Surfaces: concrete, sand.
2021 UPDATE: This playground has been rejuvenated! New review here.
If it were situated anywhere else, this playground would have a hard time cracking an overall score of 80. But in the same way that a hot afternoon at the cottage can make crappy beer taste great, the natural beauty of High Park can make a mediocre playground feel special.
Not that this spot doesn’t have some good stuff going for it: the splash pad is great, and it’s rare to score the splash-pad/wading pool combination. It makes for a good way for the kids to cool off at the end a long visit to High Park.
The climbing structures are old and sub-par, and there's an awful lot of sand. If you’ve read a few of these reviews you probably know that sand is the bane of my existence. And I’d love to know which genius of playground design thought it was necessary to place a sandbox within a playground that is ALREADY COVERED ENTIRELY IN SAND. But if there has to be sand, at least you've got the splash pad right there to rinse the sand off your kids before you leave.
If it’s not splash pad season, you're much better off to take the extra walk south to the Jamie Bell playground, which is far superior. In keeping with the beer analogy, it’s like trading in your Coors Light for…well, anything, really.