Monday, 13 April 2015

The Whole World is Our Playground: Kew Gardens

After a long winter we've all been itching for warm sunshine and regular exploration of the great outdoors.  We were all very excited to get out for the first playground review of spring.

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:
Kew Gardens - 2075 Queen Street East

 There is limited pay street parking and a few Green P parking lots within walking distance of the park (about $1.00 per half hour).  The 501 Queen Streetcar will also drop you off in front of the park.

Theme of Park:
Urban getaway by the lake (including wooden benches designed to look like canoes and a row wooden playhouses that look like miniature log cabins)

Canoe bench

Ground Coverage:
Large wood chips.

Variety of Equipment for different ages:
There is some great equipment for kids aged three to around ten years old.

Best Parts of the Park:
The giant wooden castle structure was Molly's favourite part of the playground, offering a labyrinth for little ones to explore, but enough open space for parents to be able to monitor for safety from a distance and without helicoptering. The area around the playground has a public baseball diamond with bleachers, benches and shady trees (including a gazebo) and a beautiful public fountain.  This centrally located park is close to a variety of coffee and tea shops and a grocery store to stock last minute picnics.  The park also hosts a basic splash pad in the summer for those who want to cool off.

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Molly checks out the fountains

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Molly's "castle" on the beach.

As parents of pre-schoolers, one of which has been potty trained for less than a month, I was unimpressed that the public washrooms were locked.  We had to wait in a lengthy line at a coffee shop, which isn't ideal with a three and a half year old who needs to go "NOW!!!".  There were some older kids who were not only bogarting the baby swings while other kids were waiting, but were also standing on the swings and setting a pretty bad example for safe play.

Overall Rating:
This is a great way to enjoy the "beach" area of Toronto with more shade coverage.  Would definitely come back again, maybe even this summer.  4.0/5.

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Some more traditional equipment.

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Dancing in the gazebo.

To read how I feel about Sherbourne Common Playground click here

To read my review of Neshama Playground click here.

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