It’s the heart of the downtown, home to Toronto City Hall and the City’s go-to spot to celebrate the latest celebration. But on the day-to-day, it’s filled with Torontonians and tourists just passing by and hanging out.

Here are six things you can do with your kids at Nathan Phillips Square:

  1. Photo at the Toronto Sign: If you haven’t already, it’s a Toronto-must. A Maple Leaf was added for Canada 150 and will be there until end of 2017.


2. The Nathan Phillips Square Playground is one of the growing number of the city’s natural playgrounds (this one designed by Earthscape.) It’s open to the public from noon to 3 p.m. and during hours when the local daycare is not using it. And yes, that is mini trampoline.

3. Toronto Public Library City Hall Branch is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays with lots of family-friendly programming like Baby Time, Toddler Time and LEGO Fun.

4. Free Public Skating in the Winter is another must-do for locals and tourists. (The fountain not made for swimming or spashing in the summer.)

5. There is a weekly Farmers Market on Wednesdays from May to October.

6. Check out the view from above in the gardens on City Hall’s Green Roof.


Getting there: The TTC 501 streetcar (or bus for summer 2017) breezes by or get off at Queen Subway Station and walk west. Driving, there is a large underground parking garage green P ($3 per half-hour). The sections are labelled with animals.

In the hood: The downtown mall the Eaton’s Centre is to the east next to Old City Hall. Two blocks south is Cloud Gardens Conservatory, a little tropical forest in the downtown towers. It’s free and open from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.