It was a long renovation, but Ménard park reopened this summer and is an awesome destination park for the entire family. We all loved it, including my grumpy-pants teen!
Highlights of the park include the immense “DNA towers” that were challenging enough for both of my climbers. With its intricate ropes, high bridge, and tall enclosed slide, it’s great for older kids and is the first of its kind in Quebec.
Equally enticing for the older set is the section with technology-enhanced play products from Kompan that encourage active play with physical, visual, and sound components. The games test players’ agility, balance, memory, speed, and climbing skills, and judging by my kids’ sweaty foreheads and squeals of laughter — they’re pretty freaking fun.
Over in the toddler area the littlest visitors can explore the adorable play structure that has plenty to touch and turn. Climb up the little ramp and across the mini bridge, or scale the pint-sized wall to reach the slides. In the surrounding wood chips, they’ll also find spring riders, a triple seat bouncer, and little steps to balance on or hop across. And for those who love digging, there’s a small sandbox just beside the play area.
There are a whack of swings, including baby and adult swings, a tandem swing, and a three-point harness adaptive swing. To the relief of parents with multiple kids, the splash pad is central to the various play areas and makes keeping an eye on little ones just a little bit easier. The splash pad is unobtrusive and doesn’t have the usual multicoloured dumping buckets and water cannons. Rather, the large rectangular surface has ground jets that reach up high, and small sprays for those who don’t like getting their faces wet. In-ground lighting will also light up the area for after-dark play.
The multi-generational design also caters to teens and adults. Those who want to go outside and get active can do so with a multitude of sports and leisure equipment. There’s the beautifully shaded exercise area with outdoor fitness equipment for all levels, Trekfit’s Bamboo Jungle where parkour enthusiasts can practice their skills, new basketball courts, a colourful tennis court, graffiti walls, concrete all-weather ping pong tables, pétanque, and even raised garden containers.
Other things you can find in the park include a community pool (check the borough’s website HERE for full details and regulations). Still to come in 2021 and 2022 is the completion of the soccer field and the addition of park furniture including picnic tables, benches, and waste disposal containers. In the meantime, the borough has stocked the park with plastic Adirondack chairs that can be moved around, and temporary garbage cans that are rather ineffectual (to the delight of the local squirrel bandits).
Things to note
- The splash pad water is on from 8am-9pm. Touch the top of the post to start the water sequence. The water will turn off automatically.
- Multiple drinking fountains are located throughout the park (bring your reusable bottles!)
- Playground flooring is mostly wood chips except for the section with the electronic components which is poured-in-place rubber. Or was it synthetic carpet? Anyhoo, it was flat and the only accessible surfacing.
- There is almost no shade except for a bit to the north of the playground. A shade structure installed over the toddler park would be appreciated!
- There was no bathroom of any sort when we visited. (This may have changed ?)
- The entrance to the park is on rue Clément. Parking is tricky. There are five parking spots (two are accessible parking spaces) within the park off Clément, but the entrance is hard to spot as it looks like a path. If those few spots are full, you will need to find street parking nearby. Make sure to read the signs very, very carefully and respect the “no parking” signs in the lots of the nearby apartment buildings.