Toronto Parks with Splash Pads & Wading Pools

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.

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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.

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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 :)

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Splash Island at the Toronto Zoo

I had no idea there was a two-acre splash pad at the Toronto Zoo. It's incredible. When we went last year, it happened to be the hottest day of the year and we didn't last very long. Our visit this year was on a perfect summer day so after exploring the African Savanna (our favourite section) we hit the Discovery Zone where Splash Island is located. "Island" is definitely a better word to describe this waterplay area- it's huge with waterslides, waterfalls and water-spouting animals. So. Much. FUN.

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My little man didn't want to leave- he just sort of collapsed with exhaustion near the waterslides. Splash Island, like all the areas in the zoo's Discovery Zone for kids, is free with general admission. Rosie :)

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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.

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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.

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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 :)

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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.

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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 :)

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Celebrate Yonge at Yonge-Dundas Square

Yonge-Dundas Square is so awesome now compared to when my husband and I went to Ryerson over a decade ago. It certainly had character then, but it really wasn't an area of the city you wanted to take your toddler to run around. Now you can... it's like a mini Times Square, plus it has lots of splashy water fountains for little water lovers.

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It really feels like the heart of the city, with tons of special events like free concerts, free movie nights and the T.O. Tix booth where you can pick up discounted theatre and comedy show tickets. Right now there are temporary patios set up right on Yonge Street between Queen and Gerrard for the Celebrate Yonge event, giving the downtown core even more of a fun party vibe. There are some neat things to check out in the different event areas, including life-sized board games and a bike art gallery. Rosie :)

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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.

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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.

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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 :)

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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 :)

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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!)

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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.

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

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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!

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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.

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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? ;)

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

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