Ottawa’s best playgrounds?

I’m currently working on a piece about Ottawa’s best playgrounds. I have a couple of them in mind already, but am wondering what your favourites are, and why?

Things to think about:

- the environs – i.e. close to nature? On a bike trail?

- the play structure and its “fun rating.” Is there something outstandingly awesome about your playground? Dovercourt, for example, has an Infinity Climber. My kids love that thing, although I always watch them with my heart in my thoat and my legs twitching and ready to run and catch them if I see them about to fall. I’m going to have a heart attack one day.

(BTW, I am secretly wondering if any area parks have a roundabout. Do they even make those anymore or have they vanished?)

- proximity to snacks / facilities

- what else is cool about your favourite playground? i.e. I love the fact there are charcoal BBQs at Andrew Hayden. We’ve never actually done it but I’ve always wanted to invite friends/kids for a big playdate & cookout.

Suggestions would be welcome! Over to you… 

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Edited to add: Thanks for your help everyone! The final park piece is now online!

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  1. Pingback: Ottawa Citizen

  2. ohh, and there’s alos taht park on Bronson (can’t think of teh anme right now) across from Carleton university, its really big with many water features and cool shaded areas

  3. petrie island in the east end has gotten a bad rap due to fluctuating water quality BUT it is nonetheless a huge expanse of sand right by the river with the older section in a shaded area and some handmade play structures, there’s a littles beach house with info on the local ecology/zoology, walking paths and chance to see turtles

  4. No real thoughts here… But i know when we visit… The canal is always popular with my daughter… She watches the boats… andit is close enough to grab some offending food near the Parliment Buildings…

  5. I have to admit that I haven’t been to too many parks outside of the West End. But, we have a really awesome waterpark here in Barrhaven (great now it will be really crowded ;) ). It is on Longfields Drive. If you get there at the right time of the day is isn’t too busy, and there is a sand park (one for toddlers and one for older kids) adjacent. The water has to be turned on by sensors but that’s ok, makes it fun to see who is going to turn it on. There is a canteena there and washrooms, but I will say that it is not always open. Not sure what is up with that but hopefully this year it will always be ready. There is some area for shade and we always bring a picnic with us. The kids love it and well, I love it too!

  6. I’ve become partial to the play structures on the grounds at the Governor General’s, particularly with friends in from out of town. If necessary, one adult can watch the younger kids while older kids and other adults wander the grounds to check out the roses, see the GG’s house, or just get fresh air.

    For my self, while not a playground as such, the trails around Bruce Pit are fun to run or cycle along. You’ll always see friendly folks in the adjacent dog run, and there’s often a gaggle of Cdn geese in the pond below. I’ve never tried the toboggan run, though.