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Debell Lane Parkette

Equipment by Henderson.

Surface: sand that is slowly being reclaimed by nature.

The Debell Lane Parkette has two things going for it that I’m a sucker for.

First, it’s tiny.

I’m a huge fan of tiny parks. There’s something about a park that barely has the footprint of the houses around it that can bring a touch of magic to a neighbourhood. It’s as if a giant reached down and plucked out a house like a loose tooth, leaving a little patch of hidden green space behind. Parks like Tiverton, Livingstone, and Grattan are examples, and Debell Lane has the tiny factor too.

Second, it’s got an old-school wooden Henderson climber. We’ve been exploring North York a lot more this year, and it’s got more old wooden climbers than I realized. One of the best ones, at Bayview Village, is still on our to-do list.

So anyway, the Debell Lane Parkette has the tiny factor and the retro factor…but unfortunately a lack of upkeep means that the potential here is more exciting than the reality.

The climber would have been nice a generation ago, but it’s near the end of its usefulness as a play structure, and has now found new life as a wasp condo. It’s too small to entertain older kids, and probably too rickety and splinter-ridden for parents of toddlers to feel comfortable with it.

Apart from the climber, swings, broken water fountain and a couple of benches, that’s it for the Debell Lane Parkette. I know it’s a small space, but with some creative landscaping this could be an extremely cozy spot; maybe with a sandbox, small splash pad, and one of those toddler-focused Motion Climbers that Landscape Structures does so well.

I’ll admit, we only spent 5 minutes here, but in the first 60 seconds my son hurt his back on the slide and got freaked out by a wasp, so that dampened things severely. We headed up the road for a visit to Conacher Park instead.

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