Surface: wood chips.
Toronto’s got plenty of parks and schools named for Earls – Bales, Grey, Haig – but the only one I wasn’t familiar with already was Beatty. Given how close it is to the Danforth (a bit north, and just east of Coxwell) as a Danforth guy I was a bit ashamed to never have visited.
Earl Beatty Junior and Senior Public School and its adjoining community centre provided us with a nice afternoon play on an unseasonably warm Family Day weekend. The playgrounds, one on the west side of the building and another across the south end of the property, provided a decent variety of options, including the geodesic dome-type things that my daughter likes to pretend is a snow leopard’s den for some reason. There are also some challenging climbing elements, a friendly caterpillar-type thing, and on the western end one of our favourite types of slide: a colossus slide.
On this day though, we spend most of our time enjoying the other recreational bits and pieces that this small but cozy neighbourhood school ground has to offer: the artificial turf soccer field, a small ball hockey area, and several basketball nets. My son’s a bit nuts about soccer, so we started there. Once a few other kids came over to play it became clear that my services were no longer needed, so I sat on the sidelines and looked up just who exactly Earl Beatty is.
Apparently the title was created just over 100 years ago, and was originally held by David Beatty, an officer in the Royal Navy who looks pretty surly in most of the photos I could find of him. The current holder, also a David, is curiously absent from the internet, but he’s about as old as my parents and was a photographer at some point, before (presumably) retiring and living off the fruits of being born into privilege. The position’s coat of arms features bees, which I found funny but couldn’t quite figure out why.
Anyway, this is a nice little spot, close to the Danforth yet fairly quiet on weekends, and if your kid, like mine, is looking for a mud-free place to kick a soccer ball around, this might be the place.