We had to visit really, really, REALLY early to find this park empty so that we could take pictures.
It was worth it as we had the whole place to ourselves and I was able to let the kiddos loose. All the other times we’ve driven by, the playground has been teeming with children. You know, as a playground should! But that doesn’t always work with our “trying not to look cuckoo as we take pictures” vibe.
It was great that all the equipment is in the same general area. There is no fencing but it’s in the middle of the park and away from the roads, you just have to be careful since the park is vast (26 acres!), and there are lots of places in which to hide.
Except for the middle sand area where there are four metal spring riders and a teeter-totter, the rest of the equipment is on wood chips.
There’s a large big-kid structure with stairs, metal rungs and ladders; monkey bars and rings and a wooden(!) bridge. I always feel nostalgic about these climbers made out of wood – insert sentimental childhood music here. Maybe something by Sharon, Lois and Bram?
There are big and baby swings and some random things like a wiggly balance beam, a vertical climbing wall, an impressive-looking but actually-not-that-interesting stand up swing, a few plastic crawl tunnels, and a giant accessible sand table.
It looked like an accessible sand table with a 4-foot plate, and a hole in the middle. Maybe you put sand down the middle? That’s what we did.
Then there is the toddler climber from GameTime. There’s a wooden ramp that could make it wheelchair accessible, except there’s a 1-foot step at the bottom. And it’s on wood chips. Strange design there. There would even be room at the top of the ramp for a wheelchair or walker to turn, AND there is an accessible steering wheel and tic-tac-toe wall, but as it’s impossible to GET UP the ramp, it’s kind of a moot point.
There’s also a staircase, slides, monkey bars, and ladders. It was ok, but is faded and not as amazing as I’d expect from what should be Westmount’s signature park.
What the littles loved was GameTime’s train climber. I’m dreading these two getting their licenses.
Close to Sherbrooke Street is the concrete splash pad. It was not on when we were there (as it was so early) but would make a nice respite on a hot summer day. The button is on the post with the picture. There are ground jets and one tall sprayer. Note that the city calls this a wading pool, though there’s no standing water, and it’s a splash pad.
Thanks to Andrea for sending me some pictures of her adorable kids playing in the water. She also mentioned that “near the sprinkler thing where the trees are closest, and the water accumulates more, there’s a very slippery spot (where there’s shade and the ground obviously doesn’t get to dry out as much).” Thanks Andrea!
There is lots to explore in the rest of the 26 acre park. Nice stroller-friendly walking trails under mature and picturesque willow trees, greenspaces, gardens, and soothing waterways and ponds. I love, love any place with trickling water and bridges. The history of the park is interesting and the landscaping was done around the existing streams and woods, and inspired by the work of Frederick Law Olmsted, the landscape architect behind Mount Royal Park and Central Park in NYC.
We parked in the lot beside the new Westmount Recreation Centre, then walked up the paths to the playground (about 5 minutes away), but you could also brave parking on Sherbrooke St. or one of the surrounding streets. There are tons of little cafés along Sherbrooke, and Dairy Queen!
p.s. the little Hansel and Gretel looking building (near the pond) housing the bathrooms was locked and I didn’t see anything else.
I came across this video about the Hidden History of Westmount Park that was interesting. If you’re a total nerd like me.
VIDEO LINK: https://youtu.be/3xxef6AEbW8
|Toddler park (2-5)||✓|
|Fenced toddler park|
|Big kid park (5-12)||✓|
|Big kid swings||✓|
|Reduced mobility swings|