When you look at a satellite map of Toronto, you’ll notice a good amount of green! Thanks to the ravine system, the Toronto Islands and astute city planning, there are gorgeous parks perfect for a family outing strewn all around town. We’ve rounded up our favourite spots, so lay back and hang out with our Guide to Family Parks and Playgrounds in Toronto.
Family Parks & Playgrounds — Downtown
A marvel of park and playground design, this park feels quiet and relaxing even though it’s surrounded by busy highways. It features a well spread-out playground, nature area and innovative splash pad, plus a gorgeous downtown view.
Under the shadow of the AGO and OCAD’s imposing architecture, this park has an urban vibe with its newly designed playground, splash pad and off-leash dog area.
Home to the city’s best indoor pool, this newly remodelled park also has a modern playground with some really interesting climbing equipment and a fountain that acts as a splash pad in the summer.
St. James Park
Grab a snack from the vendors and farmers’ market at the historic St. Lawrence Market then head to this food-themed playground, full of climbing opportunities to work off the kids’ sugar rush.
Toronto Island Park
Going to “The Islands” is a special trip for many families. Don’t miss Centreville Amusement Park, but there’s also Franklin Children’s Garden, Far Enough Farm, bike rentals, splash pad and fountain, and of course beaches!
A park doesn’t even require grass when it’s this cool! Actually located under highway ramps, this artistically graffitied space has a modern playground, basketball court and skateboarding area.
Family Parks & Playgrounds — East End
Greenwood is busy year-round, with a skating path and covered rink in winter, then a playground, outdoor pool, splash pad and exercise equipment in the warmer months. It’s also the new home of the deliciously bustling Leslieville Farmers’ Market.
Located between the lake and Queen East in the Beach, my kids call this “Castle Park” because of the turreted castle in the elaborate playground climbing structure. The park also has a wide space and gazebo where events take place, a hockey rink, large wading pool and tennis courts.
Tucked away south of the Danforth, this sleepy neighbourhood park comes alive in summer with one of the best outdoor pools in the city, a fenced-in playground and a barrier-free off-leash dog park.
Riverdale Parks – East & West
Separated by the Don Valley, these sister parks are both known for their steep and obstacle-free (tobogganing hills). The east side has a skating rink, tennis courts and an outdoor pool plus a gorgeous sunset view of downtown. The west side has a baseball diamond, wading pool and the adorable (and free!) Riverdale Farm.
This popular Greektown park features a sizeable playground, ball diamonds, multipurpose sports field, two outdoor tennis courts, volleyball court, dog off-leash area, and a wading pool. Don’t miss their farmers’ market!
Family Parks & Playgrounds — West End
Christie Pits Park
This park on Bloor West features the Alex Duff Memorial Pool, three baseball diamonds, a multi-sport field, basketball and volleyball courts, a children’s playground and labyrinth, splash pad and wading pool.
Dufferin Grove Park
Just south of Bloor West, this park features a multipurpose sports field, basketball court, picnic area, wading pool, children’s playground and reflexology footpath.
As you might expect from a name like “High Park”, it’s pretty impressive. The list of amenities is long, from common features (outdoor pool, playgrounds, off-leash dog area, baseball diamonds, wading pool, ice rink) to the unique (free zoo, outdoor theatre, nature trails, restaurant and pond).
Trinity Bellwoods Park
Hang with the hipsters on West Queen West, where you’ll find a large playground, baseball fields and large off-leash dog area, as well as informal free concerts on weekend.
Family Parks & Playgrounds — Uptown
This district park is a hub for outdoor activity, with tennis courts, two sport fields, cricket pitch and a baseball diamond. For a little fun on a sunny summer day, there is a splash pad and playground for children to enjoy.
In the Corso Italia area of St. Clair West, Earlscourt has a complete array of equipment, with a big outdoor pool, playground, playing fields, and spots to play baseball, basketball, soccer and track.
June Rowlands Park
“Skinamarinky dinky dink” your way over to the Sharon, Lois and Bram Playground, named after the classic Canadian children’s music group, which includes themed apparatus like the itsy-bitsy spider music garden and even a reclining elephant!
In Forest Hill, you’ll find this relaxing park, with an obstacle course playground, aquatic-themed splash pad, baseball diamond and tennis courts.
For more Outdoor Summer activities, find our full list here!