Updated: Jul 12, 2019
Surfaces: sand, concrete.
My main childhood memories of Greenwood Park are from the days when I played house-league baseball here.
We played mostly on Sunday afternoons, and the signs of Saturday night were often still evident in the outfield, where kids of my own minimal talent level were usually put. I shared the outfield with empty bottles of discount beer, empty syringes, and decidedly un-empty condoms. It was commonly known that if you played the outfield and you had to dive to catch a ball, you didn’t. Just let that thing drop, then pick it up between your thumb and forefinger and deliver it back to the infield without putting yourself at risk of infection.
Times, thankfully, have changed, and Greenwood park is a solid family destination now. In fact, if it replaced its ancient playground equipment, Greenwood Park would be one east Toronto’s top parks.
It’s got almost everything a community hub needs: an off-leash area, a hockey rink (covered!) a landscape skating rink in winter, a pool, a statue that makes me cry every time I see it, washrooms, a community garden…and just recently, workout equipment has been added. But until the city splurges to give Greenwood the playground it deserves, this one will fall a bit short. The equipment is so old, I can’t even tell you which company manufactured it, as all industrial markings have either fallen off or been bleached by decades of direct sunlight.
Don’t get me wrong: it’s a nice place to visit, with lots of shade, a sandbox with a water feature…even a fire pit. But the equipment really is in disrepair. The drainage is terrible, and puddles persist long for days after a significant rainfall. Even the sand level is too low: one slide has a drop-off of more than a foot, which can lead to an unpleasant surprise for any toddler hoping to keep their tailbone in place.
I’m sure it’s only a matter of time. Soon enough, Greenwood Park will give Withrow and Kew Beach a run for their money.