fire pits Toronto

How to book a fire pit in a Toronto park

Toronto parks are good for more than just picnics, walking dogs, tossing the ball around, or lounging in the sun. In addition to sports facilities, our parks are also home to community ovens and fire pits, the latter of which allow city dwellers to soak up a bit of the country vibe with nightly camp fires.

Parks across the city have fire pits with capacity ranging from 50 to 200 people. It's not too much of a pain to book one, they're available all year round, and it's pretty affordable, too. I did a little digging to save others from having to figure out how to book a fire pit via the city's illustrious web site. Here's how to plan your next urban campfire.

Getting a permit

In order to use the fire pits, of course, a permit must be obtained. During the summer and early autumn months, it's relatively simple to book a fire pit.

To make a permit request, you need to physically pick up a telephone and dial the customer service permit call centre (416.392.8188). You tell the customer service rep which fire pit you're into (see our list below), they check to see if it's available, permit and insurance are issued with payment and signature due at time of booking, and that's it.

The cost

The cost of renting a pit depends on the size of your crew. It's $24.27 for 25 people or fewer, and $79.58 for 26 or more. Insurance is mandatory, and it's an extra $27 to $54, depending on the crowd.

So is this a seasonal thing?

Technically, you can book a fire pit in a Toronto park all year round. But beware that in October, many of the public washrooms at the city's parks close down, and this can make the process of obtaining a permit a bit more difficult.

Whether a permit is granted during the freezing half of the year is left in the hands of individual park supervisors. I press a Parks and Rec staffer for more information, but she just keeps repeating that it "depends on the park, and whether there's construction or the bathrooms are closed."

Parks with pits

  • Carlton Park
  • Christie Pits Park
  • Derrydowns Park
  • Dovercourt Park
  • Downsview Dells Park
  • Dufferin Grove Park
  • Earl Bales Park
  • Etienne Brule Park
  • G Ross Lord Park
  • Home Smith Park
  • MacGregor Playground Park
  • Morningside Park
  • Northwood Park
  • Orchard Park
  • Tam O'Shanter
  • Taylor Creek Park
  • Thomson Memorial Park
  • Toronto Islands- Centre Island
  • Toronto Islands- Hanlan's Point
  • Toronto Islands- Olympic Island
  • Toronto Islands- Snake Island
  • Wilket Creek Park
  • Withrow Park

For more information, check out this guide.

Photo by Eric Sehr in the blogTO Flickr pool

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