Review Special: Toronto High Park Splash Pad

Look where we’ve ended up this week- in Toronto’s popular High Park! This ‘central park’ of Toronto is a giant playground filled with everything you can imagine: a little zoo, outdoor skating rink, giant pool with slide, Grenadier pond- and a café named after it, a permanent playhouse where Shakespeare in the park is performed…..and much more.

Luckily, my in-laws live a short walk away which makes it a great place to go with the little one. Hearing they were going to check out its splash pad, I had to tag along. So here we go!

Summer in the big city

Located on the northern end of High Park, this splash pad with adjacent (but empty) wading pool is a newer feature. Surrounded by lots of shade (older trees, a permanent pavilion), it was bustling with kids so it was easy to find. It is nature-themed with leaves and trees that push water out onto flowers or buckets below.

The splash pad itself is very bright, with an array of shapes and sprays although there are only one or two pieces that move/encourage interaction. While there is a variety of sprays and the installation is inviting and colourful, there are a few major deductions to point out:

1. A number of pieces did not work! One of the trees that pours into a bucket to splash kids was non-functioning. There was also a ground fountain, a yellow swirl spray and one giant reed that also did not spray water. Therefore, I must deduct splash and usability points. Luckily the city of Toronto has a 311 email hotline, which can be used to report anything city-related. With a quick email, I informed them of these issues. It would be interesting to see if they are fixed by our next visit…

2. As large and popular as High Park is, this splash pad is surprisingly quite small! I was shocked at how small a footprint it takes up in such a large green space. They have other amenities around (a new playground to be opened soon right next to it, the large community pool, etc), so perhaps this is why. However, I’ve seen much larger ones that serve much smaller communities in the suburbs.

Overall: Location is great with so much to do, however, the splash pad itself is not as big or grand as one might expect. There’s plenty of shade and it’s a perfect little spot to stop by if you’re already in the park.

  • Location: 5/5
  • Shade: 5/5
  • Usability: 2/5
  • Fun factor: 3/5
  • Splash factor: 2/5

Have you been to this splash pad yet? What did you think?


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