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Sandy Bruce Park

Equipment by KSL (defunct).

Surface: sand.

The best thing I can say about the playground at Sandy Bruce Park is that it lives up to the first part of its name. It is certainly sandy. But that’s pretty much where the compliments end.

The equipment – which really stands out with its ketchup-and-mustard colour scheme – has past the stage of looking old and well-used, and has entered the stage of looking old and sad. The two climbers by KSL are pretty unremarkable, except for two things.

First, one of the exterior panels is decorated with a big City of Toronto logo which is not a sticker or painted on, but actually cut into the metal. The font is hideous (don’t know which font it is, but if I had to give it a name I’d call it “decrepit sans”) and the city’s website is given beneath the logo, which is just weird. Perhaps the playground dates from the early days of the internet, and the city was eager to advertise its web presence.

The other thing that stands out is the long tunnel on the junior climber which really looks like a sideways mustard squeeze bottle. It’s probably mildly fun for toddlers, but we didn’t try it out because it smelled vaguely like pee.

The park itself is nice enough; a gently sloping landscape with a decent sized dog off-leash area, and not far from the shops on Bayview. But with other high-ranking playgrounds so close by (Trace Manes, Moorevale) this one probably doesn’t get many visitors anymore.

My daughter played here for a surprisingly long time; monkey bars are her thing these days and there were some here that made for good practising. I sat and watched her from a bench that was installed not under the big nearby tree, but in the sand of the playground. Because y’know, who doesn’t want sand creeping into their shoes?

I’ve got to think that Sandy Bruce is on the shortlist for a re-do. Maybe when it gets a new play structure they can engrave it with the City’s official Instagram handles.

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