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Sir Casimir Gzowski Park

Equipment by Landscape Structures.

Surface: wood chips.

Sir Casimir Gzowski Park is a great place to be, not necessarily because of the playground (which is average) but for all the other stuff to do in the immediate area.

Across Lakeshore Drive to the north is the Sunnyside Bike Park, one of the best spots in the city for biking. A few minutes’ walk from there and you’ll be in High Park. Just east along the Martin Goodman Trail you’ll find the Gus Ryder Pool and Budapest Park, with even more playground equipment to explore. And although the Sir Casimir Gzowski playground doesn’t have a sandbox, a small beach is a literal stone’s throw away if your kids want to play in the sand.

But back to the playground. Some decent Landscape Structures pieces can be found here, along with a long line of swings, a small toddler structure, and a classic concrete wading pool. Our favourite was a fun spinner that looked a bit like a tree with three branches, with a downward-facing steering wheel-type thing on each branch. Grab this wheel with your hands, stand on the spinning circle below, and within moments you’ll be rotating faster than your stomach might want to.

If you get too hot, the cleverly-named Al PaCones ice cream stand is right there, and though the bathrooms were closed for repairs when we visited, a long line of porta-potties was ready in case of emergency.

Honestly, I had forgotten just how full of activities this stretch of Toronto lakeshore was. Generally less crowded than the eastern beaches, and with better play options, this might be your best option for a beach staycation.

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