Fairmount Park / Bowmore PS
Equipment by Henderson, Kompan, Blue Imp.
Surface: wood chips.
This is one of those play spots – like RV Burgess Park in Thorncliffe – that doesn’t win points for having breathtaking or unique equipment, but rather for just having a lot of it.
The newest stuff, right close to the streetcar line on Gerrard, has some fairly new and fairly nice equipment by Henderson, including a climber for bigs and another for littles. There’s a sandbox, some swings, and some low monkey bars that would be good for even very small kids.
One strange panel on the large climber features some kind of “fairy game” where I think you’re supposed to spin a wheel to determine how many points you get, and then move your piece accordingly. Interesting, but a strange thing to put on the climber for older kids, who you’d think have already mastered counting to ten.
At the park’s southern end you’ll find a much older climber, also by Henderson, that provides some more climbing options, along with a wading pool and some public tennis courts. Walk over behind Bowmore Public School and you’ll see a third climber, this one clearly for Bowmore’s kindergarteners, which is fenced off and in pretty good shape.
We played on all three for a while, dropped into the community centre to use the bathroom, and then went to investigate a gap in the row of houses on Gerrard that appeared to be the entrance to a ravine. We went down some stairs and were quickly surrounded by a beautiful green silence. The path ran beside a small creek called (appropriately) Small’s Creek, and took us on a brief but enjoyable walk almost to the GO Train tracks.
Turns out it was the Williamson Park Ravine, donated to the city years ago by the family of William Williamson, who (other than having the most copy/paste name of all time) was an alderman, manufacturer, and Justice of the Peace in the area a century ago. I know this because there’s a plaque in the middle of the ravine, although it’s kind of hidden; See if you can find it if you go exploring.
This was a great place to spend a morning. It’s unclear how much of the play space at Fairmount is taken over by the school during the academic year, but you’re probably best to go on a weekend if you can’t make it during the summer.