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Melbourne Avenue Parkette

Equipment by Kompan, Berliner Seilfabrik.

Surface: rubber.

Okay, this is a post about the Melbourne Avenue Parkette, but we’re going to start just across the street, at a tiny little gated cul-de-sac called Melbourne Place.

Whenever one of those Toronto-centric blogs puts out a list of Toronto’s cutest or quaintest or most adorable streets, Melbourne Place is always on the list. With its tiny red-brick townhouses, modest iron gates, and gas lamps, it certainly deserves a spot there, although to me its charm isn’t quite as intriguing as Bright Street. Unlike Bright Street however, Melbourne Place is private; owners pay for its upkeep, and if you go there to take photos residents could kick you out if they wanted to.

If they do, you can visit the Melbourne Avenue Parkette instead.

Like the tiny private street across the way, the Melbourne Avenue Parkette is microscopic. Unfortunately, it’s not quite as cute or quaint or adorable as its namesake. The piece of land it sits on is no larger than the footprint of the neighbouring houses, so it seems a bit strange that whoever designed it blew the budget on a rather large Berliner Seilfabrik rope climber.

And hey, don’t get me wrong…I love those climbers. We had fun on this one, and enjoyed being at the top and being able to see directly into the neighbours’ backyards and sharing brief awkward eye contact with someone who came out to have a smoke but then thought better of it.

It’s just that such a tiny playground should probably have focused its efforts on entertaining toddlers, and the rope climber that occupies most of the space is a bit big for that age group. Meanwhile, kids who are big enough to enjoy the climber will quickly tire of the lack of other options. A couple of ride-on bees and some low-level wooden stumps are literally the only other pieces of equipment around.

I’m sure that for the cost of that rope climber they could have gone for a sandbox or some play panels or those cool little tunnels we saw at another spot recently. A strange choice. Or maybe just quirky.

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