This is another park which took us a few tries to visit, as it was always too busy to snap any pictures. We’d been by after visiting the AMAZING Nathan Shuster Park in Côte Saint-Luc, but it was packed with kids so we visited the community garage sale down the street instead.
Fast forward to a still-chilly early spring morning, and we were just about the only people at the park. There were parts that we liked, and things we didn’t.
While the water wasn’t yet on in the splash pad, we did like the rainbow spray tunnels, the dumping buckets, the adorable spray flowers and the animal water cannons. The water area is a good size and there are picnic tables and benches surrounding it.
There’s very little shade and no fencing. There’s actually no fencing around any of the playground or park and some of the equipment is fairly close to the road.
The toddler area is a bit puzzling. Like it was designed with good intentions but went off the rails somewhere along the way. The tiny play structure is on a carpeted base, but you wouldn’t know it because it’s now entirely covered in sand from the surrounding areas. There used to be a wheelchair accessible sand digger, but it’s gone, and other than the ground-level tic-tac-toe panel and the telescope, there’s not much for kids with mobility issues to do. The climber has a good staircase, double slide and a metal ladder; there’s also a bowl spinner; and then down in the sand are baby swings (and one big-kid swing), and a pylon-covered spot where there used to be a spring rider. It was just…underwhelming and could use some TLC.
Steps away is the big-kid section which is on a wood chip base. There are big swings, an adaptive swing (which wasn’t yet reinstalled from the winter), picnic tables, a large and intricate rope climber, monkey bars, Kompan’s Supernova Spinner and a modern metal climber (also from Kompan). With ropes and rings and a plastic hammock, this climber is always a bit puzzling, but then you see the wheels turning in the kids’ heads and they figure our creative ways to climb and swing.
We were feeling peckish and thirsty, so we ambled up to the fairly new Centre sportif Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. And to our delight (and surprise), it was open AND had an amazing spot to eat on the first floor overlooking the indoor pool. The Café Cito 92 is open Mon-Fri 8am-3pm and weekends 8am-5pm. This wasn’t the usual pool canteen, I had a homemade muffin, a crazy good latté and they were making soup and what looked like pulled pork. There are gourmet sandwiches and salads and all kinds of delicious looking treats. At the Centre sportif you’ll also find clean bathrooms and an outside terrace. SCORE!
I got a lovely message in the comments below that on the other side of the road from the Centre sportif is the newly opened Notre-Dame-de-Grâce Cultural Centre which houses the Benny Library, a 200-seat performance hall, as well as an indoor terrace and an outdoor yard. “The library has a very cute play/reading area for toddlers, and a nice section for older kids. A good place to go to relax or get out of the sun after playing in the playground!”
There are activities during the summer of 2016, and the official programming launch will be held in the fall of 2016.
|Toddler park (2-5)||✓|
|Fenced toddler park|
|Big kid park (5-12)||✓|
|Big kid swings||✓|
|Reduced mobility swings||✓|