Updated: May 14
Surfaces: wood chips, concrete, sand, grass.
Re-opened late in 2018, this is the best playground in Riverside/Leslieville by a pretty wide margin.
Small but thoughtfully designed, there’s a bit of everything here. Water, sand, climbing, shaded picnic tables, even a ping-pong table. And of course, any spot with bathrooms has to get the thumbs-up.
The climbing structures are encased in faux-rock that allow for some good climbing, and which create cave-like spaces underneath. The walls of the caves even have critters carved into them which make for fun animal-spotting: bats, spiders, and various creepy-crawlies are waiting to be discovered by your fearless toddler.
If you get nervous watching your little one climb, you may want to wait until they’re a bit older. On our visit I saw one particularly anxious mother trying to spot her daughter by climbing alongside her- until the clever child pointed out a sign on top of the climber that said “Kids Only,” and demanded that her mother watch from the ground. I gave the child a secret high-five in my mind, and tried to hide my smile by pretending to stifle a sneeze.
This one won’t stay hidden for long, but because it’s south of Eastern, and most out-of-area visitors usually gravitate towards Queen Street, the Morse Street Playground might stay off people’s mental maps for a while. There are so many young families in the neighbourhood that you can expect this place to be packed during peak summer hours. But drop by a bit earlier in the day and you might just have some room to run.