Monday 14 April 2014

We Didn't Start the Fire - Playground Review Jamie Bell Adventure Playground

This Toronto playground was recommended via Torontoist in their Best Playgrounds feature.  This park is very close to where we live, so Chris didn't believe me when I told him that I've never written a review because we've been here so often.  This playground made the news a number of years ago when an arsonist torched the playground to the ground.  Because of generosity of sponsors such as Canadian Tire, Landscape Ontario and Canadian construction icon Mike Holmes they were able to re-build the playground.

My park review disclaimer: 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:

high park Jamie Bell Adventure playground, Mike Holmes
High Park (Entrance near Parkside Drive - about a 10 minute walk from Keele Subway Station) 

high park Jamie Bell Adventure playground, Mike Holmes

 There is a decent amount of parking on Parkside and in the park by the Animal Paddocks, however the nicer the day, the less parking available. 

high park Jamie Bell Adventure playground, Mike Holmes

Theme of Park:
Castle themed play structure designed (in part) by kids for kids.

Ground Coverage:
 Wood Chips

Variety of Equipment for different ages:
 This park has playground equipment in two main areas, one with a mazed entrance to help contain  toddlers and a more open area with bigger climbing towers (structures and slides) for older kids.  There were washrooms just up the hill from the play area.  Most of the children around the play area ranged from one to ten years old.

Best Parts of the Park:
The variety of equipment and added design themes by children.  Like the crests painted by kids inside the tower below.  There is a little bit of something from everyone: including some small climbing walls for older kids.  There are also benches alongside the playground so parents of older children can sit back and enjoy some quiet time while supervising.  There are often hot dog carts and ice cream trucks nearby, especially on the weekends.

high park Jamie Bell Adventure playground, Mike Holmes

Since High Park is a main attraction of the city, the playground is really busy all the time.  The volume of kids in the yard means that there can be line ups for equipment and that you need to be careful of children loitering at the bottom of slides.  Random complaint from Chris, the large red slide had a lot of static when he went down with Molly.  The park is still a little beat up this year from December's ice storm.

high park Jamie Bell Adventure playground, Mike Holmes

Overall Rating:
I rate this playground a 4.5/5 but it could grow a half point as the kids get older and we can sit by the sidelines without getting dizzy from of the sheer volume of children running around with bellies filled with ice cream. 

To read my review of Jeff Healey Playground click here

To read my review of Marie Curtis Playground click here

To read my review of Dufferin Grove Playground click here

To read my review of Neshama Playground click here

To read my review of Vermont Square Playground click here

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  1. Now i have that darn song stuck in my head...

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