Saturday, July 13, 2013

Fantastic urban splash pad: Corktown Common

A splash pad and a playground and a skatepark and... frogs

When I first visited Corktown Common, at sunset, I discovered there was a splash pad in the back of the large park! (BEWARE! In 2015, the park and splash pads are closed until August 31, due to the Pan Am Games!) 

I returned to figure out the parking logistics around that park (which opened at the end of June 2013) and to take some photos of the splash pad with kids in action. What a great addition to the city! 

How to get there
Corktown Common is located near the Don River, south of King Street East, at the foot of Lower River Street (where the Pan American Games will host the athletes during the 2015 games held in the GTA). 

If you want to get there by car, first try to find a spot on Saint Lawrence Street (one block west of Lower River, south of King). It is $1.50/hour, maximum 10 hours, 7 days a week from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. No charges after 6 p.m.

Otherwise, you'll be able to find parking meters along Queen Street East (but NO PARKING from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays). It's $1.50/hour, maximum 3 hours, to park Monday to Friday (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and Saturday (8 a.m. to 6 p.m). There's no charges to park after 6 p.m. and no charge to park throughout Sunday.

First things first, coffee!
If you park near Sumach Street, it will take you 10 minutes to reach the splash pad. 

The coffee shop Savoury Grounds is right at the corner of Sumach and Queen Street East. While you're there, show your kids the whimsical facade of the Magic Building at 60 Sumach just south of Queen. (Note from June 20, 2015: It used to be the closest place to buy a beverage around the park but now, there is a Tim Hortons (south-west corner of King East and Lower River), and the cool café Odin, facing it, on the north side of King East.)

The playground
From Queen Street East, walk southbound on River Street (called Lower River where it goes south of King Street). It won't take long before you see the modern playground to your right.

It is such an urban sight, set as it is amidst parkways.

The vast park
Keep walking southbound and you'll see the entrance of the park, marked by a lowland wet meadow (where you can hear the frogs!).

Follow the path to your right and you'll see the roof of the gazebo. You can stroll left and right around the upland meadow before reaching the other section of the park with a large gazebo.

Still in development, one sees that this park will eventually connect with the surrounding trails.

The splash pad and the gabezo
Corktown Common is curently managed by Waterfront Toronto(there's a security guard on site 24-7), but it will eventually be managed by the City. They've installed two large washrooms on the premises (open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.) and two water fountains. The gazebo provides shade.

I don't how it will look once the construction is done but for the time being, the splash pad overlooks construction and the cityscape for a unique urban panorama. Expect water sprays spurting daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The slides
On the other side of the gazebo is an interesting playground with two slides and soft flooring. It includes a sand patch complete with a faucet, for the small engineers. There are different swings on separate levels. (There are lots of nooks and crannies in this park.) 

The Underpass Park
On you way back towards King Street, facing the playground, you'll notice some action on your right under the overpass. They've installed basketball nets and a street skate layout.

What makes it even better it the lighting effects along the columns. Imagine if this was done under the Gardiner!


  1. Nathalie Prezeau really nice post love your work and pic , tips all of those are very helpful and entertaining

  2. Hope to get there very soon, it looks just amazing!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. I have a blog dedicated to splash pads, this is my most recent post water play equipment for those who are interested in details. :)

  5. Going to check this place out today! Thanks for the parking specifics and walking directions!!