Toronto Island Park, Franklin Children's Garden
9 Queens Quay W. (foot of Bay St, on Toronto Islands)
Opened 2005; 4 acres
Known for: A garden designed just for kids
Must garden to visit on Toronto Islands
Franklin Children's Garden was inspired by Franklin the Turtle from the celebrated book series written by Paulette Bourgeois. There are many bronze statues of Franklin's friends, small benches in the garden and many plants and paths for kids to explore. As children follow the green turtles along the path they learn about the natural environment, such as how to plant seeds, the importance of pollinators, etc.
The park features seven sections: Little Sprouts Garden, TD Storybook Place Amphitheatre, Snail Trail, Pine Grove, Hide and Seek Garden and Franklin's Pollination Station. Plus, of course, there's a turtle pond with turtles, frogs, birds and other critters in a wetland environment.
Children love to play here in the vine tunnel, explore the wheel-chair accessible Tree House, or take pictures with bronze sculptures of Franklin and Rabbit. They also can climb the spiral walkway of the Unilever Snail Trail to the highest point on the Toronto Islands.
There are lots of activities every day. Kids can dig in the dirt, sow seeds, and water plants in the Kids Can Press Little Sprouts Garden. They can observe turtles, frogs, and birds in the pond and learn all about wetlands. Beyond gardening, kids can take pleasure in listening to magical stories, a free activity at the Storybook Place.