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Warden Hilltop

Equipment by GameTime.

Surface: wood chips.

We visited this playground almost by accident. We hopped off the subway at Warden station excited to visit GECo Park, which features perhaps our favourite swing of all time, only to arrive and find that the swing was out of commission.

As all parents know, arriving somewhere highly anticipated only to find out it’s closed / broken is a recipe for disaster. Thankfully, we had seen the playground at Warden Hilltop on our way, and because it was such a hot day, the kids were happy to backtrack five minutes to enjoy a soak at Warden Hilltop’s splash pad.

We ended up having a nice little play here. It’s not an outstanding playground, and the subdivision it’s in is so new (and felt so empty on a weekday) that it kinda felt like we were playing in one of those phoney neighbourhoods that they build inside theme parks to make it feel more homey.

But the kids enjoyed the pods by Landscape Structures (we had seen them previously at Wells Hill Park) and an interesting element that looks like a spinner but is actually more like a stand-in-place pogo stick. There was also a strange slide-type-thing that requires the rider to straddle rather than sit in.

We had a picnic in the shade provided by the kind of young trees that seem to be native to all suburbs, and watched a group of day camp kids go into the Warden Hilltop Community Centre, which we didn’t quite have time to explore, but which might provide bathrooms in an emergency.

What made our picnic harder to enjoy was the incredible number of wasps. They weren’t aggressive or anything; quite the opposite: they only approached us one or two at a time. I quickly squished them, only to have one or two more come to inspect the corpses of their fallen brothers. They would pay so much attention to the dead wasps that it was easy for me to squish them, too.

This cycle of waspicide continued until I had dispatched a couple of dozen wasps. After a while, I started feeling less like a heroic father, and more like a cold-hearted animal killer, so we left before I had a crisis of conscience.

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