Fun Toronto Parks for Kids

Sheldon Lookout

There is a view of the city so beautiful in Humber Bay Park that if this was New York, everyone would be telling visitors YOU HAVE TO GO TO SHELDON LOOKOUT. A gift to the city from the Sheldon family, it sits on the western beach of the Humber River along the Toronto Waterfront Trail.

sheldon_lookout_008.jpg

sheldon_lookout_012.jpg

This lovely park is just steps from the Humber Pedestrian Bridge, so you can't miss it.

sheldon_lookout_020.jpg

Sheldon Lookout is a perfect place to walk, bike, fish, roll down a hill, or sit and enjoy the stunning views. It's really pretty, and peaceful.

sheldon_lookout_037.jpg

sheldon_lookout_013.jpg

sheldon_lookout_042.jpg

Sheldon Lookout received an Honourable Mention in the 2000 Architecture & Urban Design Awards. The natural stones are really impressive; your little ones will love to climb on them. Here is a rock showing the directions to dawn at the summer and winter solstice.

sheldon_lookout_002.jpg

Sheldon Lookout is located in Humber Bay Park, just west of the big white bridge you can see from the Gardiner. Rosie :)

sheldon_lookout_048.jpg

sheldon_lookout_017.jpg

2 Comments

Marie Curtis Park

This southwest Toronto park underwent a massive revitalization for summer 2013. I love Marie Curtis Park because of it's proximity to the waterfront and all the huge beautiful trees that surround it. My little man loves it because of the crazy fun splash pad and wading pool.

mariecurtispark_036.jpg

mariecurtispark_042.jpg

mariecurtispark_053.jpg

The non-water park of the playground is pretty awesome too. I love the colourful Muskoka chairs and the big covered sandbox. There is a perfect combo of sun and shade. It's lovely.

mariecurtispark_060.jpg

mariecurtispark_063.jpg

mariecurtispark_068.jpg

Parking is free at Marie Curtis Park, which is located at Forty Second Street near Browns Line and Lake Shore in south Etobicoke. There are also lots of picnic tables, a dog off-leash area and walking trails that connect to the Waterfront Trail. Rosie :)

mariecurtispark_076.jpg

3 Comments

Mimico Memorial Park in Etobicoke

When it's this hot out, you want to find the Toronto parks with splash pads. One of our favourites is Mimico Memorial Park.

mimico park.jpg

What's lovely about this park besides the great splash area is all the green space to run around and the massive beautiful trees. It's tucked in a leafy area off Royal York, right across from Mimico Baptist Church. My little man is a big fan of this playground, which along with the requisite swings and climby-stuff has a really cool jumpy-table that he always drags Daddy right over to.

mimicopark2.jpg

I clearly snapped that pic when it was a little chillier out, which shows you how great this park is that we are there even when the splash pad isn't open. Mimico Memorial Park is located at 74 Hillside Avenue, east off Royal York Road, south of QEW, between QEW & Lakeshore. Rosie :)

No Comments

Toronto Sculpture Garden: Gold, Silver & Lead

Right now, there is a stack of Honda Civics piled up in the Toronto Sculpture Garden. Gold, Silver & Lead, the free park's current exhibit, is very cool.

Gold Silver Lead at the Toronto Sculpture Garden.jpg

Toronto Sculpture Garden Gold, Silver, Lead.jpg

I love this little garden for the free art exhibits, and my little man loves it for the absolutely fantastic waterfall fountain. It's really unique and peaceful to take in.

Toronto Sculpture Garden Waterfall Fountain.jpg

The Toronto Sculpture Garden is located at 115 King Street East right across the street from St. James Cathedral. This is a perfect spot to admire the architecture of this stunning church, which has the tallest tower and spire in Canada.

St. James Cathedral.jpg

My only knock against the park is that the city locks it up at 6:30p.m., which I think is really early for the summertime. I felt bad for the city employee who had to kick us out; it is not a good day at the office when you have to tear a happy little toddler away from a water fountain in a public park in broad daylight. But it's a lovely green space downtown with free art so I can't complain too much. Rosie :)

No Comments

Woburn Park Wading Pool

Summer 2012 has been hot hot hot and we've been touring the splash pads and wading pools throughout the city. Some of the best ones are nestled in little neighbourhood parkettes like the Woburn playground at Yonge and Lawrence.

Woburn Park wading pool.jpg

This wading pool is lovely because it's shaded by lots of huge old trees and it's fenced in. There is also a great playground with swings and a huge sandbox, and there are bathrooms on site. Woburn Park is located at 75 Woburn at Jedburgh Road, west of Yonge. Rosie :)

1 Comment

Sir Casimir Gzowski Park Playground

There is a playground on the Lake Shore that has many of the criteria I look for in a great playground. Sir Casimir Gzowski Park has a huge toddler wading pool, a fun and colourful playground with swings, lots of grass, huge old trees and a boardwalk cafe. All this, just steps from the sandy shores of Lake Ontario.

Sir Casimir Gzowski Park Playground.jpg

When you are done with the playground, you can just walk across the boardwalk to the beach where you have the most stunning view of the Toronto skyline.

Toronto Skyline.jpg

Lake Ontario.jpg

Sir Casimir Gzowski was an engineer who served as Ontario's Lieutenant Governor from 1896 to 1897. His awesome playground is located at 1751 Lake Shore Blvd West. There is Green P parking, and it's free if you park before five from Monday to Friday. The other lovely thing about this park is that you are about a ten minute walk from the lovely Humber Arch Bridge, and then about another 20 minutes away from the Humber Bay Park, where the butterfly exhibit is. Rosie :)

No Comments

Jamie Bell Adventure Playground in High Park

I was pretty excited when I read that celebrity renovator Mike Holmes would be rebuilding the beloved wooden castle in the Jamie Bell playground that was destroyed by arson in March. Canada's Most Trusted Contractor was not going to mess this up. When he compared the project to building the Coliseum, I was impressed. This was going to be something really special and really grand. The playground reopened on July 13th and it is just spectacular. THIS is a playground!

Jamie Bell Adventure Playground.jpg

And THIS is a castle fit for little princes and princesses. It has shiny copper turrets!

Jamie Bell Adventure Playground_castle.jpg

There are so many fun things to play with here that the kids are literally spinning around in circles. It's wild.

Jamie Bell Adventure Playground in High Park.jpg

All the colourful children's art really captures the spirit of the park. Community activist Jamie Bell had a vision to build a playground that kids would play a role in creating. Children offered their ideas of what their dream park would be, and together with parents, teachers and many volunteers that vision became a reality in 1999. In the same spirit, the 2012 Jamie Bell playground was rebuilt by the hard work of many volunteers and donors.

Jamie Bell Adventure Playground_art.jpg

My little man likes a good swing, and one of the really lovely things about this park is that there is a perfect mix of sunshine and shade from High Park's beautiful trees.

Jamie Bell Adventure Park_swing.jpg

Mike Holmes and the many volunteers who worked on the project had to deal with some pretty hot temperatures during the rebuilding. You can watch the project from start to finish this fall on an episode of Holmes Makes It Right on HGTV Canada.

Jamie Bell Adventure Playground in High Park.jpg

The Jamie Bell Adventure Playground is located in High Park at 1873 Bloor St. West. Kids who like parks may also enjoy this summer camp in Toronto. If, like me, you head over to Jamie Bell many times in the summer as a way to expend some energy in a VERY energetic toddler, you may want to consider the camp route. Rosie :)

1 Comment

Lakeshore Mardi Gras in Etobicoke

Today we went to Colonel Samuel Smith Park for the 9th annual Lakeshore Mardi Gras celebration. What fun! There is a great schedule of live music all weekend (tonight at 8:30... Alan Frew of Glass Tiger!) and tons and tons of delicious and naughty things to eat, like ribs, Ribfest-style.

rsz_lakeshore_mardi_gras_017.jpg

Here's a close-up of the experts in action. Vegetarians, look away.

Lakeshore Mardi Gras 2012.jpg

There were many other things to eat that you would never even consider consuming anywhere else other than a festival, like fudge, Tiny Tom Donuts and Blend-Your-Own Slushies.

Lakeshore Mardi Gras slushies.jpg

There are lots of rides for kids and tons of space to watch the live music on the main stage. Colonel Samuel Smith Park is such a nice big park with tons of trees, lots of leafy shade and plenty of green space to spread out a blanket.

Lakeshore Mardi Gras main stage.jpg

The Lakeshore Mardi Gras runs until Monday August 6th. Click here for the concert schedule. (Did I mention-Alan Frew of Glass Tiger, in one hour? You have time!) Rosie :)

2 Comments

Lithuania Park at Keele & Glenlake

Likely unimpressed with the planned afternoon activity of watching his mama watch Olympic men's swimming, my little man starting tearing around the house post-nap exhibiting levels of energy that only an excursion involving water play would even begin to exhaust. Weary from a busy morning of watching men's gymnastics (what a emotional roller-coaster it's been for Kohei Uchimura) I knew the answer was Lithuania Park. Located just north of High Park, it has the perfect wading pool for toddlers. Mamas and nannies can really phone it in here; the kids just entertain themselves. Once my little guy armed himself with a suitable twig, he was ready to get his pool on.

Lithuania Park in Toronto.jpg

Or so I thought I was going to phone it in. This pool proved to be so fun that little man insisted I join him. Glad I dressed up. Go Canada!

Lithuania Park in Toronto_2.jpg

The playground here is great, if your child lets you out of the pool long enough to get to it. I love all the lovely leafy shade at this park, and the huge beautiful trees.

Lithuania Park in Toronto playground.jpg

Apparently in the winter, the toboggan hills at this park are awesome. Lithuania Park is located at 155 Oakmount Road, north of High Park at Keele and Glenlake. Rosie :)

No Comments

High Park Zoo

The High Park Zoo is the perfect zoo to take your toddler. There are many different animals to see such as bison, reindeer and capybaras. It's a short walk from one species to the next, and it's situated in Toronto's beautiful leafy green High Park. Here's one of North America's largest land mammals looking very calm.

High Park Zoo.jpg

Capybaras are the largest rodents in the world. It appears that once a rodent exceeds the size of a big stuffed animal, it goes from being totally gross to quite adorable. They are a very social species as you can see here.

High Park Zoo Capybara.jpg

Hello reindeer! You show such composure despite the constant stream of parents parading their kids in front of you saying "look, look, there's Rudolph!"

High Park Zoo reindeer.jpg

Along with many interesting animals, there are also lots of great twigs in High Park. My little man loves to run around and pick up twigs. The bison distracted him only momentarily from intense twig-gathering.

High Park Zoo_bison2.jpg

There are also llamas, peacocks and wallabies at the High Park Zoo, which is free to visit. Due to funding cuts by city council, this zoo almost stopped operating in June.

High Park Zoo_donations.jpg

The non-profit Friends of the High Park Zoo and private donors have raised funds to keep the zoo going for at least another year. Make a donation if you go (there are donation boxes) or online at the Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation. Rosie :)

No Comments

Michael Power Park in Etobicoke

You know you are old when you take your toddler to a park that is located on the exact spot where your high school used to be. Michael Power/St Joseph's High School was long ago razed to make room for a condo complex. The homes encircle a large playground with a wonderful water feature. My little man sized up the spouts from all angles before he attacked. (I think this is where north portable was!)

Michael Power Park.jpg

The playground is huge and lots of fun. If there was a Toddler Olympics, we would have won gold in Baby Swinging. I'm pretty sure the smoking section was somewhere here. So funny... what high school has a smoking section? Those days are long gone.

Michael Power playground.jpg

Michael Power Park is located at the corner of Dundas St. West and Michael Power Place in Etobicoke. Rosie :)

2 Comments

Port Credit Memorial Park

Ok, this is not a Toronto park. But it's so close, and so lovely, that I had to give it a shout-out despite the fact it is not in the 416. It's in Port Credit (Mississauga) right across from the Port Credit Harbour. The playground is great and it has a really adorable miniature village. Now, I saw no kids remotely interested in the kiddie-sized model of Port Credit, but I still think it is the cutest thing:

portcreditpark.jpg

What's neat about the play area is the blue spongy ground which protects little knees from scrapes and bruises.

rsz_canadaday2012_006.jpg

In 1967, part of this park was dedicated to the 100th anniversary of Canada's confederation. I have a thing for flags, and there is a lovely display of all the flags of the provinces and territories.

rsz_canadaday2012_flags.jpg

Port Credit Memorial Park is located by the lake in Mississauga at 32 Stavebank Rd. I like Port Credit, it has a good chilled-out vibe, and the waterfront is beautiful. Rosie :)

No Comments

Wychwood Barns Farmers' Market

Besides all the lovely fresh organic food and general fun-ness, there were two main reasons I wanted to go to the Stop's Farmers' Market at Wychwood Barns yesterday. One was to get some Kurtis Coffee, which is so fresh and pure and fair-trade and all that awesome business. There are so many different blends. I wish the pic below was scented!

Kurtis Coffee.jpg

The other reason was to let my little man loose in the splash area which is so perfect for toddlers. It's not too big and not too small. My little shirtless tank of a baby got pretty brave after a few runs through the very cold jet sprays.

WychwoodBarns.jpg

Most of the farms at the market are organic. Everything is crazy fresh. The produce is amazing and looks the way fruits and veg are supposed to. Bring lots of cash, prices are a little steeper than No Frills. Have you seen the price of arugula? ;)

Wychwood Barns produce.jpg

The Stop's Farmers' Market happens every Saturday from 8am to 12pm at the Wychwood Barns (601 Christie St, at St. Clair.) Rosie :)

No Comments

A Park With A View

The tallest structure in the world now stands in downtown Dubai instead of downtown Toronto, but that doesn't affect my love for the CN Tower in the least. I think Toronto's skyline is stunning because of it. I have always liked how everyone knows what and where the CN Tower is whether they've lived in Toronto a few weeks or their entire life. It is a very distinct landmark. Even though I went to school downtown for years, my sense of direction is such that I would often find myself using its soaring presence as a navigation tool. As a result, the sight of it provides me with a sense of comfort and familiarity. These days my very favourite place to admire the downtown Toronto skyline is from the very awesome Humber Bay Park.

humberbaypark[1].jpg

Not only does Humber Bay Park offer a really spectacular view of the city, it is home to the Humber Bay Butterfly Habitat which I never get tired of visiting.

humberbaybutterflies[1].jpg

You may ask, why a picture of a big grey boulder and not some pretty butterflies? My photography skills are simply not good enough for that. However, they were good enough to capture my jumping laughing dancing little man a good foot off the ground.

jumpinglittleman[1].jpg

When was the last time you were so happy you just leaped right off the ground? This park, and its view, will bring it out of you I swear. And if you are visiting the city and wondering where to stay that gives you easy access to popular Toronto attractions, One King West is a great downtown hotel in Toronto. Rosie :)

4 Comments

Find by Category

Home | Archives | About Rosie | Contact Rosie
View my food journey on Zomato!

Recent Comments

  • Amy: Hello, my name is Amy my young son Dylan is read more
  • Linda: Paul, I remember you and your family. I moved away read more
  • Rick C in Oakville: I have passed this restaurant 100's of times, I would read more
  • Roshan: Hmmm, looks good. Velloor village? There is a prominent university read more
  • Diane: Thank you Rosie. I received the DVD and planned the read more
  • Rick C in Oakville: Never thought about deep frying brussel sprouts, nice change up! read more
  • Roshan: Wow, nice food. Making me hungry Rosie. read more
  • Roshan: Ooooo, yummy stuff. Damn it, I wanna a place like read more
  • Maria: How do I purchase the VIP pass / entrance ticket? read more
  • this article: It's touch my heart read more
Free shipping on orders of $99 or more at TheBay.com