Surface: wood chips.
Art Eggleton is one of a couple new Toronto playgrounds that are showcasing a new line of equipment from Kompan called “Robinia Village” – which as far as I can tell is their attempt to break away from the cartoonish, plastic look of most of their equipment, in favour of a more organic, Earthscape-like aesthetic.
Natural-looking (ie. wooden) playgrounds seem to be pretty popular these days, but custom-built works of art by Earthscape must be expensive, so my guess is that Kompan is trying to fill what they perceive as a gap in the market: affordable wooden playgrounds.
The result at Art Eggleton Park is pretty good. The two main structures here are what Kompan calls, “The Spider’s Cottage,” and “The Witch’s Tower” – and they’ll do nicely for a younger audience. There are some other elements too; rope climbers, a see-saw, and some freestanding wooden items that will keep your kids busy.
The one Kompan piece here that we’d never seen before was a pretty cool spinner – a five-person disc that got some pretty good giggles. Although I’m not a huge Kompan fan, their spinners are usually a favourite wherever we go.
The only non-Kompan element is a Roller Slide by Landscape Structures, always a welcome addition, and a highlight with toddlers. There’s also a wading pool (we were just out of season to experience it) and a bit of open space next to the adjacent public school. The space close to Harbord Street is beautifully shaded by many large trees, and we enjoyed a picnic on a beautiful fall day here.
Across the street from Art Eggleton park is another large green space, Bickford Park, and beyond that is the much larger Christie Pits, whose more challenging equipment and mini-skate park might be the better local option for big kids. All three parks are part of the Garrison Creek system.
But of the three, Art Eggleton park is probably the best for toddlers. This will definitely be a favourite for west-end parents, and might be worth a visit even if you’re not from the area.