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McCowan Park (south)

Equipment by Landscape Structures.

Surface: rubber.

The south end of McCowan Park, hidden behind the concrete mass of John McCrae Senior Public School, is a really nice place to spend an afternoon. With plenty of open space, trail connections to other parks, and a surprisingly large off-leash section, this is one of the better Scarborough Parks we’ve visited recently.

The playground has lots of things that its cousin at the Park’s north end does not: fencing, a covered area to sit and get out of the sun, a sandbox, and lots of good equipment by Landscape Structures to keep the kids busy.

One thing I love about Landscape Structures is all the different types of climbing they provide. Here kids can climb on ropes, molded plastic, or metal, and they can climb them vertically, horizontally, or on an incline. The structures aren’t huge, but they’re involved, and for medium-sized kids, this one is really good.

Other elements are solid too; the spinner is just the right height for kids 7+ to use without help, the double-tracked slide is excitingly steep, and there are no fewer than 12 swings.

Another neat addition here is the “bug finding” game: a panel on the side of the main climber shows various creepy-crawlies that are hidden around the playground. A different panel proudly illustrates the “anatomy of a bee,” in case you need to sharpen your skills in identifying insect parts.

With so much open space around the play area, I was annoyed with myself that I hadn’t brought a ball or something. But we lucked out and found a frisbee which, judging from the room number written on it in sharpie, was a stray from the nearby school. We tossed it around, had some lunch, and then my wife and I sat on a rock and watched our kids remove their shoes so they could “get a better grip” while climbing up the slide. A good day.

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