This park has been on my to-do list for two years now, but getting there just never seemed to work out.
From watching some online videos, I knew that it was a large park, with a very, very cool-looking pool and splash pad. But with a pool opening time of 11am, and a toddler who naps just after noon (and is a demon without that nap), it looked like it would be a while before we visited.
But…finding ourselves in the area after a recent school field trip (where I got to tag along), my 8-year old and I were able to explore the walking trails, sit along the waterfront and watch boats, run through the leaves, and play in the AMAZING playground.
This is the kind of park that I feel every waterfront community should have. It’s one of those everything parks. Tennis, walking trails, bike lanes, baseball, (clean!) public washrooms, an amazing outdoor aquatic complex accessible to the public, a free parking lot, place to run and sit, winter sledding runs, a beautiful building for community events, great views along the historic Vieux canal de Beauharnois and the baie Saint-François, and close to multiple stores, cafés, and restaurants.
Google Maps had us turn from Rue Victoria north onto Rue Nicholson and across the bridge, where we easily found parking in the free lot. I’m going to assume that it’s packed with cars during the summer, so you might have to find parking along Victoria and take one of the foot bridges.
The pool and playground are quite a hike from the parking lot, so if you have a ton of gear I’d suggest bringing a wagon or stroller. We wandered along, read the interpretive panels beside the canal, stopped for some water at one of the fountains, danced a bit in the large gazebo, climbed to the top of the sledding hill, said “it’s so pretty!” thirty times, and went “Ooooooooooh!” when we saw the pool.
It was mid-October, so sadly the pool was already drained, but we’ll definitely be coming back next summer to play in the lazy river, lounge in the beach entry, and zip down the mega twirly slide. There’s also a great, fully fenced and gated splash pad just beside the pool area. With nautical-themed products from Waterplay Solutions, kids can play boat captain, spray each other with the water cannon, and watch the mesmerizing I-Spy.
For more details about the pool – including pricing and hours – you can CLICK HERE.
Walking around to the pool entrance, we noted that the bathrooms were open (the signs on the door say 7am to 10pm), and they’re clean with baby changing tables.
And then, the playground.
We’ve been to many, many playgrounds, and while the toddler is always “Yeah! A park!!!!”, my older one is pretty selective in what he likes. And he liked this one. A LOT.
A project by Tessier Récréo-Parc, the playgrounds features products from GameTime and includes two pretty amazing pirate-themed play structures. While it was easy to take pictures because we were the only ones there, it would be great with a whole gang of kids. There are multiple telescopes, ship wheels, cannons and portholes, and slides to escape from attackers. Kids can race up and down the easy-to-climb stairs (perfect for little kids), or scale the various ladders and rungs. And the great thing here? The larger structure is wheelchair accessible with activities at seated height. Steering wheels, a trio of ganzas, wall gizmos, and a pirate wheel. Everyone can get in on the action.
Up the circular staircase are two imposing slides to fly down, or you can just get a better look out to sea. “Land ahoy matey!”
The adjacent Schooner is also great, with slides and stairs, a ground level steering wheel, and a climbable bow. Continuing the boat theme, is the nearby Rock N Raft. This moveable boat can hold six kids with room for a mobility device. My only complaints would be that despite shoving with all my weight, I had a heck of a time getting the raft to rock, and I would love to have an accessible ramp up to this boat, as the only way to get up is a step-up log.
If all that isn’t enough, there are also large boulders to climb, the adorable dragonfly seesaw, spinning turtle seats (or would that be a tortoise? Who lives in the sea?), and the large fish climber that my 8-year old loved. And that I stood under saying “Maybe that’s a bit high? Ack, be careful!” as he swung up and over and upside down. There are also two big, two baby, and two adaptive swings (for 2-5 and 5-12). Grab a book from the “Boîte à lire” and you can sit under a tree, or at one of the surrounding benches or picnic tables. Ahhhhh Bliss…….
Note that all the playground equipment is on a wood chip base and there is no fencing. And as you can see in the pictures, it is all very close to the water.
I was super impressed with this park as a whole, and we loved the playground. I’m definitely planning a return trip for the pool and splash pad!