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Edithvale Park

Surfaces: artificial turf, rubber, wood chips.

I had high hopes for Edithvale Park.

In photos, the equipment looks promising; lots of different types of climbers, including some great elements like a Berliner rope climber and Xccent’s X-Wave 2. Satellite photos on Google Maps show a colourful layout and lots of green space. Plus, being right next to a community centre often means good things.

Now, I wouldn’t say Edithvale is a bad playground, but it was much less fun than I’d hoped, and frustrating because it feels like with a bit of better design, it could have been a really good one.

The equipment is varied, yes, but in a bit of a disorganized way. There are two main play areas, but they are not connected; one is fenced off from the other for no apparent reason. The fenced one has some good climbing options for small-to-medium sized kids, and some neat balancing elements. The other has slightly larger equipment, and features a pretty cool helix-type climber that we’ve never seen before.

Then, up a small hill is an area containing mostly adult work-out equipment, except for a swing set clearly meant for kids. I imagine it’s probably pretty frustrating for adults who just want to get in a quick workout to have to dodge excited kids on their way to the swings.

Finally, across a bit of grass and completely disconnected from everything else, is the Berliner rope climber. A nice piece of equipment, but the layout is pure nonsense: four distinct play areas, but no matter where you stand you can’t have eyes on more than one of them at a time. A single parent supervising more than one kid here will likely find themselves stressed out.

An area which from satellite photos looked like it might be a splash pad turned out to be just an open, paved area with a chess board pattern inlaid into the ground. There was seating here, but unshaded. A small building to one side of the open area looked for a brief moment like it might be a bathroom, but was actually a pizza oven. Which is cool, but everything was locked up. I guess you have to book it through the city’s website.

The community centre likely does have bathrooms, but it was locked when we went, so I guess we’ll never know.

But the park itself is nice and big, with lots of options for recreation. I counted no fewer than nine basketball nets, plus two soccer fields and a baseball diamond. The grounds are probably well-used in the summer.

Better layout, better sight lines and more cohesive design would have made this a North York treasure, but we were pretty disappointed by this one.

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