Exploring family-friendly activities in Parkdale

Can you believe we are coming up on 8 years of living in Parkdale? It’s crazy how time flies when you are having fun.

For those that don’t know, Parkdale is a neighbourhood in the west end of Toronto and is one of the oldest parts of the city.

This west-end neighbourhood that we call home, boasts a rich immigrant history, with waves of Polish, Afro-Caribbean, Filipino, and Vietnamese immigrants have called it home. Today, Parkdale hosts one of North America’s largest Tibetan expat communities—and if you walk around, has the restaurants to prove it.

Many years ago, Parkdale was a part of the city I rode my bike through as quickly as I could on my way to work. It did not have a great rep. Funny enough, many years later it is where I ended up living. And I am very happy it worked out that way.

Today I wanted to quickly list some family-friendly activities in Parkdale. Whether you have little kids, big kids, or no kids, I think they all work.

Picnic Adventure

Explore local parks in Parkdale and plan a family picnic. This is as simple as it can get. Now, it’s hard to imagine having a picnic while there is snow on the ground. Parkdale has a lot of spots to enjoy a meal and fresh air. In our family, that would mean going to McCormick Park. It has a little bit of everything for the family. Play structures, wading pool, open fields, basketball court and if you don’t want to pack a lunch, you can treat yourself to a meal at Imanishi Sando Bar. They may have the best french fries in the city. Soma Chocolate Factory is close by as well if you want coffee (I think), hot chocolate, or ice cream.

Art Walk in Parkdale

Another practically free thing to do with the family in Parkdale is look at all the local street art. There are several murals to see. There are also a few galleries to look at. Our kids used to like all the different paintings along the railroad tracks that pass through Parkdale. There is also a very cool wall as you go up Landsdowne towards the No Frills grocery store. Highlight any local art events, street art, or galleries in Parkdale. Take the family on a stroll through the neighborhood, appreciating and discussing the art along the way. Here are some local art galleries as well.

Parkdale Playgrounds Guide

I have already mentioned McCormick Park for having a great play structure. But it’s not the only one. There is a playground in Masaryk Park which is just behind the Parkdale Library. There are also playgrounds at all the local schools. Parkdale PS, Fern Avenue, Shirley Street, and Garden Avenue. Let’s not forget Sorauren Park (although technically the playground is in Charles G. Williams Park across the street). Another hidden park is West Lodge. It has a playground and a small skateboard park. We have spent many hours there. Finally, if you want to leave Parkdale, the 2 parks I recommend are Osler Playground on Argyle Street and Trinity Bellwoods, which I doubt I have to tell you about.

Family-Friendly Dining in Parkdale

After exploring Parkdale for the art and playgrounds, you may have built up an appetite. But where can you go with the kids? The area has certainly evolved over the time we have lived here but for the most part, it has remained pretty family friendly.

family friendly activities in Parkdale

The Chains – Popeyes, Mary Brown’s, Subway, A&W, Pizza Pizza, and Tim Hortons always have something the whole family enjoys. They also offer something else of value. Seating. However since the pandemic, the seating has decreased.

Some other tasty options – Dave’s Hot Chicken, CiCi’s Pizza, Kaminari Ramen Bar and BB’s.

If you really want to taste Parkdale – Himalayan Kitchen, Momo Cafe and Yummy Momo.

Our local family faves – Skyline Diner, and Peaches. There used to be many more but they closed or moved. Shout out to the former Glory of India, Cadillac Lounge, Escape Goat and Tennessee Tavern.

Last but not least, stop at Craig’s Cookies for dessert.

What would you add to the list?

As I have said, Parkdale is our neighbourhood. It’s our home. We are very happy to have landed here and it’s exciting to see where it goes in the future.