Smile Politely

Year of the Park, A to Z: Canaday Park, Urbana

As Year of the Park continues, we will be documenting every park in Champaign, Urbana, and Savoy, Champaign County Forest Preserves, along with other odds and ends between July 2020 and July 2021. You can see what has been covered thus far by clicking here. If you have suggestions or ideas or feedback, feel free to contact us at [email protected].


Canaday Park 


300 S. Lierman Ave., Urbana 

A view of the mandmade hills to the south of Canaday Park, with the satellite county jail in the background

Photo by Maddie Rice. 


From the Urbana Park District website:

Canaday Park is a leased site from Champaign County since 1979. Prior to Urbana Park District lease, the site was used by the C-U Optimists club for their Babe Ruth baseball program.  The park is named after Robert Canaday, a former Optimist Club member. Today the park is used for Urbana Park District’s softball and kickball programs.

An image of a softball diamond photographed from right field

Photo by Maddie Rice.


I have fond memories of watching some good friends play softball on this field back in the 1990s. No park of any kind with a ball field is a bad thing. In a normal year, any time two teams suit up to take the field, it’s worth your time to grab a cold drink and enjoy the contest.

The location of the park, which sits next to the satellite Champaign County jail and across the street from the Dart factory, doesn’t lend itself to being much of a destination space, but that doesn’t mean it’s not somewhere to explore on a nice day. The manmade hills to the south of the park are fun for kids to roll down, and at five full acres, there’s plenty of opportunity to mill around and enjoy the weather.

Top photo by Maddie Rice.

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