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Princess Street Park / St. Lawrence Co-Op Daycare

Surface: rubber.

It might not have a wide variety of equipment, and it won’t keep anyone over five years old occupied for too long, but this is definitely one of the best new playgrounds in Toronto for toddlers.

Tucked away in a quiet corner of the St. Lawrence neighbourhood, Princess Street Park itself feels like not much more than a little courtyard serving the low-rise apartments that surround it. But the newly-constructed, fire-truck themed climber is a great structure for three-and-under adventurers. Weekdays it is reserved for the adjacent daycare centre, but the gate remains unlocked on weekends, and it’s a rare quiet spot right in the heart of downtown, perfect for an afternoon out with a little one.

The bright red climber looks enormous, but all surfaces are pretty low to the ground, and very safe for small kids. It might not be completely structurally accurate (my daughter pointed out that there are only three wheels) but the musical element, diverging twin slides, and two steering wheels up front make for a good time.

A large turtle and caterpillar sit next to the truck, and a small playhouse was also available for use on our visit. Bring your chalk, too; a large chalk board can be found on the wall of the Daycare’s shed.

Again, this is a very small playground, and older kids would probably be better off around the corner at David Crombie Park. But there aren’t too many toddler-focused playgrounds out there, and this one has just about everything that parents of tiny kids might want, from fencing to soft rubberized flooring to a comfy picnic spot complete with artificial turf. No bathroom, but I’m at the point where I’ve stopped expecting that from Toronto playgrounds.

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