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User Guide: Bake Ovens
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·2· Permits Example

31-May-2010 [332]

• The Dufferin Grove Park approach

Welcome to Picnics and Permits at Dufferin Grove Park


Various activities in Dufferin Grove Park sometimes need to be booked, either through a central permit or a talk with staff depending on what kind of an event or activity you are thinking about. Staff are happy to answer questions. Call 416-392-0913 talk with staff via email:

Detailed information about pizza days and the bake ovens, campfires, picnics, sports, practicing music, special events, and birthday parties can be found in the Guidelines and Rules section.


Campfires need permission, but it’s easy and local. Call the park program staff at 416 392-0913 or There are two campfire locations - centre path and south path – plus one more in winter, by the rink. The south location is only available after 8 p.m.


You can't reserve picnic tables for your campfire or your family party, but there are a lot of tables all over the park, and everybody moves them around to where they want them. The only tricky time is Friday nights because most of the tables get taken over to the oven for Friday Night supper. The suppers are every Friday night all summer long and into September except if the weather is bad. There is more information about the suppers on the Bake Ovens & Food page.


People practising music (unamplified), dancing, stilt-walking, fire-twirling, headstands, etc. don’t usually need permits. Groups doing tai chi or yoga don’t need permits. Kids making art in groups don’t need permits. People who stop and watch don’t need a permit either – it’s public!

However, drumming, amplified sound and other more intrusive activities should run by staff first.

Feel free to contact park staff at 416-392-0913 or by email to find out some of the sports and activities currently being practiced at the park.

Having a Picnic at Dufferin Grove Park

The park has many picnic tables throughout the park, and anyone having an ordinary picnic can use these without a reservation or a permit, first come, first served. Picnic tables can be moved from one picnic spot to another but it’s nice for picnickers to move them back if they’re normally used for a program (e.g. pizza days or Friday Night Suppers).

Be gentle moving the tables -- they get very little maintenance and they're getting pretty rickety.

Larger local picnic groups under 25 people: if you’re inviting your aunts and uncles and cousins too, you still don’t need a permit, but please call the park staff when you’re making plans, at 416 392-0913, so they can help you figure out the best location (one that doesn’t put you on top of another group). The park staff can also lend you a dolly for moving a few more picnic tables and an extra trash can to your picnic spot. Just put them back after. If you need to borrow the farmers' market tables, call 416 392-0913 to see if that can be arranged. There is a flat fee of $20 for the use of the market tables, unless you need a lot of them (then it's more).

Permits for groups over 25 people (and up to 200) are centrally booked through the city for $71.22 (from p.42 of the most recent city fee schedule). These have their designated base location: the south grove under the big old silver maples, where the permit sign is. These groups can also borrow the staff dolly to carry over extra picnic tables from elsewhere in the park if they need them.

If you have any trouble with washrooms or trash receptacles or water fountains, please tell the park staff or e-mail picnics or leave a message at 416 392-0913, and they'll try to make sure the problems are fixed.


The Parks by-law requires a permit for barbecues.

§ 608-10. Campfires and barbecues:While in a park, no person shall...Use any portable barbeques unless authorized by permit or where posted to allow the use.''

People often prefer to be more spontaneous (permits take up to six weeks). But barbecues are often smoky, which bothers other park users. So if you want to bring a BBQ, set it up FAR AWAY from the main activity areas (i.e. far away from the playground, sports fields, or the main walkways). And if your barbecue smokes up the park, the staff will ask you to put it out.

About Having Birthday Parties in the park

In the winter there is an outdoor skating rink at Dufferin Grove park, with a rink house café where people can drink a hot chocolate, change their skates, talk to their friends, etc. Outside the rink house there is a campfire location, and sometimes people have winter skating parties, with a fire (including birthday parties). We do not offer birthday party space inside because the building is usually full of skaters.


In the spring, summer, and early fall, people often have a birthday party somewhere in the park -- they bring a picnic, hang a pinata in the tree, and have a good time. Anyone can do that almost anywhere in the park without arranging permission. (see non permit sites) It's allowed to bring your own barbecue, and many people do that. It's also possible to get a campfire permit from the park staff for $20 by donation but you need to bring wood yourself (we have a fire stand, pot, frying pan, oven mitts, etc., which we lend out for free).


Pizza Birthday Parties

If you want to book a pizza birthday party, it's sometimes possible, but you have to pay for staff ($15 an hour, including fire-lioghting, set-up, and clean-up) as well as wood ($10) and materials ($2.50 per pizza unless you bring all your own materials, i.e. dough and all toppings, sauce, etc.). Call the park at 416 392-0913 and leave a message, and a park staff will call you back and talk it over.

If the birthday were in March, April, October, or November, you'd be out of luck with the park. The rink is not usually open and the park is too cold and muddy for a picnic. But during any of the other months, birthday parties done the way we've described here, are very easy.

You can also e-mail us at

Links to Dufferin website:
Welcome to Picnics and Permits at Dufferin Grove Park

Campfire locations and booking page

See also:
Parks and Rec and their NO's

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