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McCowan Park (north)

Equipment by GameTime.

Surface: sand.

McCowan Park (not to be confused with McCowan District Park) is part of a network of parks that follow various smaller branches of West Highland Creek.

Connected by trails and small ravines, this network includes Knob Hill, Cedar Brook, Hague Park, and Thomson Memorial. It might be the city’s most underrated series of ravines, and there’s lots of exploring to be had in this part of Scarborough.

The park straddles the creek, and (strangely) interrupts McCowan Road, as if the folks in charge of infrastructure couldn’t be bothered to build a bridge over a river literally narrow enough to jump across. The northern section is where this playground is located, and it’s not especially impressive. The equipment, installed in 2004, is pretty basic, and there are no water features or particularly challenging elements.

Still, our kids had a great time. This always happens; I approach a park with my “playground snob” attitude and take note of a playground’s shortcomings…and meanwhile my kids are having a great time pretending to make apple pies out of sand. (And sell them too- only two bucks!)

In addition to making sand-based desserts, they enjoyed jumping across the wobbly bridge, playing hide-and-seek, and showing a local two-year-old how to go down a slide head-first, much to the excitement of said two-year-old’s parents.

Not much of a playground, but a good appetizer for the main course in the park's southern end.

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