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Trinity-Bellwoods Park

Surfaces: sand, rubber.

As one of Toronto’s big-name parks, Trinity-Bellwoods deserves a better playground than it has.

It’s not terrible, but all the best things about it have more to do with the park that surrounds it than the playground itself: shaded by lovely old trees, quiet but close to the excitement of Queen West, lots of good picnic spots nearby.

The equipment comprises two sections. The first, by the wading pool, is a newer Landscape Structures “O-Zone” climber that you’ve probably seen in other playgrounds. Not huge, but with good climbing and spinning options.

The second area, fenced in and sandy, has a large structure which, like me, still does the job despite being at least forty years old. Some monkey bars, some swings with nice long chains, and a bizarre hand-and-feet pedal thing in case your kid needs some calisthenics. There’s also a stand-alone curly slide by Paris Playground Equipment, a company that hasn’t gone by that name since probably the days of Pierre Trudeau. Queen West is known for its vintage-chic, so I guess it fits.

If they ever get around to a rejuvenation, I’d love to see something themed around Garrison Creek, a buried stream that runs under the park. Many city parks that follow the creek’s hidden underground path (including Trinity-Bellwoods) already bear plaques saying so, and there must be a dozen cool ways to incorporate a “buried creek” theme into new playground equipment. I’m imagining a splash pad with a river drain, like the one at Neshama or Joel Weeks Park, or a ground-level map showing the creek’s shape.

With better equipment, this would be an awesome place to play. For now, Trinity-Bellwoods is a good spot to take the kids for an afternoon downtown, as long as you’re more interested in a fun park than a top-tier playground.

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