On a dreary November morning we didn’t really feel much like playing outside (ok, we DID, but not in the rain), so instead we drove over to Dorval to visit the sparkly new Aquatic and Sports Complex. And….wow.
I hadn’t heard anything about it before and only knew of it being built from stumbling across a picture of the pool on Tessier Récréo-Parc’s projects page.
Packing up the toddler, his bathing suit, MY bathing suit, a bunch of towels, 25 snacks, and my debit card; we were excited to see just what this new indoor splash pad looked like.
It was awesome. And we were the ONLY PEOPLE THERE.
We’ve been to Pointe Claire’s fun swim and it’s always a total ZOO, and has very awkward opening hours. The schedule for Dorval is fantastic and should fit around everyone’s nap schedule. Got a baby who wakes up at 6am? Perfect! The pool opens at 6:30am! 😉
Find the schedule HERE or call 514 633-4000. I recommend ALWAYS calling before going!
The lady at the front desk was super helpful and let us know where to go (the family changing room), remarked on the Monster’s cuteness, and chatted away with us.
As non-residents it cost us $6 and $7.50. edited 2018: There is now a family price of 16$ for non-residents.
You can find the full price list HERE. p.s. I was told that it is now free for children 2 and under (though it doesn’t say this on the website.)
The family changing room was immaculate and has everything you need. Except for locks. Which as usual we forgot to bring.
There are no coin operated lockers.
The large room has tons of large lockers, private changing rooms with benches, private showers, two built-in baby changing stations (I used to always be worried those wall ones would fall off!), a wheelchair accessible bathroom with shower, outlets for your own hair dryer or there are hand dryers, and of course toilets and sinks. AND, there’s one of those spin-your-bathing-suit-dry machines.
The entrance to the pool area is right off the changing room, so no having to wander down cold hallways. The lifeguards saw us when we came through, and asked us to shower first (the showers are right on the pool deck), and we had two lifeguards just for us. A 1-to-1 ratio is pretty good 😉
The pool has a very gradual beach entry and the flooring is this cool rubber material. My little guy loved that he could walk way out and still have his head above water. I liked that I could lay back and pretend to be on an actual beach. Minus the piña colada, dammit!
There is room to sit and play (there are buckets and watering cans), two alcoves with benches and relaxing bubbling water, the deeper water at the base of the impressive water slide, and a splash pad area.
We both found the water rather chilly. Unless you’re swimming laps or dancing up a storm, you’re going to get cold. (I mentioned the admission price and water temperature in the email to the city after our visit).
I looked around for the “on” button for the splash pad, and since we’ve been to 50+ splash pads we usually know where to look, but feeling silly, I asked the lifeguard in the adjoining room. Oooooooh, they turn it on!
The water features are by Waterplay Solutions and include the Wavy Daisy Mae with sprinkling water, the turning Mini Squirt (which he loved), another flower sprayer, and some ground jets with a fairly hard spray. There are also some small bubblers in the floor that were on the entire time. If you have really little ones, the spray from the water doesn’t cover the entire shallow area, so they can still sit/stand without getting splashed.
We didn’t use them but there are back floaties and life jackets available.
The 25-metre pool is in the same area and features lane swimming, and a wheel-chair accessible entrance ramp.
And while it didn’t matter to us, because I wasn’t going to launch a 3-year old down it; the slide wasn’t functioning when we were there (there were signs at the front desk). If that’s something you want to play on, I’d suggest calling first to make sure it’s available. It looks both amazing, and a little scary. My 7-year old will love it.
There is an on-site canteen with tables, chairs, and benches overlooking the pools. We had a snack at the vending machines (granola bars, drinks, milk, squeezable yogurt and fruit pouches, etc)
The canteen hours (at the time I wrote this) are as follows:
- Monday to Friday : 7:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. and 3:45 p.m. to 6 p.m.
(closed from 2:15 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.)
- Saturday and Sunday : 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
All in all we had a great time and will for sure be back this winter, perhaps with some friends in tow!
Check out the video from Global News below:
just tried dorval’s new centre aquatique… Looovved it ! txs for the review….. didn’t even know it actually existed…. always love to read you….