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Sweeney Park / Victoria Village PS

Equipment by Henderson, Little Tikes

Surface: wood chips.

In many ways, this playground is a lot like another public park / public school combination we visited recently: Fairmount Park / Bowmore PS.

Both feature several different play areas, both have newer equipment by Henderson, both are adjacent to public tennis courts, and both are close to the entrance to a ravine walking path.

The difference is that in just about every way, Sweeney Park is slightly inferior to Fairmount. It’s almost like the dollar store version; very similar at first glance, but not quite as good. No sandbox, no wading pool, no community centre that you can hit up for bathrooms.

Not that there’s nothing to like here. A nice saucer swing, a toddler structure that advertises itself as a pet store, and a two colourful Little Tikes structures with double slides and a net climber between them. An older structure sits behind the school, but we didn’t have the time or inclination to check it out. The equipment didn’t feel like it had anything unique or different about it; almost like a model home for an upcoming suburban development.

Maybe the strangest thing about this playground is that it has lots of benches and lots of trees, but somehow almost nowhere shaded to sit. I might be wrong about this, but looking around it was hard to imagine more than one of the benches or picnic tables being shaded during peak hours.

The saving grace was that just a block away is the entrance to the Anewen Greenbelt, which in turn connects to the Don Valley Trail. It’s a beautiful stretch of the Don Valley system, and part of it that I’d never explored. We spent more time there than at the playground – my daughter decided she was a dog named Bessie who needed to build a house for herself, so we grabbed some sticks and made a lean-to house. Bessie was pleased with it.

If we’d had more time, we may have walked all the way to the famous Rainbow Tunnel, but we had to get home. We emerged from the valley just off Eglinton and Ubered home from there.

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