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Milliken District Park

Equipment by Landscape Structures.

Surface: rubber.

With hiking trails, a pond, a toboggan hill, ample parking, three playgrounds, and more gazebos than any neighbourhood could ever know what to do with, Milliken might be one of Toronto’s most underrated parks.

The main playground isn’t the park’s most outstanding feature, but let’s start there since playgrounds are what I’m officially supposed to be reviewing.

Re-done in 2023, the central playground features equipment by Landscape Structures, fitness equipment, and a nice splash pad. The updated equipment is certainly nicer (if maybe a bit sparser) than what was there previously, and includes a Global Motion climber, which is my favourite toddler climber and which includes a built-in track for BYO-Hot Wheels vehicles. There are some swings and a pretty quick spinner, but for the amount of space and the general grandeur of the park around it, I do kinda wish that there had been enough in the budget for a truly spectacular climber.

A few minutes into our visit a large group of middle-school-aged kids descended, which made my two kiddos a bit tentative about playing. (This blow was softened slightly when their teacher offered us popsicles.)

In truth, we spent far more time exploring the rest of Milliken District Park than we did at the new playground. Popsicles in hand, we watched the fish in the pond, wandered through the forest, and ran gleefully down the toboggan hill towards a much older (MUCH older) playground with equipment straight out of a museum and no other kids in sight.

Here again I was reminded – as I often am when I visit playgrounds with my kids – that kids can make their own fun regardless of how “good” the equipment is. On this ancient equipment, complete with creepy ride-on animals and frying-pan slides, my kids spent a solid 30 minutes making stew out of acorn caps and playing “wax museum” …a game which they always ask me to join and which has rules I only pretend to understand.

We wandered through the forest again and took a quick look at the park’s third playground before heading back to our car and calling it a day. A very satisfying day.

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