This park has some really interesting history dating back to the beginning of the 20th century. And because I like stuff like that, I read all about it!
Undeveloped for decades, the site was turned into a water reservoir and pumping station in the 1960s. Named after James N. Drummond, the last mayor of the village of Rosemont, it became parc Étienne Desmarteau in 1972. It was developed into an athletic practice field for the 1976 Olympic athletes (and remained open to the general public) with a running track, and javelin, shot put, discus, and hammer throw practice areas. Over the years it has undergone various renovations including a new chalet, and the addition of playgrounds, a large skate park, and a splash pad.
The massive construction project in the middle of the park is the renovation of the reservoir which hasn’t been operational since the 1980s. You can read about the work HERE and HERE. Watching the workers and the various “diggers” was probably the highlight of the visit for my 3-year old 😛
We parked on 20e Avenue, which is the closest street to the actual play equipment, and went into the fully fenced and gated playground. The park was packed with day camp kids, and I took advantage of the 90 seconds that the splash pad was empty to take the video below. The water area is full of interesting products from Vortex including the tall Huddle Sprays, misty rings to run through, dumping bucket, water cannons, and ground sprays. It’s colourful and modern, and I got soaked!
The splash pad is on from 9am-9pm.
Word of warning: Be very, very careful as you enter the gate near the splash pad, as the metal door that covers the motor parts is right there on the ground. There have been multiple injuries reported this summer and last, of children walking on them barefoot and getting severe burns on their feet, as the metal heats up tremendously in the sun.
There are benches and some picnic tables nearby, and the entire park is full sun.
Besides the splash pad are sections for toddlers and older kids. I could NOT get a picture of the larger play structure as there were just too many kids, but it’s obviously fun as there was a lot of hooting and hollering. It’s metal with various ways to climb and swing, and is entirely toddler-unfriendly. Luckily they have their own little play structure from Kompan that has easy to climb platforms, little slides and ladders. Racing in the sand are a trio of Racer spring riders. Six baby swings, and six big swings round out the equipment.
Note: There’s the new chalet with bathrooms, but it was so far away from the actual playground, and the toddler was getting worn down that we didn’t check it out.