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Jolly Way Park

Equipment by GameTime.

Surface: rubberized wood chips.

With the kids off school for the holidays, I thought there couldn’t be a better park to visit over Christmas than Jolly Way Park.

I subsequently found out that the park (and the street on which it’s located) wasn’t named after Santa’s signature emotional state but rather after Denham Jolly, a local businessman who, among other things, founded Canada’s first black-owned radio station in 2001; FLOW 93.5.

It’s a nice little playground in its way, with several notably accessible structures, a TrekFit adult fitness area, and several nailed-to-the-ground Muskoka chairs. There’s some good climbing and sliding to be had here, and a pretty feature that GameTime calls a “ShadowPlay Flower” – a tall spinning post topped with multicoloured petals which, on a sunny day, apparently throws colourful shadows on the ground below. The sky was thick with clouds on our visit, but I gave it a spin anyway, and in my imagination the results were spectacular.

Although the equipment is pretty good, this playground suffers a bit from its location. The site is a brand new subdivision just off Ellesmere Road. Go back a few years on Google Street View and you’ll see that until a few years ago it was a metal stamping plant, and somehow the whole area…well, it feels like it used to be a metal stamping plant, if that makes sense. There isn’t a scrap of shade to be had, and I imagine that if you head there in the summer the heat will radiate up murderously from the rubberized wood chips.

Much of the surrounding area is still warehouse and light industry, so there isn’t much in the immediate area of interest. Just down the street is the Ellesmere Scarborough RT stop which, in a sad irony, shut down permanently along with the rest of the RT line just a few months after this new subdivision was completed.

But hey! New housing is new housing, and any new playground is, in my opinion, better than a metal stamping plant.

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