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REJUVENATION: Hillcrest Park

Equipment by Landscape Structures.

Surface: wood chips.

Updated April 2023. Old review here.

The Hillcrest Park playground rejuvenation is a bit disappointing, but there are a few positives.

First, most of the things that made this a great place to go are still there: it’s a beautiful neighbourhood filled with big trees, not too far from fun family places like Casa Loma and the Artscape Barns at Wychwood. As the name implies, the park sits on the crest of a hill overlooking Davenport Avenue. On a nice day in any season, this is a nice place to be.

But the playground improvements are minimal.

The equipment feels just a bit too skimpy for the space it occupies, and there isn’t any element that feels like the “main attraction.” The best piece is one that is intended for toddlers – the “cube”. I think the only other one we've run into is at Banbury Park.

The Cube is a great little bit of equipment that is sensory, low to the ground, and can fire up a kid’s imagination like few other play structures of such small size. For my daughter it was a subway train, a cottage, and a kitchen, all in the space of about 15 minutes.

The rest of the equipment was a bit uninspired, and I’m pretty sure that when the rejuvenation was finished in 2021 there was a cozy dome here too (and street view photos confirm this), but it seems to have disappeared. If anyone from the neighbourhood knows why, please fill me in.

The other highlight of this playground is something that was there pre-rejuvenation: the swings, which are old-school and have delightfully long chains, allowing for a great view over the crest of the hill when you get your momentum going.

So not a great playground, but definitely a nice place for a picnic. Hard not to enjoy a late afternoon with the sun going down, the ice cream truck making its nightly rounds, and the scuffle of shoes from the basketball court rounding out the sensory experience.

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