Heritage on the Lake Park

This is going to be long as this review has been a while in the making…..
We originally visited this park in the summer of 2014, and I was dead set on not liking it. Why? Well, because before all the land was clearcut and the large houses built, this is where I spent all of my teenage years (from 11-19) riding horses, teaching horseback riding, wandering the fields and woods, for a time living in the 150 year old former servants’ house of the once sprawling estate, and generally enjoying one of the last stables (and eventually THE last one) on the island of Montreal. 
I used to bike from Pointe-Claire, through Beaconsfield, up and over highway 40 and then past where the Colisée was eventually built. 
Am I dating myself? “When I was your age I used to walk 30 km to school, uphill both ways! AND listened to the Backstreet Boys when they first started!”

So it was with a heavy heart that I drove down Gouin after many years of having not been this way, expecting to see the bumpy tree-lined driveway and the beautiful old white stucco barns. Of course, I knew they were gone…but still…..

So anyway, on to the park/playground. 
Ok, so I’ll admit it, it was nice. We drove down all the horsey-named streets (was Rue du Palomino named for the gorgeous blond pony I once rode? ha!) and parked right next to the playground. It was new, it was shiny, it was right beside a picture-perfect man-made lake.
There is toddler and big-kid equipment from Landscape Structures and BOTH are on rubber bases. No sand here!

The toddler climber is great. There are easy to maneuver stairs, metal rungs, a crawl tunnel in which I had to contort myself in half, and a Pod Climber with handrail. My little man loved the multiple slides, the periscope, and steering wheel. 

Then we went down the little path and around the bushes (both play areas are quite separate) to the Evos® structure. This spherical, almost sculpture-like climber will get older kids climbing, balancing, and swinging. With its stand-up Blender Spinner, accessible Cycler, RingTangle Climber, pods to balance on, giant O-Zone rings to climb through, it’s all very interesting and creative, but a bit too involved for my not-yet 2-year old. 
Swings have been added since our first visit, pics below!

We also took a walk around the lake (watch out for the poison parsley plants near the edge) which was beautiful. 

So, despite my wanting to hate this park for taking away parts of my childhood (that’s right, I blame YOU Park!), I actually really enjoyed the playground. I only wish it had some SHADE, and perhaps fencing as it’s quite close to the road. 

Check out my trip down memory lane below!
The original stables and house stood here for about 150 years. There was a 1/4 mile racetrack in one field, with huge pastures and forests behind the barns. In the 1990’s, a movement to protect the property as a heritage site was started, but the designation was not granted. 

Below are some photos of the area (Équitation Élysée riding school) from the 1990’s.
Mostly me and my mom and our amazing horse Bailey. 

These are stills from the movie set of The Audrey Hepburn Story (TV Movie) starring Emmy Rossum and Jennifer Love Hewitt. The barn was given a thatched roof and the house was (half) painted and used as the set for all the Irish scenes. Strange to live in a house where just halves of the rooms are painted! 



  • Susan Latreille says:

    I am so anxious to see the rest of this post as that particular locale (pre-park & housing development) holds very special memories 🙂

  • Carol Bellware says:

    I can certainly relate to your disappointment. As a former Montrealer, now living in Glengarry, I have recently been on my own “Trip Down Memory Lane” around Lachine, Lasalle and Pointe Claire. The only comment I can offer is, I’m happy that I raised my children in the 60’s & 70’s. (I think life was much simpler and better then).

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