Monday, 12 August 2013

The Whole World is Our Playground: Dufferin Grove Park & Playground

A while back our sitter L. recommended that we try out this inner city park as a part of my playground review series.  When we went to check it out we were not disappointed. 

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:
Dufferin Grove Park & Playground
875 Dufferin Street (on Dufferin South of Bloor Street, North of College Street)

There is some side street parking.  The playground is a two minute walk from Dufferin Mall and a five minute walk from Dufferin Subway Station. 

Theme of Park:
Most of the play structures are wood and go with the forest/urban tree house feel of the park.

Ground Coverage:
Sand around actual playground, grass in the outer area and concrete around the wading pool.  Since this park is in a pretty green area parents don't need to be paranoid about sunscreen as it is well covered and shady on hot sunny days.

Enjoying a post play snack.

Best Part(s) of the Park:
The playground has a little cafe that sells snacks for hungry players and coffee starved parents.  Healthy treats like sliced watermelon go for as low as 25 cents per slice. The playground also had a see-saw designed for four kids.   Another bonus, around the corner from the playground is a reservable fire pit for inner city camp fires.  ($20 donations suggested)

The playground area is a good size with a lot of variety, however if you're supervising multiple children with differing interests it can get a little challenging.  Parents watching their children had to stand atop some of the structures in order to be able to keep an eye on things, which can block some of the equipment for kids who are playing. 
Toddler sized climbing wall.

Graduating to the next level of climbing (aka scene from American Gladiator)

Variety of Equipment for different ages:
The park had great playground equipment for older kids and younger kids.  It has a basic splash pad open in the summer and a vast sand pit with a working tap which has peaks and valleys to give any real construction site a run for its money.  The Splash Pad is open this year from June 28 - September 1st. Most of the children around the play area ranged from two to ten years old. 
Molly in the splash pad.

Overall Rating:
 I'd rate the entire playground area a 4.5/5
To read my review of Vine Avenue Playground click here

To read my review of Marie Curtis Playground click here

To read my review of Vermont Square Playground click here

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  1. Great review, I practically grew up in Dufferin Mall as a kid and we always loved the park across the street. They even have a farmer's market there now, every Thursday I believe.

    You should check out Neshama Playground. It's the best playground I've ever been to in this city. It was built with the idea that kids with disabilities could play alongside their non-disabled peers, so there's a swing with a harness alongside regular swings, sensory things for kids with autism, a giant teeter-totter with space to sit three kids on each side (or parents alongside a kid) and a seat back so kids with mobility issues don't fall off, a 'saucer' like swing, a giant windchime complete with four mallets, and lots of other fun things. And, of course, the very unique water/splash area. There are also SUPER CLEAN washrooms right there, for bathroom or diaper emergencies. The whole playground is wheelchair (and therefore stroller) accessible, and less than a 5 minute walk from Davisville station (which is also wheelchair/stroller acessible). Plenty of green space for running around and scattered picnic tables too. It's also a short walk back to Davisville and Yonge where there's plenty of coffee shops (e.g. Tim Horton's) to buy emergency dinner when the kids decide they just want to stay there the entire day.

    1. This is on my list for the next couple of weeks, I really want to provide a review before the splash pad closes...another one that I am very excited about is the Jeff Healey accessible playground project that is in the works - i hear it will have some music themes!

  2. Correct, every Thursday there's a very hipstery farmer's market. I go when I want to feel like I'm cool like everyone else ;)

    Awesome that you went. I love Dufferin Grove. There's something for everyone there.