Surfaces: sand, rotten apples.
A while back, as I was heading downtown on the King streetcar, I caught a quick glimpse of a slide on the grounds of Little Trinity Church. I made a mental note to come back sometime, to check if it was public, or if it was for church-going children only.
Turns out it’s free to use. It should be noted, however, that discarded coffee cups are also free to use. Sometimes, freebies are best left alone.
The equipment is old, and encased in layers of paint from past efforts to spruce things up. The only shade is provided by a lovely old apple tree, which sounds nice, but it just means that the grounds are strewn with rotting apples, half-eaten by squirrels, buzzed over by neighbourhood wasps.
A simple climber, some swings, a sandbox, a water fountain that doesn’t work…it’s pretty bleak. Remember that scene from Terminator 2 when Sarah Connor has the dream that she’s at a playground and she witnesses a nuclear apocalypse? There’s something very post-apocalyptic about this poor little playground.
It’s too bad, because it’s a pretty setting. Little Trinity is the oldest church in Toronto, and the Enoch Turner Schoolhouse, just next door, is a treasured historic site. How cool would it be no have a quaint little playground here? As cool as that would be, it's pretty unlikely; as far as I can tell, the church grounds are not an official City of Toronto park, and my guess is that any funding would have to come from the church itself.
But hey, it’s not like there aren’t other options in the area. This stretch of King is littered with playgrounds – Bright Street, St. James Park, Sackville – that can satisfy your playground craving.
Having said that, I have to mention that my son had a perfectly good time here. Kids are kind of awesome that way. While I was looking down my nose at this place, he was busy in the sand box, playing with an old dump truck someone had left behind. There were no shovels though, so to fill it with sand, he was using (and I swear I’m not joking) a discarded coffee cup.
I looked at him lovingly. “Bless his lovely little heart and his filthy little hands,” I thought. Then I doused his hands with Purell and suggested we go somewhere else.