Love love love.
There has been a lot of hype (in mom circles) about Neshama Playground, Toronto’s first fully accessible playground unveiled in 2012 at Oriole Park at the corner of Chaplin Crescent and Oriole Parkway. Now we know why. We finally made it there on a beautifully sunny PD day. This is usually a combo we’d run from but even in all its busy-ness, it was a blast for kids AND adults.
The first of its kind in Canada, the playground equipment is specially-designed to allow kids of all ages and abilities to play. A small pirate ship-like structure is surrounded by a playhouse and teeter totters for tots. The larger equipment best for bigger kids features a sensory music panel with one octave of keys and alphabet panels in both in sign language and Braille. All over and in between, there are swings, slides, ropes, climbing structures, a mini-trampoline and a merry-go-round. Plus a fantastic small splash pad where the water flows into a tiny stream. All on that amazingly soft rubber padding.
Even though the playground is “new,” the park is well established so there are beautiful large trees providing lots of shade and space for picnicking.
Getting there: Driving, there is some one-hour residential parking after 10am. Free parking after 10am on Frobisher Ave south of the park. On TTC, just west of Davisville Subway stop. Walk along Chaplin and take Colin Ave south into the park.
Bike it and hike it: The Beltline Trail, a 9km paved biking and walking trail follows an old railway line from the Allen Road south of Elm Ridge Drive west to Mount Pleasant Cemetery.
Potty time: Yes, new facilities.
Snacks: Pack a picnic and snacks. Lots of cafes on Yonge St. if you need to pick up something en route.
More play: Tennis courts next door. No membership required.
More info: Some additional information about the park via Friends of Oriole Park