Updated: May 14, 2021
Surfaces: sand, concrete.
Christie Pits Park is underrated.
I’m not talking about the playground within it, but the park itself. It’s got pretty much everything that the elite Toronto parks have – a swimming pool, toboggan hill, basketball courts, baseball diamonds (used in the summer by a semi-professional team that you can watch for free) and even a pizza oven that you can book through the park’s city website.
But somehow, it doesn’t seem to get much hype outside of its own neighbourhood. I lived close by for a couple of years, but I seem to remember Dufferin Grove having the stronger gravitational pull. Why didn’t I spend more time at Christie Pits? Maybe it’s the name, which sounds vaguely unappealing. Maybe it’s the fact that it sits mostly below street level, so it’s easy to forget that it’s there. Maybe it’s the way it has a tendency to become a temporary garbage dump when the sanitation workers go on strike.
Whatever it is, Christie Pits has everything you need for a full day of free family fun.
The playground isn’t mind-blowing, but definitely good. It’s a bit of a mix of older and newer equipment, and it has to be one of the only places in the city where you can still find one of those spinning carousel things that are sometimes referred to as “the wheel of death.”
Apparently, the Christie Pits wheel of death was removed in 2014, but locals (and Matt Galloway) raised such a stink that they put in a new one.
If you go in the summer, there is bound to be something happening in the park. Festivals, outdoor movie nights, and of course, free baseball. It’s a real hub of activity.
I suppose that we east-enders overlook Christie Pits because if we’re going that far west, we might as well keep going and visit High Park. But maybe we shouldn’t. Maybe we should shave a few minutes off the subway ride, grab some ice cream at nearby Baskin Robbins, and appreciate this west-end spot.