The top 10 basketball courts to play pick-up in Toronto
Pick-up basketball in Toronto is one of my favourite summer activities, so it's a good thing there are plenty of courts to play on in Toronto. For those looking for a competitive full court game or a free hoop to challenge a friend, there's something for everyone.
Here are my picks for some of the best places to play pick-up basketball in Toronto.
This court near Queens Quay West and Bathurst is arguably the most popular spot in the city to play pickup basketball. There's an intensely "basketball only" vibe and it's also well-maintained with enough hoops to practice on, if you're a little intimidated by the level of play on the main court.
This facility near the intersection of Shuter and River streets has a well-maintained outdoor court to shoot hoops on and, if you ever want to switch up the game, there's also a great multi-purpose outdoor field where you can kick a ball around.
The energy at these courts is just as competitive as it is down by the lake and there's usually various levels of play. If there's a downside it's that there aren't as many hoops, so waiting times can sometimes be lengthy and the courts can be particularly packed during the summer months.
The hoops and nets are well taken care of here and those who are nervous to join in need not worry, this Dufferin and Bloor spot sports a wide range of basketball ability and a very friendly atmosphere. More often then not you can join in on a game that has already started or join up with others waiting for a hoop to open up.
This isn't a free outdoor spot but it is one of the best places to go in the city for some pickup basketball inside. This Downsview Park fave sports 4 full size courts and 3 "cages" where players can gather for some pickup play that simulates the inner city feel inside the facility. Playing a game costs $13.75.
Now a YMCA but formerly a training facility for the Pan Am Games,this Canary District athletic centre has great facilities and a well-maintained indoor court.
Sometimes you can tell a great pickup spot simply from the appearance of the court. The hoops and court at this spot near Dundas West and Sorauren are usually in fairly good shape. The demographic here is a mix of adults and high school kids so the level of competition tends to vary.
While it may be out of the way for the downtown crowd there's almost always a basketball game going on at this court near the intersection of Ellesmere and Markham roads. Often the players are a mix of kids and teenagers, but there is enough room to get your own pickup game going with friends.
This small court is a diamond in the rough for a nice pickup game with friends. On the east side of Coxwell and south of Danforth, you're likely to be able to play half court or full court on this well maintained East side spot.
If all else fails and you just want to have a quick pickup game on the fly with some friends, your best bet is a local public school. Some more basketball focused schools like Keele Street Public School and Runnymede Junior and Senior Public School offer large and well-maintained courts.
Jeremy Gilbert. With contributions from Kristoffer Pedlar.
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