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Long Branch Park

Equipment by Little Tikes.

Surface: wood chips.

One of many lakefront parks in Toronto’s west end, Long Branch Park acknowledges its position by the water with a boat-shaped climber by Little Tikes Commercial.

The boat comes with everything a toddler might need for an imaginary ocean voyage: steering wheel, treasure map, faux telescope. It isn’t the city’s best nautically-themed playground (for that you’ll need to go 5 km east to Amos Waites Park) but it’s good enough.

Long Branch Park also has a quiet little spot behind some trees where kids can do some good duck-spotting. I wouldn’t quite call it a beach (for that you’ll need to go 1.5 km west to Marie Curtis Park) but it’s good enough.

After a quick play on a beautiful sunny afternoon, my kids gravitated towards the huge stones by the lake – I think it’s called a “breakwater” – to say hello to a swan and gaze thoughtfully out at the lake. It’s not the biggest breakwater in the area (for that you’ll need to go 2 km east to Rotary Peace Park) but it was good enough.

And then, just as I had unfolded my lawn chair and prepared to get comfortable, my daughter informed me that if we didn’t find a bathroom soon, we might have an emergency.

So we packed up and scrambled off to the nearest public washrooms, 1.5 km west at the previously-mentioned Marie Curtis Park. Which was good enough for us.

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