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ping pong toronto

New outdoor ping pong tables are popping up all over Toronto

Outdoor ping pong might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Toronto, but there are actually a ton of public places to play it here and it seems that we keep getting more. 

Many of them are present thanks to city councillor Josh Matlow, who several years ago started moving motions to fund their creation, engaging park staff to get them installed.

A new table was installed in Oriole Park late last year during what Matlow calls the "heart of some of [the] darkest days" of lockdowns. More tables were installed in Graham Park off St. Clair West, and in June Rowlands Park at Mount Pleasant and Davisville within the last two weeks. A second table was recently installed near the Sharon Lois & Bram playground.

People actually already want a second ping pong table at Oriole Park near Yonge and Eglinton because it's so popular, causing long wait times for residents eagerly awaiting their turn.

Many of the tables also wouldn't have been possible without the generosity of a local woman named Dianne Moore who grew up playing ping pong with her family, and according to Matlow, "just altruistically wanted to share with people." He also worked with a local rotary club to get the new tables installed.

Matlow tells blogTO the simple ping pong tables have been "just this really happy beautiful thing" during a time when lots of restrictions have been placed on outdoor recreation.

These locations were chosen because in addition to homes with yards, they're near "many apartment buildings with little to no outdoor access. Parks become their front and back yards."

The tables are made out of a stoney concrete-like material that can withstand inclement weather and is easy to maintain. Of course the tables are totally free for the public to use, you just have to bring your own paddles and balls, which are typically quite inexpensive.

Matlow says people are really liking the new tables, though there has been some debate about the new, slimmer style of tables being installed as opposed to older ones with round legs. He figures we're better off if we're debating the design rather than whether they should exist at all.

He's hoping to continue installing ping pong tables in Toronto parks "wherever it's possible," but concrete plans are in the works to install Toronto's next new ping pong table at Lionel Conacher Park in Summerhill over the next few weeks.

If you're into ping pong, or just don't have a big budget and want to get moving, this could be your summer.

Lead photo by

Josh Matlow

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