Bélair Park

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During my visit to ABC Récréation Québec the other week, where we talked playgrounds and equipment and accessibility, they showed me photos one of their projects in the Saint-Michel district.
Play equipment with a farm theme? Oh ya!

This park was completely redone in September 2015 (you can read a bit about it HERE), and features great play structures by Landscape Structures, and Playworld (through distributor Simexco), as well as a brand new 3-section splash pad with products from Aquajeux.

My husband came along for the trip and even HE was impressed! And he’s usually all “What? It’s got swings, it’s a park.”
In fact, we all liked this one so much it’s going on the “Our Favourite Parks” list 🙂

The entire park is fully fenced but there are no gates, and the splash pad is also fully fenced with just one opening onto the playground. 
We easily found street parking on a weekday morning (and then got a ticket, so apparently it wasn’t that easy. I completely blame my husband), and then wandered over to the playground. The toddler stopped, stared, and then “oooooooooh, a farm!” and set about exploring. 

There are three different areas with play equipment: The little toddler barn at ground level that’s on sand, the larger barn that’s also marked 18 months – 5 years and which is on an adorable poured rubber base, and then across the hopscotch and past the “log” benches is the area for 5-12 year olds with a super tall climber, a hang-on-and-spin spinner, as well as some nausea bowls (no they’re not really called that). This part is on wood chips. 

We were all enamoured with the bright red barns and their animals peeking out. The larger climber is easily accessible with a staircase, ladders, and a realistic rock climber complete with fossils to discover. Peer out through the periscope, drive your “tractor”, and zip down the slides. On the rubber base you’ll also find a cow and horse spring rider, and two baby swings (there are no big-kid swings in the park).

Just beside is the ground level barn where you can sit with the cow and horse, another periscope, a steering wheel and one of my favourite features: the Learning Wall Marble Panel. In the sand you’ll also find the CUTEST little chickens, and if you brush away the sand and you’ll see what they’re snacking on.
My one complaint for the park would be that the accessible rubber flooring should have continued under this structure, so that kids with reduced mobility could have access without having to traipse through the sand. Especially since there are all the great low features that aren’t 6 feet up on a platform. 

My toddler was just too small to try out the older kids’ climber so I hauled myself up one of the metal ladders, crossed the rope bridge and climbed the stairs to the high slide. Older kids will love the myriad of ways to climb up and the rock climbing wall. 
Everything is close enough that from the middle of the park you should be able to watch kids in the various play areas. 

Right at the north end of the park is the new splash pad. This replaced an outdated wading pool and is one of the most colourful ones that we’ve seen. With products from Aquajeux, there are three sensors to press and they each control a different area: The toddler zone with a water bell, the turnable baby crab and baby frog; the ground jets and sprays; and the zone for older kids which includes misty rainbow arches, water cannons, and dumping buckets. Within the water area are benches where you can sit, though I don’t guarantee you won’t get wet! 
The city’s website doesn’t specifically state what time the water is on, only that it is according to the hours of the park, which are 6am to midnight, but I really doubt the water turns on at 6am… We were there around 9am and the water was on. 

Picnic tables and benches are nicely sheltered under mature trees and with fluffy new grass all around them. And while we were there on a brilliantly sunny morning, there was plenty of shade, especially over the toddler areas.

Want to find activities and events going on in the borough throughout the summer? You can read the 2016 Été-O-Parc program HERE.

 

Bélair Park – Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension from StrollerMom on Vimeo.

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