Late last summer we visited Imagination Park just behind the ACC building, and between bouts of running and playing, I had peered into the windows of the indoor pool and saw the fantastic-looking beach and splash pad area. It took until today, but we finally made it to Côte Saint-Luc for a morning of splashing and fun. Opened in 2011, the Aquatic and Community Centre was built in less than a year and was funded in part by the governments of Quebec and Canada. From what we saw, it is a beautiful and well-planned community centre, encompassing all sorts of activities for a variety of interests and ages.
We basically stayed in the beach area and recreational pool and as non-residents it cost me and the little one a grand total of $6. That’s a great price for couple of hours of play.
The fees are as follows (but you should always check beforehand in case they’ve changed!):
Free with the Côte Saint-Luc Fun Card
Ages 0 to 4: $2
Ages 5 to 17: $3
Ages 18 and older: $4
Ages 60 and older: $3
Finding the family change room (leave your boots outside in the racks) we noticed how clean and sparkly everything was. It also helped that we were the first people there in the morning.
With six private changing stalls, a wall of drop-down baby changing tables, a bathing suit spinner, hair dryers at various heights, large counters, clean lockers, open and private shower stalls, AND everything accessible; the change room doesn’t seem to be lacking anything. One of the toilet stalls even has a fold down seat on the wall compete with a harness.
Of course, again, I’d forgotten a lock for the locker (none are coin operated) so I stuffed most of my things in our swim bag and lugged it out onto the pool deck after stopping for a quick shower.
There are designated areas for stroller parking, including in the change room just by the front door, but being a dolt, I forgot to see if there was a spot next to the pool. Though in the swimming pool rules (found HERE) they note that “baby strollers must be kept at least four (4) feet (1.2 meters) away from the edge of the pool.” So it does sound like you can bring them onto the pool deck.
We still had three minutes until the aqua-fitness class ended and the Open Swim started, so we read the rules posted on the wall, had a look at the Hydrorider water bikes (how cool are those?), and then at exactly 9:30 and with the ok from the lifeguard, we dipped our toes into the water.
With a gradual tiled beach entry, the water is inviting for small children and goes just deep enough (about knee height) so that I could sit down and be pretty cozy.
The ambiant air was a comfortable temperature and the water of the splash pad part was warm (warmer than Dorval, not as warm as the Aquadome).
My little guy went bananas for Vortex’s toddler-high activity table and learned cause and effect as he controlled the flow of water. With a cauldron of bubbles in the centre, the drops and spray create rivers and pools of water in the three sections branching off. There are also ground jets creating an archway through which to crawl or walk, and a trio of dumping buckets.
We were totally content to stay in this section, but tried out the empty recreation pool right beside us. We ventured down the gradually sloping (wheelchair accessible) ramp until he couldn’t keep his head over the water anymore and he “swam” while I towed him around. “This way, that way!” were his orders as we enjoyed the really, really warm water. The water depth is consistent throughout and is the perfect height for the various classes that are held in this pool. Just beside the lifeguard chair is a slide, which we couldn’t try out as I would have needed someone to spot him on the steps and catch him in the water. Next time!
The water in the pool and the beach area is actually separate so there was a distinct difference in temperatures, with the beach water feeling much cooler when we went back, just because the pool had been so warm. But, my little man lasted almost a whole hour in the water, which is certainly a lot more than usual!
After changing back into our outside clothes we enjoyed a snack in the atrium where there are tables, chairs and couches. While it wasn’t open when we were there, there’s a café serving salads, sandwiches, pizza, hot dogs etc, as well as some vending machines (that we could access) with drinks and snacks.
You can find the schedule for Open Swim at this link: ACC SWIM SCHEDULE (it should link to the most current).
I STRONGLY suggest calling first to check the schedule and to see if there is a birthday party using the pool.
Besides the beach and recreational pool, the multi-generational facility is also home to: a 10-lane competition pool, a senior centre, a banquet hall and meeting room (complete with catering facilities), a satellite public library, a Royal Canadian Legion office, dance and art studios, an exercise room with gym equipment, a games room, a teen lounge, a gym for kids, babysitting service for parents using the facility, a café, and an exterior terrace with a firepit. Just outside the pool area is the very unique Imagination Park which we visited last summer. You can read that review HERE and if you’re visiting the pool in the spring/summer/fall be sure to check it out.
You can watch Côte Saint-Luc’s promotional video detailing all the various activities HERE.
Or watch Strollerparking’s video of just the beach area: