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Parkway Forest Park

Surface: rubber.

Unless you live there, the Parkway Forest neighbourhood is not a place you’re likely to pass through on the way to somewhere else. It’s tucked into the space between Don Mills, Sheppard, the 401, and the 404, and from a distance looks like just another cluster of apartments and condos.

Venture inside though, and you’ll find a huge green space at the centre of the neighbourhood: home to a sports field, a school, a community centre, and this relatively new playground.

The equipment is similar to (although maybe not quite as exciting as) what you’ll find at Charlton Park; new and colourful, with plenty of climbing options. There’s also a sizable toddler climber connected to what manufacturer Little Tikes calls its “together glider" – a kind of boat thing that rocks gently, much to the excitement of the little ones within. There’s also a glockenspiel-type element that feels sturdier than the musical equipment we often find at playgrounds, and the way its built means that kids can whack the bejeepers out of it, and the sound is somehow still soothing.

It’s really a shame that there are no water features here, because the setting has just about everything else you need for an afternoon’s picnic, including small hills shaded by trees, exercise equipment for adults, and even an extra playground at the nearby community centre in case this one is too busy. We didn’t get a chance to check out that one, but it looked decent from far away. And on weekends, the school’s playground would also be accessible, so you wouldn’t be lacking for options.

With so much high-density housing surrounding it, expect this place to be pretty busy during peak hours. But it’s a solid playground that is worth dropping by if you’re in the area.

(Side note: “Parkway Forest Park” sounds like a name that poorly-programmed artificial intelligence would give to a park. Did they just reach into a bag of nouns when naming this place? Sheesh.)

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