Dufferin Grove Park is a family-centred community park that embraces the arts and the environment. Here, families come together to collectively enjoy nature while nurturing kids’ spirits. Truly a community effort, the Friends of Dufferin Grove Park established Dufferin Grove as a reaction to the expansion of Dufferin Mall. To appease its neighbours, Dufferin Mall contributed $20,000 to the city for new playground equipment.
What Dufferin Grove Park Offers
Arts in the Park, a community-sponsored program, offers a variety of arts for kids of all ages, including puppet shows, papier maché making, dance, live music and drama. In the northwest corner of the park are the Public Bake Ovens, used to cook much of the food sold at Dufferin Grove Park. You can also use them to bake your own bread on Thursdays after 3:00 p.m. If you don’t know how to bake your own bread, you can watch the experts do it between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. every Thursday. Cob Courtyard, a neat little secret hideaway, is a perfect spot for the the kids to have their snacks. The outdoor Farmers’ Market, open all year round, sells yummy organic goodies.
The playground, affectionately known as “The Big Backyard,” became the subject of a short film by Elise Pomeranz in the beginnings of the park. “The Big Backyard” has something for all kids. Swings, slides for different ages, a huge mud pit, large splashpad in the summer and skating rink in the winter, your kids will never be bored at Dufferin Grove Park. They can play house next to one of the smaller slides or serve whatever their imagination conjures up at the mini “restaurant” underneath. There is also a wheelchair accessible swing. The Dufferin Grove neighbourhood is warm and welcoming, and even if you don’t see someone you know while hanging out with your kids, you’ll make some new friends by the time you leave.
A massive sandbox, with real logs and a water tap in the summer, allows kids to get down and dirty in the mud and build the biggest sand castle they can. Huge Norway Maple trees shade the park in the summer, and in the winter, they look magical covered in snow. A huge field adjacent to the park is great for picnics in the summer or snowmen in the winter.
In cold weather, what is better than an outdoor campfire? In the winter, three small-group campfire locations are available. Skating is also a big attraction at Dufferin Grove Park. The kids can do Shinny Hockey every day but Sunday, and pleasure skating is available all day every day.
The park is an ongoing project, which the City of Toronto has historically enabled. In 1999, the city donated 6.3 million to fix any issues. Sadly, Dufferin Grove is one of many community places that Rob Ford has placed on the chopping block. Toronto Stop the Cuts was an organized rally bringing together the supporters of Dufferin Grove Park in an attempt to thwart the possible closing of this incredible family-centred community park. Hopefully, with community support and continued government funding, Dufferin Grove Park will remain one of the most interesting places to take your kids.
Dufferin Grove Park