Well this exceeded all my expectations.
This past year Grange Park went through a major overhaul, a revitalization that revived a very urban greenspace, turning it into a beautiful, greener and friendlier place to play.
The park itself stretches south behind the Art Gallery of Ontario. Nestled in near OCAD is a stunning new natural art-themed playground designed and built by the Canadian company Earthscape. This is far from a bunch of logs, rocks and native plants. The three play structures are made from wood with colourful shapes inspired by an artist’s studio, providing endless opportunities to climb, slide, crawl and just plain explore.
We stopped by on a weekend morning. It was packed. But it didn’t feel overcrowded as there was so many areas to play in and on. It was the first time where I saw a space that drew in kids of all ages – littles and their parents, school-aged kids all over the place, and even some older tween-aged who were easily entertained and challenged by the big structure’s rope ladders.
The majority of the space is wood chips, with paths of soft terrain around certain elements. No sandbox in sight. The small and simple splash pad was a hit.
My guys actually thanked me for brining them there and my eldest requested to have his birthday party (in March!?) here. I would translate that as a big two green thumbs up.
Here’s a peek at all the fun:
Getting there: Grange Park is south of Dundas St W behind the AGO. Green P street parking in the neighbourhood. On TTC, walk west from St. Patrick subway stop on the University line or take Dundas or Spadina Streetcar. You can walk up McCaul or Beverley streets from the Queen streetcar.
Snacks: Bring your own. Lots of spots and shade for picnicking. There is a café in the AGO.
Potty time: Yes, public family washrooms.
In the hood: The AGO is open Tuesday through Sunday. There is a Kids’ Gallery and the Hands-On Centre that is filled with art supplies, toys, books and costumes. From November – April there are Family Sundays with special programming for kids.
Head south and go east on Queen to Nathan Phillips Square.