North York kids are just gentler? Not sure.
Quaint barn-shaped structures, classic orange slides, and some surprisingly challenging monkey bars await your kids here. We were not there during splash pad season, but it looks like a nice one, and with ample seating and plenty of old trees I imagine this could be a good place for a picnic in the summer.
Until 2018, this park was also the site of one of Toronto’s few remaining Cold War-era air raid sirens. It used to stand over by the public tennis courts, but now a concrete base is all that remains. The aging playground equipment, I’m sure, will eventually disappear as well, so best to enjoy the vintage stuff while you can. Perhaps whatever replaces it will continue to pay homage to the not-a-junction history of the neighbourhood.