Tuesday, 6 August 2013

The Whole World is Our Playground: Marie Curtis Park

This past weekend I was thrilled to find out that BlogTo linked to my review of Vermont Square Playground as a part of their Best Playgrounds in Toronto feature.  In reading the article I flagged a bunch of new (to us) parks and playgrounds to explore and review.  This past weekend we decided to try one of the playgrounds that didn't make the Best Playground list, but was mentioned in the comments as the best park missed. 
 
Again, If you don't live in the area I hope you enjoy the pics and can use some of the ideas to inspire and explore in your own city. If you have any recommendations for great playgrounds (or new criteria I haven't thought of) please post a comment on this post or email me.
 


 
Park Name:
Marie Curtis Park, Toronto Ontario

Location:
#2 42nd Street (Farthest South West Corner of Toronto - Almost Mississauga)
 
 
 

Parking:
When we arrived there was no parking spaces left in the park, no Parking along 42nd (no parking zone), but some parking a decent hoof away on a side street.  This is also not a very public transit (TTC) friendly location.

Theme of Park:
The splash pad is themed with bright primary colours on the equipment, big bright Muskoka chairs and yellow umbrellas.  It's like a Canadianized Salvador Dali painting, complete with screaming children.*  The key piece of playground is like a giant spider web.

Ground Coverage:
Small wood chips for the actual playground, grass in the outer area and cemented around the wading pool.

Variety of Equipment for different ages:
The park had great playground equipment for older kids with sparce choices for the little ones (three baby swings and one small structure for toddlers).   The big draw for the younger kids is the splash pad.  Our kids were on the regular play equipment for less than ten minutes before completely abandoning to enjoy the water works.   The play areas separated nicely, but probably a little too far to supervise multiple young children in both the splash pad and playground. The Splash Pad is open this year from June 28 - September 1st.  Most of the children in the splash pad were under four while those on the playground ranged from three to ten years old.
 
 
Jack Enjoying the splash pad.
 
Muskoka chairs and umbrellas
 
 
Molly and Dad with one pant leg rolled up, cause he's gangsta like that. 

Washrooms:
There were washrooms further along the path, away from the playground by the beach.
 
Downfalls:
The actual play equipment is for kids a little older than ours, and a lot of the older children were playing on the equipment meant for toddlers, blocking slides and climbers and their parents weren't supervising or stopping them from bogarting equipment for little ones who can't stand up for themselves.**  Also, the park isn't super accessible without a car and then when you get there parking is tough.
 
View from the pier.
 
Best Part of the Park:
The innovative splash pad (definitely a summer-time only visit for us until the kids get older) and the proximity to the lake.  There are board walked paths, a great beach, definitely a place to go for an afternoon and bring a picnic.
 

Overall Rating:
 I'd rate the entire playground area a 2.5/5 for kids under four years old, however if I were to rate the splash pad on it's own for summer time fun: 4/5


To read my review of Vine Avenue Playground click here

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*No melting clocks though.
**I may have given some parents the death stare for their eight year old son who wouldn't let Molly go down the toddler slide because he was climbing up it.  "Where are your parents?" has become code for, "Why are your parents letting you act like a giant douche at the park?"

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