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Harlandale Parkette

Equipment by Landscape Structures.

Surface: wood chips.

The scale of downtown North York is a bit disorienting, in that it goes from bustling to sleepy in a matter of one city block.

Standing in Harlandale Park, surrounded by Mad Men-style homes and shrouded in suburban silence, it’s easy to forget that you’re less than a kilometre from Yonge Street with its condos and office towers.

Our visit to this small playground was even quieter since we were, on arrival, the only people there. We played for a good half hour with nothing but red-winged blackbirds for company (who, according to my kids, sing “blo-ga-blee”) before anyone else showed up.

A recent rejuvenation, the equipment here is pretty good, although not super extensive. I’ve always liked Landscape Structures, and this playground has two of my favourites from their catalogue: the Global Motion spinner, and their Cube climber, which is one my favourite toddler structures, with lots of play elements packed into a small footprint.

There’s also a saucer swing, a senior climber, and a couple of built-in shaded picnic tables. The colour scheme is all bright yellow and blue, which gave me a subconscious but insistent urge to drop by the North York IKEA store on our way home.

The absence of sand or water is unfortunate, but understandable given the park’s small footprint and (probably) similarly small budget. But it’s not too far from some of our favourite North York destinations, including the North York Central Library (fantastic for kids) and the Douglas Snow Aquatic Centre.

A swim, a play, and a book all in the same afternoon? Not a bad day’s parenting.

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